While hurricanes mean destruction for many, the work involved in getting displaced people back into their homes means big bucks for others.
Every year, hurricane season happens. On the years when there’s a catastrophic event, like Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, Andrew, or Harvey and Irma this year, insurance companies are flooded with claims. This can mean big paydays for people willing to do intensive work on location for a brief period.
The Impact of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Harvey quickly became one of the most devastating hurricanes in history with early estimates figuring damages to total up to $185 billion. Texas officials estimate there are 49,000 flooded homes.
However, Hurricane Irma may prove to be even bigger. Some are estimating Irma to cause $200 to $300 billion in damages, before taking into account the amount of lost revenue from tourism or other factors. Compared to Hurricane Andrew, which cost $26.5 billion in 1992, Irma is much larger and much more powerful.
Insurance Companies Need Help
Insurance companies an unprecedented amount of claims between the two states. To work all the expected claims, insurance companies will rely on hundreds of small catastrophe companies. Insurance companies are expecting to hire CAT adjusters immediately.
Property insurers rely on the ability to summon independent adjusters after catastrophes, so they don’t need to employ large numbers of people during normal periods.
Huge Demand for Adjusters
Due to Hurricane Harvey and the incoming Hurricane Irma, there is a huge demand for Catastrophe Claims Adjusters in Texas and Florida. The pay for these positions varies from $35 an hour at the low end to up to $1400 a day.
To work all the expected claims, insurance companies will rely on hundreds of small catastrophe companies that hire independent contractors to work 14-hour days. These catastrophe adjusters spend most of the year waiting for a damaging storm to blow in. When one finally arrives, they load up their vans and campers and drive to where the damage is.
So Many Claims, So Few Contractors
Contractors work real hard for an extended period of time. They’re well-compensated for their expertise. And then they may sit for years. When they work, the work is grueling. They go house to house in the mud and heat encountering emotional homeowners who just lost everything.
Texas officials estimate there are 49,000 flooded homes. Not all of those will have flood insurance, but insurance companies predict tens of thousands will have covered damage.
Property owners started filing insurance claims before the rain even stopped. They wanted to get to the front of what’s expected to be a long line of flood claims, according to Joel Moore, an independent insurance adjuster for Gulf Coast Claims in Houston.
One Company’s Story
Expecting Hurricane Irma to generate 100,000 claims, Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s governing board on Wednesday suspended normal contracting procedures so the company can pay more to hire additional claims adjusters.
With Irma projected to make landfall in South Florida sometime Sunday, Citizens is concerned about its ability to compete with private insurers here and in Texas for independent adjusters.
The company expects to begin deploying adjusters to evaluate Irma claims in Florida beginning Wednesday.
Insurance Companies Paying Extra for Hurricane Season
Citizens has already adjusted its day rate from $625 to $750, but other companies are paying more, including Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, that state’s insurer of last resort, which is paying $900 a day. Another Texas company raised its daily rate to $800 a day plus a $120 daily per diem, Adams said.
And State Farm reopened a catastrophe claims processing center in Jacksonville and asked for 300 claims adjusters, paying them at similar rates.
Adams said private market insurers in Florida are offering independent adjusters up to $1,400 a day for guaranteed post-storm availability. “They also are feeling the shortage of resources in the marketplace.”
Hiring is Faster and Easier
Citizens’ emergency rules suspension is authorized under Gov. Rick Scott’s declaration of a state of emergency Sundayfor Florida. The declaration authorizes state agencies to suspend “any regulatory statute” that could hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.
Jobs on Indeed don’t even ask for prior experience beyond that of customer service experience; a certification comes via the hiring process.
This is because the emergency rule suspension enables Citizens to match or exceed other companies’ offers, and also waive other requirements, including holding a Florida or Texas license.
Hurricane Job Opportunities
For those unable to travel, there is also an urgent need for Customer Service roles. Call center experience is a plus but not required as help is desperately needed. Customer Service roles are paying at least $12 per hour, 40 hours per week with possible overtime. Work up to seven days a week. Bilingual candidates are a plus for these positions.
Visit any of the jobs sites (indeed, monster, glass door, greatinsurancejobs.com, etc) to find open positions.