A Catastrophe Adjuster is a claims adjuster that handles losses that arise from serious events such as a hurricane, flood or tornado. A CAT adjuster may be part of a CAT team that works directly for an insurance company, or they may be an independent adjuster that works for various adjusting companies as needed.
WHAT TYPE OF BACKGROUND OR TRAINING IS NEEDED TO BECOME A CAT ADJUSTER?
Most companies look for someone who has a background in construction or auto body repair. Construction background is helpful in adjusting property losses. A natural disaster will leave behind homes and buildings that have been partially or completely destroyed. It is the adjuster's job to evaluate the extent and amount of damages.
Auto body repair is important when events such as Hurricane Katrina leaves behind thousands of wrecked and flood-damaged vehicles. A skilled CAT adjuster must determine whether a vehicle is a partial or total loss.
There are many different schools and organizations that advertise CAT Training, however if you are new to the field, it is important to investigate a school's training claims.
If a school promises to put a student on an 'adjuster roster' once training is completed, be careful! Anyone can put you on a list. That doesn't mean you are going to get a job. Often the training will cost thousands of dollars and no job ever materializes!
Another ad that is out there is 'Xactimate' Training in a weekend. Take a look at the ads for adjusters that are on the web. Visit sites like monster.com and hotjobs.com. You will not see ads that require Xactimate. That is not to say that CAT adjusters don't use software like Xactimate. It is just that getting a weekend course in a software product will not get you a job!
What will get you into the field is hard work and experience. The first step is to obtain your adjuster license. In Florida, the All Lines License is available by designation from the University of Central Florida / Florida Insurance University at:
Completion of this course exempts the student from the state licensing exam.
If you have a background in construction or auto body repair, the next step is to prepare a good, one-page resume that lists your qualifications. Take some time to research some of the resume sites on the web to make sure that you put together a resume that will impress HR at whatever company you apply to. AOL has a very good site sponsored by CareerBuilder.
Research ads on the various jobs sites, including CatAdjuster.org You will find that most people do not get CAT adjuster positions immediately upon getting licensed. Unless we have a major disaster like the hurricanes of 2004-2005, CAT adjusters are most often drawn from the most experienced adjusters available.
You may need to work as an inside adjuster with a company to first gain experience adjusting claims. Adjusting is like any other profession in that, you must be willing to work you way up the ladder.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE PURCHASING TRAINING:
1. What license do I need to work as a CAT Adjuster?
Answer: In FL it is the All Lines 5-20 (Independent) or 6-20 (Company) license. If you are in another state, check with your Department of Insurance or government agency that handles licensing of insurance professionals. If your state does not require adjuster licensing, you are eligible for the Florida non-resident license. The non-resident license is reciprocal with many states across the country which will enable you to work almost anywhere in the US
2. You have offered to put me on a roster if I complete your training.
Will you give me the names and contact information of students who were hired as a CAT adjuster after training?
Which companies hire your students and how can I verify that information?
What percentage of students who complete your training get hired immediately?
3. You say I need Xactimate training to be hired as a CAT adjuster.
Which companies hire your students after training?
Do you place your students and if so, how can I verify that information?
Be careful in selecting your CAT Adjusting training. Insurance companies offer terrific internal training for new adjusters and you are paid while training! For more information contact Dr. Nabil Michael Birzon at the University of Central Florida at (407) 927-1235