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When you go to evaluate an insurance claim, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the immensity and the emotion of the situation. Wildfires shift and move quickly and often without warning, and no matter how prepared an individual may have been, this represents a frightening, unexpected event.

Given this, it is incumbent upon the adjuster to be professional, courteous and patient as you work through the process. While every situation is different, three factors in approaching wildfire preparedness and insurance claims can help you perform better.

1. Be Ready for Intense Emotions

Fire consumes quickly, and no one is ever fully ready. A shift in the wind can send a wildfire on an entirely different path. People may have felt safe, and discovering too late that they were not can be devastating.

Your job description may be to assess and evaluate a claim, but you can set yourself apart by remembering the human element. Take time to listen first, rather than diving into numbers. The rest of the claims process will go much more smoothly.

2. Documentation and Other Proof

When approaching wildfire preparedness and insurance claims, you want to look for documentation first. A fireproof safe, a safe deposit box or some other off site location can hold important information. In addition, many important documents may be stored online in the cloud. Work with the insured to find any proof you can.

That said, many insureds may have documentation in drawers or otherwise in property that is destroyed. Here, you may need to be creative. Proof of ownership may be found in Facebook pictures, store records or other places.

3. Focus on the End

Wildfire preparedness and insurance claims create a confusing, frightening process. As the adjustor, acknowledge this, but focus yourself and the insured on the process of making the insured whole. By doing this, you take the sting out of the experience for those you help and keep yourself from succumbing to the emotions of the moment.

Posted: 7/25/2016 2:34:40 PM by Lauren E Williams | with 0 comments

Independent adjusters have a strong job outlook. Between the catastrophic claims and the regular business needs of insurers, there are opportunities to begin a career and grow in the field as you earn a good salary.

Independent Adjusting Firms

The largest employers of adjusters are independent adjusting firms, which at any given time need adjusters on call. When insurers are faced with an insufficient number of staff adjusters to handle claims, they call on independent adjusting firms to help get the job done. Being employed by a well-respected independent adjusting firm like Pilot can greatly improve your prospects of working as an adjuster.

Posted: 5/9/2016 1:45:06 PM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

Anyone balancing a career and a personal life requires time management skills. For a catastrophe insurance adjuster, this is even more important because you need to keep a handle on not only your schedule, but consistently changing plans and the needs of potentially hundreds of insureds who require flexible assistance.

Therefore, time management for catastrophe insurance adjusters requires diligence and flexibility. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you navigate your way through your schedule, and you probably have some of those tools already.

Smartphones and Tablets

You should never overlook the tools you already have. Smartphones and tablets are nearly ubiquitous and no insurance adjuster should ever be without one. Keeping your calendar app updated allows you to keep your schedule at your fingertips. In addition, it allows you to remain reachable when something changes that affects your schedule and then make adjustments without having to wait until you get to your computer or planner.


Dropbox is a free application that provides cloud storage for all of your important documents. You can save documents to your computer and access them on the go, from any device you own. When you are adjusting claims in the aftermath of a catastrophic event, this kind of tool enables you to access claim forms, spreadsheets, policies or any other documentation you need, whenever you need it.


Just as important as accessing documentation that you have compiled, is being able to instantly record notes, interviews or other current information you are gathering in the field. Evernote lets you do just that, making it a tremendous tool in assisting with time management for catastrophe insurance adjusters. It serves as both your recording and storage needs as you work in the field and collect information.

These are just a few tools available to assist in your time management needs. When you are adjusting catastrophe claims, time management is critical. Taking advantage of the available tools can do wonders to make your job easier.

Posted: 4/25/2016 2:25:18 PM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

Insurance adjusters, particularly independent adjusters, need to stay on top of technology that can help make their lives easier. Fortunately, digital innovation in the insurance industry has proliferated in recent years. It's now easier than ever to adjust claims quickly and efficiently.

1. Automated Claims Processing Software

Processing an insurance claim requires an intricate series of steps and moving mass amounts of information. For the independent adjuster, trying to complete all of the work manually can put you far behind your competition and make the difference between your ability to do the job and someone else needing to do it instead. Processing software automates much of the process, reducing your work to simple data entry for the most onerous aspects of adjusting claims.

