Do you really know what it means to be a catastrophic auto adjuster? Do you understand the role you are being hired to perform? Find out the tasks and start to understand your role as a catastrophic auto adjuster.
Topic: Catastrophic Hail Adjusting
Potential: $500 a day
Difficulty – Medium
Interested? Read More Below
Your role in a hail catastrophe claim is a very short role, but important. You are involved in an owner’s claim for 30 minutes, but you are probably the main part that they will remember about the claim.
As independent adjusters, we are hired as contractors to represent another organization. When I represented USAA insurance I wore a USAA polo, dressed like USAA, talked like USAA, and most importantly treated the insured like I was USAA. Why? Because I was USAA.
The insurance companies, or other organizations that may hire you, want you to be their liaison. You are standing in the gap between the insured and the insurance company. If you don’t represent the insurance company the owner may feel that their insurance company, their premiums, their relationship, and their claim are not valued. The truth is the opposite. The insurance company cares so much about the relationship and the situation that the owner is in that they have brought experts in the field to come help their customers. Remember, that’s you.
The insurance company and their insured have a relationship that precedes you or the hailstorm, but this may be the most important interaction they have with each other. Like having a blind date, owners don’t always have personal interactions with their insurance company and this may be the first time they’ve met a representative of the company.
Many times when working for USAA, insureds would come up and say,
“I’ve never met someone from USAA it’s an honor and a pleasure.”
I tell you this to put reverence into your role. The role you play for 30 minutes can either strengthen the relationship between the owner and the insurance company or become the weak link that leads to distrust and dissatisfaction.
You may be hired to represent the shop, PDR, or appraisal company. You should treat this opportunity exactly the same as you would be representing the insurance company: with respect. You are a key part of building relationships and trust with all parties.
A key part of your role is to provide excellent customer service. Customer service is a mentality that should invade every part of your mind. Small actions you take to make others feel important and valued are the most influential parts of your job.
Asking the insured if they’d like a cold bottle of water, opening the door, helping the shop keep the bathroom presentable, distracting the owner’s kid who is running around the lobby, listening to the owner explain their story with sincerity, writing an accurate estimate, and not treating the vehicle or owner like they are just another number are examples of the customer service I’m talking about.
Imagine the nicest hotels where you are catered to from beginning to end, that’s the experience you need to have in your mind that you want to provide as an adjuster. If you ever feel like it’s just not possible when we are in such a hurry, I challenge you to visit Chick-Fil-A during lunch and watch customer service in action. The tone of the person at the counter, manager bringing the drinks out for you, the politeness of all the conversations and respect shown in a fast food restaurant where each customer only represents seconds of their day is astounding!
We as hail adjusters are getting paid $500 a day and the insured and the companies we represent deserve the very best customer service money can buy.
When you provide this level of customer service you are also building trust with the owner. Building trust with the owner or transferring the trust placed in the insurance company by the owner to you, is important in this entire process.
The insurance company, shop, PDR company, and appraisal company are all hoping the insured schedules for repair at the shop of choice. Without the owner scheduling repairs, this delicate relationship we discussed in the last chapter starts to fall apart.
Owners will not schedule if they do not trust the experience they received during their appointment for inspection. The way you represent yourself to the insured is the very best way to build trust. You need to show customer service, authority and knowledge in your field, attention to detail, and an understanding of what the owner is going through.
You are hired to write an accurate estimate of the insured’s vehicle. When you have customer service in your blood the motivation behind writing a proper estimate is so much stronger than just completing a job, it’s providing a service and taking care of the insured.
Take the proper time needed to inspect the vehicle, look at every panel, part, and dent to try and get as accurate of an estimate as possible.
Take care when inputting the estimate into the computer and make sure you get all the damage you noted into the estimating system. The owner will not be paid for the damages you miss. If you miss damages the owner may come away feeling cheated and that you didn’t care about them receiving a proper settlement for their damages.
Once you have written an estimate you are tasked to explain the estimate and the damages to the insured. This is an important part of building trust. Talking in a language that the vehicle owner will understand is important. Don’t overwhelm with details that they don’t care about, but also don’t omit parts they do care about. This isn’t a time to talk shop, it’s a time to speak plain English.
Finally, once you are done explaining the estimate to the owner, you are also hired to offer the shop of choice to the owner. You are now going to attempt to transfer the trust you received from the insurance company as well as the trust that you added during your time with the insured, to the shop so they can repair the owner’s vehicle.
We don’t do this in a sleazy salesy way, but in a way that accurately represents the facts and shows the shop of choice in a favorable light. For most insureds, this truly is the best option, but we will get more into each step later in the book.
For most deployments, this is an important part of your role, but make sure you understand the expectations of the company that has hired you.
Your role is important. The better you understand what you are hired to do the better you can do it.