A message from our Board Member: Julia Childress

A Little Piece of Advice


As I thought about this article, I wanted to choose a message that has had a profound impact on my adjusting career and use it as an opportunity to “pay it forward”.    Doing such is easier said than done but as I did a mental check on all of the advice, tips, tricks, etc., I have received over time, I asked myself which one piece of advice holds true to this day?  What is the one message, if given the opportunity to share, would position all those that read this for career growth and success?

I am certain we have all received encouragement from our coworkers and friends as to which firm to register our resume with for storm season.  We have all researched, heard, and invested in the latest tools and training to help us with our trade.  The “End Goal” is identifying opportunities to improve our efficiency, enhancement of our industry knowledge and honing our communication skills; all of which are vital to our success. 

Then I thought about the one piece of advice that I received and have always shared. Whether I am an adjuster, mentor, team lead, trainer, or manager, I always share the same piece of wisdom for going into your first field deployment.  And believe it or not, usually no one ever listens…. until it’s too late (school of hard knocks).  

When you are scheduling your inspections, please remember the following message.  Always, always, always, allow for a PAPER DAY every week.  I have repeated this to every new group and in every class I have been a part of. It’s amazing, but no one listens….

Picture this… A hurricane has landed, and you receive that call for deployment. You are so revved up and ready to go! You arrive, go thru claims orientation and receive your claims. It’s time to make contacts and schedule your inspections.  

You schedule your inspections. You were able to reach 80% of your insureds on first contact and your schedule is set for the next few weeks. 

Day one goes well, and you put in your 12-16 hours.  All of your inspections were completed, and all of your estimates written.  Oops, you didn’t have time to finish your contacts….

Day two goes well and you complete all inspections. You take some time to make the remaining contacts carried over from the day before.  Oops, you still have one estimate you didn’t get to write. 

Day three, you inspect all claims scheduled that day. You open the computer, and you are assigned more new claims. You make those contacts and only have time to write all but one estimate.  Wait...now you are two claims in the hole!

You can see where I am going with this. You get to the end of your first or maybe even second week and you have no idea how it happened...you are behind on your paperwork. You are already staying up working until the wee hours of the night and there are just not enough hours in the day.  Your manager is now consistently reminding you that you are behind on your claims. You still have contacts to make and on top of all that, mother nature goes against you, and it rains.  Your stress level has now become over the top! Now because you have no room in your schedule, you have to add extra make up inspections each day, due to the rain.  On top of extra inspections, your making additional contacts and you are still behind on writing your estimates!

Trust me when I tell you that this would be much less of a problem if you would have listened and scheduled yourself one PAPER DAY each week. Let me just say it again….at the top of my lungs….and I’ll even add my southern twang for you... PAAYYY PURR DAYYYY!

That one day would be the day you could complete contacts, catch up on your paperwork, and if necessary, inspect the claims that were rained out.  This day allows to address the unforeseen.

Even if you find that you are the Mega Superstar of the Cat Adjusting world and have nothing to catch up on when your paper day rolls around, you can always add inspections on that day. 

Again, I know this is very easy, simple advice but yet sound.  That said it is very easy to overlook as well. But I can promise you that this one simple little piece of advice can save you a whole lot of time, effort, and undue stress if you just give it a try.  This one tip can be your key to staying out of that dark deep hole that no one wants to find themselves in.  TRUST me, I know this from experience...

I hope you do consider taking this free little piece of advice. You can always thank me later in person when we see each other at the 2023 NACA Conference. I can’t wait to see you there!

I wish you all to have a safe, healthy, and productive Hurricane season. I hope you are able to go out and make a positive difference in someone else’s current situation. 







Will you get more respect as an adjuster if you pull up in a 3/4 ton pickup with a ladder rack? Will running claims in an old beater jalopy with a folding ladder bungeed to the trunk lid make you get a lower customer service score?

In this video I talk about property field adjuster vehicles: which ones are the best, which ones are the worst, and should you buy new or used?

The million dollar question (almost literally these days): does it really matter what kind of vehicle you drive for claims? And, in my humble opinion, what's the best option if you're ready to buy a vehicle for running claims?

COMMENT NOW: What do you think? Should a field adjuster consider their vehicle as part of their overall presentation to the insured? Does it really matter what we drive?


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