“Depending on the day, you could be talking to someone who had a tornado going over their head while they were in the bathtub riding it out,” Chris, a catastrophe claims adjuster, shared when I asked what his role looked like at Progressive. “In this job, you go to areas where people are devastated, and you help them build their life back together by managing their claim.”
It’s clear when I listen to Chris that this role is critical to the livelihood and safety of our customers as they navigate the destruction of their property. With emotions running high, our catastrophe claims adjusters often lend a sympathetic ear for our customers while estimating their property damage and negotiating with contractors to repair or replace their property.
“It’s a difficult job, and it’s not for everyone,” Chris says. “But it’s one of the best jobs. I feel like I do a lot of good.”
I asked Chris what was needed to take on such an impactful role. Here are the key things he shared that led him to success as a catastrophe claims adjuster.
Versatility is important
Each day is going to be different. You won’t have the routine of going into the same office each day. Instead, you’ll travel to different catastrophe zones. That means you’ll spend some days performing damage estimates, which includes inspecting, taking photographs, and getting measurements.
“You’ll be the person measuring rooms, siding, and whatever else is needed to come up with an initial estimate,” Chris shared.
Your job isn’t done there. You’re building relationships with customers as you manage their claim throughout the repair process.
“As a versatile person, you have to be organized and ready to go on a dime,” Chris says. You could be handling multiple claims in one day—anywhere from two to four.
Be ready to negotiate
In this role you’ll also work with the contractors repairing the damage once the initial estimate is complete.
“You’re coming up with a reasonable cost to repair or replace damage, which may not always match up with what the contractors can do depending on supplies or other concerns. It’s your job to continue to negotiate cost and mitigate any risks.”
Empathy is key
One challenge catastrophe claims adjusters face is helping people during emotional and often traumatic situations.
“You have to be able to empathize with everyone you’re talking to, even if the claim isn’t the most dramatic you’ve seen. It’s dramatic for that person.”
In this role, you’ll experience different types of catastrophes ranging from wildfires and tornados to hail damage and hurricanes.
“Catastrophe claims adjusters see things that most people haven’t. You need to have patience, be empathetic to people who may be crying, and be there to help them as best you can. That’s what makes a good adjuster.”
You’re an independent decision-maker
In this role you’ll be part of a team, but you’ll spend a lot of your time on your own.
“You’re making decisions quickly without your supervisor standing next to you, which means you must be an independent decision-maker.”
That doesn’t mean you won’t have a chance to form relationships with your team.
“The environment at Progressive is so warm and welcoming. You develop a camaraderie with your fellow adjusters quickly. Your team is there to support you and to talk at the end of a long day, making you feel like you aren’t alone.”
On top of a close-knit team, Chris feels he has the support of his supervisor.
“As much as you have going on, your supervisor is right there with you, going through it all with you. We all have the same mutual goal of taking care of people,” he says.
Take that next step
Despite the challenges of being a catastrophe claims adjuster, Chris says he’s glad he took this path.
“It’s a fun job. In the many years I’ve been an adjuster, I’ve visited more than 38 states and have gotten to see different homes and places—it's even encouraged me to take vacations in places I never thought about before! It’s also a fulfilling job. More than anything, I get to help others.”
If the idea of helping others in this way resonates with you, consider applying for a catastrophe claims adjuster position at Progressive. Check out our Claims jobs listing for current openings.