Our Adjusters Share: What is the most unusual or interesting claim you’ve ever handled?

Some might think that there’s not much to claims adjusting. By definition, claims adjusting is the investigation of insurance claims to determine the extent of the insured company’s liability. While that may seem mundane, claims adjusting can be a career that is interesting, exciting and highly varied. In this installment of “Our Adjusters Share,” we ask Crawford adjusters what their most interesting unusual claim has been to date.



Bill Stewart, national general adjuster in Jacksonville, Fla. describes his work with a fire loss in Tampa, Fla. “All of these were third party property damage liability losses involving the total loss of a new full service post office facility, a church, a tobacco warehouse, a brewery and a large U-Haul facility,” he says. “This presented a variety of losses and claim procedures including beverage product contamination, mold, loss of income, law and ordinance issues. The facilities were varied. We had wholesale business, retail business, a non-profit corporation and a government facility. We had liability issues, subrogation investigation and claim settlement negotiations on an actual cash value basis. Multiple learning experiences were all contained in one loss event.”

A Learning Experience

For Brian Emberton, national general adjuster for Global Technical Services in Atlanta, Ga., some of the most interesting claims for are the ones when he gets to learn about a new industry or business. “I enjoy the experience of finding out about the processes used in the business, how product is manufactured and the logistics of the company’s operations,” he says.

A Cultural Difference

One of the most interesting claims Linda Asberry has ever encountered was a 300-year-old thatched-roof house in England. The materials had withstood the test of time, but the claimant was adamant that he did not want an American to handle his claim. Linda, who is a claims adjuster and supervisor for Catastrophe Services based in Houston, Texas, took it all in stride. “After a few minutes of conversation, he finally agreed to allow me to adjust his loss,” she says. “It was an education for me as well as one for the insured, who decided Yanks really could perform. The interesting part was truly an education in the materials used and how they have outlasted anything we have available today. They invented green building. I still get holiday cards from them.”

Star-Studded Claims

In his 35 years of experience with Crawford, Landy Bownds, service center manager in New Orleans, La., has seen a number of interesting claims, including a few which involved him skiing to and from an accident site in Aspen, Colo. “My experience as an associate in claims (AIC) in Glenwood Springs, Colo. exposed me to some of the most interesting claims,” he says. “I handled a lot of property claims in the Aspen/Beaver Creek/Vail area. Needless to say many of the homes were quite large and very expensive. At that time it was not unusual to have three carriers on one risk, so you had to apportion the loss to those carriers. Some of the homeowner claims included celebrity owners.”

Class (Circus) Act

Harry Rinehart, casualty general adjuster in Allentown, Pa., describes one of his most interesting clients. “When I was in the Washington, D.C. office we handled a circus account,” he says. “I remember handling a claim where a high wire actor lost his balance and dropped the metal balancing pole into the crowd, puncturing a customer’s foot. Another instance involved a circus train wreck with all the animals on board.”

What do you find interesting about your job?

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