What Happens When Catastrophe Strikes?
Since 2011, the United States has experienced 4 major disasters that caused over $367 billion in projected damages. Just last year, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and the Northern California wildfires caused an estimated $283 billion in losses. Of these 3 disasters, Hurricane Harvey caused the most devastation.
On August 25th when Hurricane Harvey descended, the category 4 hurricane affected 13 million people and caused $180 billion in damages from 5 different states. Texas was the state most affected by Hurricane Harvey. The path of the storm left behind 100,000 damaged homes. Considering about 95% of homeowners maintain an active homeowners insurance policy, by the math, at least 95,000 of these homes resulted in claims being filed with an insurance company. Overall, Hurricane Harvey damaged 203,000 homes. Additionally, the Gulf area reported 1 million vehicles as a complete loss.
When catastrophes occur, the number of families and businesses affected results in an unprecedented demand for adjusters. Insurance companies do not typically have the staff to handle such devastation.
During these circumstances, the demand for adjusters dramatically increases because every reported claim requires specific procedures in reporting damages. Too few expert adjusters were available during the Katrina and Sandy disasters which resulted in claims taking months to reach payouts. Since then, a rise in independent catastrophe (CAT) adjusters has provided a solution for people affected by a catastrophic event.
Typically, a rush of independent CAT adjusters flood an area affected by disasters to fill in the gaps by helping people file claims in a timely manner.
CAT Adjusting Facts:
- Most CAT adjusters make between $1,000 to 2,000 per claim filed
- CAT adjusters make up a slim percentage of the 288,232 workforce across the United States as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- After a catastrophe, roughly 80 to 90% of adjusters in the area are specialized CAT adjusters
- Most CAT adjusters are independent and get paid by the claim
- CAT adjusters often make up to $300,000-400,000 per year
The need for CAT adjusters continues to rise which is providing a great opportunity for independent adjusters who enjoy traveling, excitement, and every day being different from the one before. The world of independent CAT adjusting makes for an interesting and financially rewarding career path.