2. Tablet Devices

Tablets have become crucial for insurance adjusters to own. These devices allow you access to industry-specific apps that are being developed and improved upon every day. It also lets you keep these apps in the same place as your calendar and in-device camera. Thanks to the increasing power, memory and speed available, many adjusters can adjust entire claims without using anything outside of their tablet.

3. Document Management Systems

Finally, adjusting multiple claims requires organized documentation. To stay on top of this, all independent adjusters should invest in a document management system. This helps you sort your documents by type, area, or claim.

Insurance adjusters must keep up with digital innovation in the insurance industry to work efficiently. Keep track of the available tools to do your best work!

Posted: 4/21/2016 3:01:43 PM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

To continue to offer you additional savings on both personal and work related expenses through the Pilot network of providers, we have recently negotiated a preferred rate for Extended Stay America. The preferred rate (15% discount) is only available online when booking through Pilot’s Portal by clicking on the link below. This discount is not available when booking through Springdale Travel, however you are still able to use their services when use of a full travel agent is your preferred option.

To take advantage of these incredible savings, simply book your travel through the link below. The Pilot Catastrophe national discount code is already embedded into the link, so there are no additional steps in booking discounted rooms. This is the only online method through which reservations with Extended Stay America should be booked.

Your discount is valid for all travel – business OR pleasure! This link can be used to book PERSONAL travel as well!

Book a Room at Extended Stay America

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can book your reservation via phone through the Extended Stay America Reservation Center. Simply identify yourself as a Pilot Catastrophe employee when you call the Extended Stay America Reservation Center at 1-800-804-3724.

In addition, if you sign up for Extended Perks Program, you will also earn savings at hundreds of retailers across the country, JUST for being an Extended Stay America customer!

For any questions, please reach out to Pilot Communications at communications@pilotcat.com or Mr. Brook Moody, Senior Director of Account Sales with Extended Stay America at bmoody@extendedstay.com.

Posted: 4/11/2016 9:56:14 AM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

In the wake of a large-scale catastrophic event, insurance companies often have to reach out to bring in additional insurance adjusters to evaluate damages for the resulting claims. Qualified, licensed adjusters are in high demand during these times. If you desire a career as an adjuster, prepare yourself with a good education and the skill sets an adjuster needs before disaster strikes. The process requires investment of time and resources, but can be very rewarding.

Develop Your Skills

Take advantage of Pilot’s basic adjusting skills and related computer training classes. Check out our website at www.pilotcat.com to learn more about upcoming online and classroom sessions. In addition, develop your time management and customer service skills. The ability to handle details and communicate them clearly will enhance your adjusting efforts and please the customer.

Get Your License

Most states require licensed adjusters to work insurance claims. Always obtain an adjuster license in your home state. If any state in which you want to practice does not require a license, you may apply for a designated home state license in either Indiana or Texas. This will give you the credentials you need to be considered for deployment. Some states require you to be licensed in their particular state to work. For that reason, licensing in multiple states is encouraged.

Keep Growing

After you are licensed, you should continue learning about the job through continuing education and networking events. In a career like this, there is always something new to learn, as every catastrophe is a bit different and policies, laws and regulations can change. Therefore, you must keep preparing yourself so that when the next disaster occurs you are ready for action.

Posted: 4/4/2016 1:46:17 PM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

If you are considering a career move, insurance adjusting provides opportunities that appear to be on the rise in the immediate future. You should take the time to understand the position and what to expect, in addition to understanding the level of demand for insurance adjusters. If you have an eye for detail and a willingness to work hard when opportunity arises, you can find a challenging, satisfying career path.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for insurance adjusters is expected to grow by about three percent through 2024. You should know going in that some demand fluctuates based on types of claims. If you plan to adjust catastrophic claims, for example, more demand will arise with an increased quantity and intensity of natural disasters, such as wildfires in the West and hurricanes in the Southeast. When large events strike, catastrophic claims adjusters spring into action.

Of course, the growth expectations will also change over time. Right now, it appears that natural disasters and health industry claims provide the largest growth potential. Five years from now, this may change. Continuing education and experience have a tremendous impact on your prospects.

Build Knowledge and Experience

Just as you would expect for any career path, you need to build knowledge and experience to find the best opportunities. Coursework and adjuster licensing are critical in order to gain opportunities to work on large claims. In turn, the more you take advantage of these moments to build experience, the better your long-term prospects of growing in the field. Pilot’s Learning Management System (LMS) is a great place to start to further your education!

