Not long ago, I asked a good friend of mine – who happens to be a CAT Manager for a large, national claims company – to give me a list of the “top 10” things that bug him as a CAT Manager. I thought you’d enjoy this as much as I do, so here it is:
1) Don’t be annoying – a few phone calls and emails are more than welcome, but emailing more than once every two weeks may be overkill.
2) Sometimes we don’t have any CAT claims. Even though the news is calling an area a disaster, it may be possible that only a few claims were generated, or it may be possible that our firm didn’t receive the claims. On the other side of the coin, we might have a catastrophe that didn’t make the news.
3) Catastrophes are not limited to just hurricanes.
4) Listen to the adjusting firm’s staff – this includes managers, file reviewers, etc. Generally these people know how to make money, they are not trying to make your life difficult when they ask for a revision to a claim – they know what the client wants.
5) Do what you say you will do. It might be ok if you can’t get to an area for 4 days. But don’t say you’ll get there in 2 days and show up a week later.
6) Tell someone when you are getting overwhelmed before it becomes to late.
7) *BIG* – Do not inspect a week’s worth of properties and then spend a week writing reports. Write up claims as you inspect them.
8 ) Do not make any commitments, promises, etc. This includes saying things like “the insurance couple should contact you in a week”.
9 Don’t ask for a cash advance.
10) Be ready to travel. While we all understand that sometimes life gets in the way of working, you will only be asked 2-3 times to travel somewhere. If you repeatedly say “no” when asked to deploy, you will quit being asked.
11) Don’t recite policy language to anyone.
12) Do take lots and lots of photographs.
13) Spell check your reports
14) Make sure you check out of a storm – don’t just leave (same with arriving).
15) Mandatory meetings are really mandatory.
16) I probably can’t get you a price break for Xactimate
17) I don’t know exactly where your claims will be located. I can give you a general idea, but I can’t tell you the exact neighborhood.
18) Since I can’t do #17 above, I will not be able to tell you what hotel to stay in.
19) I also do not know the closest RV parks to where you will be working.
20) I have no idea how many claims you will get. You will probably start out with somewhere between 20-50.
21) Please give me a few days notice before you are ready to leave. A week would be best.
22) Finish a claim to the completion. If you need to work contents, well, that’s not a lot of fun. But that’s the way the ball bounces.
23) Try, if possible, to inspect the loss with the insured or the insured’s contractor present. This cuts down on reinspections due to missed damage.
24) Return phone calls or emails with in a few hours if possible, never more than 24 hours.
25) I’m very sorry the __________ on your ____________ involving your __________ is _______________. I need to know this: 1) Do you want more claims, 2) Do you not want more claims 3) Do you want me to hold off on you for ___________ days?
26) I’m generally not going to be happy if you call my boss first instead of me.
27) If you make one of the people assigning claims cry, I’ll be pretty unhappy.
28) You’re going to be a rock star if you close 100 claims in a month. 80 is fine. 60 is starting to get a bit low unless there are unusual circumstances.
29) You better have some claims uploaded within a few days of your arrival, or have a reason as to why not.
30) Yes, I know Xactimate is better than ______________ whatever software the carrier requires. Yes I know _________ is stupid. Please just do what is asked. Thank you.
NOTE: The specifics above will differ from company to company but great adjusters pay attention. The point is: Always go with what your company says to do over stuff you’ve heard, seen, or read elsewhere – including here!