Tropical Storm Humberto

It looks like Tropical Storm Humberto may become the first hurricane of 2013. Don’t be fooled by “no storms in August,” as there are several years where hurricanes skipped August and were in full force in September and October.

You’d have to look as far back as 1914 to find the last year we didn’t have any hurricanes in the Atlantic.  Hurricanes are common occurrences, but not all are memorable.

Storms are always with us - be prepared with

Source: Dr. Chris Landsea, NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division
This table shows that statistically there are more storms late in the year.

What does this mean to the independent insurance adjuster?

As an independent adjuster, we watch storms and follow weather patterns.  Our livelihood is based on storm activity of any sort.  So in this way, a storm means everything.

An adjuster shouldn’t  get lost in statistics or get complacent, thinking the work is over for the year.  This is where most people make mistakes.  Weather is always unpredictable and full of suprises.

As an adjuster, you have one priority: you must be PREPARED!  Many storm veterans know exactly how to do this and it has become habit to them, but a new adjuster may have to focus on preparation.

Here are four steps to take to be prepared

1. Do you have your adjuster license? If you’re sitting on the side lines, hearing the stories about adjusters and want to join us, GET YOUR LICENSE. If you live in Texas or another state that does not provide an adjuster license, simply go to our online class and get your license by taking the pre-licensing class and submit your application. Individuals who get a non-resident Texas license only need to submit an application to their state of residence with a copy of their Texas license.

2. Get your adjuster license for all coastal states around the Gulf of Mexico.  You should have your license in all states from Texas to Florida at a minimum.  These states have the highest risk for hurricanes and will see the most impact from them.  While an adjuster might be able to get an emergency license, don’t expect an emergency license in every storm situation.  Be prepared now.

3. Know how to adjust claims. This means you need to understand your job as an adjuster and know how to use Xactimate. If you’re not already an adjuster, make sure you get the information in our Practical Adjusting class to prepare yourself. Xactimate is also a requirement for 99% of all adjusting jobs. Know it well. If you need to learn it or get a refresher, check out our online Xactimate classes.

4. Be ready to leave tomorrow.  Most storms can be anticipated days ahead, but you must be ready to react and leave in short order.  Have all your tools and equipment in one common place that you can quickly pack and leave town with.  You could miss out on a great opportunity if you need a week to get ready and out of town.  Seasoned adjusters are ready to leave same day if needed.

So the bottom line is pay attention and anticipate what is going to happen with storms, but prepare for the unexpected and unusual.  2013 is far from overand as a new adjuster, you need to make sure you are doing your part.