An independent claims adjuster should also make and cultivate as many strong relationships in the industry as possible. Join industry groups and attend networking events to find greater growth in the field. What you know matters most, but an abundance of industry contacts can make a difference in how often you are called upon and what kinds of claims you can adjust as well.

Growth potential in insurance adjusting depends on following trends and gaining general experience and knowledge. The demand will be there for those who work hardest to excel at their craft.

Posted: 2/1/2016 11:32:19 AM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

We all know that drivers and homeowners need to prepare themselves for winter storms. Vehicle and home maintenance, particularly directed toward preventing or readying responses to dangerous conditions, can make all the difference in how quickly someone recovers from disaster.

But what about winter storm preparedness for adjusters? A new insurance adjuster should take time to learn some of the specific concerns that winter storms bring and prepare him/herself to respond quickly and efficiently. Many steps can help you get ready for winter storm season, but these three provide a good starting point.

1. Understand Seasonal Dangers

Some of a winter storm's dangers are obvious. Slippery conditions create road hazards and accidents and wind can wreak havoc on drivers and homeowners alike. More insidious are the dangers lurking in less visible places - the weight of ice and snow on the roof of a building or on its tree branches or the impact cold temperatures have on pipes and metal. Understanding what you might encounter goes a long way toward preparing to adjust claims.


2. Plan for Structural Issues

Similarly, winter storm preparedness for adjusters requires looking for structural problems in a property being adjusted. What kind of shape was the property in before the storm and what impact did the storm have? A collapsed roof will jump out at you, but bowed walls may not. To properly adjust these claims, you need to understand what was caused by the weather conditions as opposed to poor property upkeep.


3. Prepare Yourself for Travel

Finally, you need to ensure you are ready to get to where you are going. You cannot adjust claims if your car won't get you there. Keep your home warm and insulated, your vehicle winter-ready and your body healthy. Good tires, a full tank of gas and a portable battery charger can help you stay ready to do your job. Understanding how winter weather affects property helps you know what to look for. Make sure you are ready for what winter throws at you.

Posted: 1/25/2016 1:38:44 PM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

Pilot is now offering FREE Flood Workshops for 2016! The 4 Day Training will take place in multiple locations across the country and is open to all Pilot employees. It’s also worth 15 CE credits for select states. Attendance at an NFIP qualifying workshop is vital if you wish to work NFIP flood claims in the 2016 Hurricane Season, so don’t miss out!

Want to learn more about and find out how to sign up? Visit the Pilot Portal for details!

Not a member of the Pilot Team? Apply Now

Posted: 1/15/2016 9:56:25 AM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

When adjusting a claim, it is crucial to know how to do your job with maximum efficiency. Because so much of the job involves working with people (people who have often just been through a stressful or even traumatic situation), it is also essential to know how to work with customers, and to make small adjustments to better do the job. These "soft skills" are as important to doing your job well as any others. Here are the top 4 soft skills for insurance adjusters to keep in mind during a job:

1. Empathy

Your customers are often going to have just been through an emotionally taxing event. Being able to put yourself in their shoes and understand their situation isn't just a kindness. It's an important part of doing your job. A customer who sees you as an ally will work more readily with you. If you want your customers to help you do your job, you need to show that you want to help them in their difficult time.

2. Time management

You will work long hours on your own in a new location. It can be easy to mismanage your time. Learning to plan your day efficiently and to finish claims on time will do wonders to reducing your stress levels on each job.

3. Adaptability

There are a lot of unpredictable elements that can arise when adjusting a claim. New information might arise out of the blue. It is up to you to know your case well enough to adjust and apply the information accordingly. Changes to everything from software you use to work to policy clauses can wreak havoc on you if you are stuck in your ways. Always be prepared to make changes.

4. Your own emotions

Long hours working alone can increase your stress levels. Stress can lead to poor customer interactions or mistakes in your writing. Don't take out your frustrations out on customers. It's crucial to keep your emotions from getting the best of you when you're making an adjustment.

Posted: 12/18/2015 9:47:02 AM by Pilot Catastrophe Services | with 0 comments

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