Most of the nation is shivering with record-breaking low temperatures. As a licensed insurance adjuster in Texas, it’s unlikely you’ll work a lot of winter weather catastrophe sites here. But if you earn your Texas All-Lines Adjuster License from 2021 Training, you’ll be licensed to go on deployments to the 16 states that don’t have state-specific licensing programs – and a lot of them get very cold. From nor’easters in New Jersey to blizzards on the plains of the Dakotas, you’ll be qualified to work them all. Consider this a quick guide to what you might encounter in the field and how to make sure you’re prepared.
Types of Winter Weather Claims
Texas doesn’t get much snowfall, even during the coldest months. That’s not true for most states, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. You could find yourself investigating claims for one or more of the following:
Structural Damage. Severe winter snowstorms can knock out power to large areas, trap people in their homes and leave their vehicles frozen in place under a thick blanket of snow. You will likely investigate claims for broken tree limbs, collapsed roofs, and frozen pipes that have burst from the cold.
Accidents and Injuries. Ice storms are like snowstorms but with even greater potential for injuries and damages. Because ice is slick and heavy, it poses a threat to structures and travelers alike. You can expect to see lots of slip-and-fall claims in areas that have had ice storms. Even worse, in areas with heavy traffic, you are likely to investigate many collisions and cases where vehicles ran off the road and into something. That’s on top of the roofs and branches brought down by the weight of the ice.
Fire. Fires are an unfortunate part of winter weather claims. People tend to stay inside during the colder months, and many trust fireplaces, stoves, and space heaters to keep their homes comfortable. This results in a greater number of fires than usual. You will likely be called on to investigate the damage and interview the families involved.
Hail. If you’re from Texas, you know this hazard well. Texas gets more hail damage than any other state in the nation. While hail is technically ice, it can occur any time of year, especially during tornado season. Hail claims are especially numerous in highly populated areas like Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Most involve damage to residential and commercial roofs, vehicles, and glass windows.
How to Prepare for Deployments
Deployments to a winter weather disaster zone can be especially frustrating and sometimes heart-wrenching. Not only do you have the somber job of interviewing people who have lost their homes – and possibly their loved ones – to fires, you also have the tough task of navigating an area with slick roads, road closures, and a lack of power. It will be chaotic, and you must prepare yourself on many levels.
First, pack a go-bag with all the items you might need in such a scenario, including a battery-powered weather radio and paper maps in case you lose your cell signal; blankets, non-perishable food, and water in case you get stuck in your car; and appropriate winter clothing and hand-warmers. Bring some cash in case credit card scanners are down.
Next, always let someone know where you will be if you’re traveling alone. Check in regularly to let someone know your status and location so emergency workers will know where to look for you if you get trapped in a snowed-in building or vehicle.
Finally, prepare yourself mentally for what you might encounter. You could have to deal with serious traffic delays and disruptions, lack of access to electricity or other basic necessities, and the heavy emotional toll of interviewing people who have lost so much. Remember, you are helping them in your own way by making sure they are fairly compensated.
2021 Training: We Prepare You for the Real World
Deployments are never easy, but they are real learning opportunities. At 2021 Training, we prepare you for deployments and other stressful situations by sharing our real-life advice from our time in the field. If you’re looking for the best online education to help you become a licensed insurance adjuster, check out our curriculum today!