A Day in the Life: Catastrophe Team

Catastrophe adjusters work with people who have lost property or personal belongings during a catastrophic natural event such as a hurricane, tornado or flood. Sometimes the work will come from a spectacular disaster that gets media attention, but mostly catastrophe adjusters work on isolated events such as hail and ice storms, wildfires and local flooding.
Catastrophe adjusters have to be ready to take on a job 24 hours a day. Deployment to a disaster site can last for days, weeks and even months, depending on the severity, which can be stressful for the adjusters and their families. Many miss birthdays, anniversaries and other important occasions, but it is a sacrifice many endure since they can go for long periods without a paycheck when the weather is calm.
Heading directly into a disaster site can be unsafe for adjusters, so following protocol and adhering to safety measures is extremely important. At the disaster site, adjusters estimate claims for insurance companies. Most adjusters estimate damages with software that determines labor and material costs based on zip codes and are paid based on the size of the claim. Insurance companies require strict documentation before approving a settlement.
Catastrophe adjusters can experience emotional stress as they witness grief and misery regularly. It’s a difficult job that requires perspective, balance and compassion. With a tricky schedule, personal safety concerns and intermittent pay, it is not for everyone. The challenge of working under extraordinary circumstances separates the catastrophe adjuster from the rest.