Because claims adjusting is such a multi-faceted line of work, there are a number of things to take into account before, during and after an assignment, from considering weather issues to dealing with different personalities. But some adjusters have a list of things they deem important enough to remember each time they assess a claim. In this article, Crawford’s adjusters share what’s on their “never to forget” list.
Bill Stewart, national general adjuster, Jacksonville, Fla. reminds himself that the insured or claimant is a human being facing a problem they didn’t ask for, a problem which needs to be resolved, and he is there to help in that process. “Even if someone’s personality, lifestyle or other factors may not be particularly pleasant to me personally, they deserve my professionalism and to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity,” he says. “Also, never forget to consider subrogation and salvage. Even a non-human causation event like wind or lightning doesn’t automatically mean there is no suborn potential. Things like building code violations or manufacturer warranties on lightning surge protectors need to be considered.”
When handling a property claim, these are the items on claims adjuster and supervisor for Catastrophe Services Linda Asberry’s list. Linda is based in Houston, Texas.
- “Know the height of the building and how best to access it before you get there.
- Keep your appointment and be on time.
- Let the insured ‘show and tell’ first. They have been anticipating your inspection, and they psychologically need to tell you everything the moment you arrive. They need patience, knowledge and your empathy.
- Recognize the difference between commercial and residential building products, and understand the variances in quality.
- Never forget your equipment! Carry at least two of everything, since you never know when one will break or malfunction.”
Harry Rinehart, casualty general adjuster II in Allentown, Pa., says one item he doesn’t forget involves the safety of the insured. “One of my never-forget-to-ask questions is ‘Were you injured; did you receive any medical attention; and do you intend to receive any medical attention?’” he says. “Routine claims can be anything from a minor cut finger in a workers compensation case to car A rear-ends car B in an auto liability case to a slip and fall in the grocery store aisle in a general liability case. More serious claims can involve 50-100 vehicle pileups on the highway involving many tractor trailer rigs, explosions involving major damage to homes or business, and storm-related losses that can trigger liability exposures for environmental cleanup. All can involve serious injury and sometimes loss of life to those involved.”
What do you like to keep in mind when performing your job?