I took a whole year off from adjusting to focus on my other ventures (seemingly mentally misplacing much of my Allstate system and some XM8 previous knowledge). But taking that year off was a necessity especially when COVID hit. Having the ability to focus on one task was the life-raft the honey business needed to stay afloat.
A new start - My adjusting journey began again on August 5th of 2020 when I was called by the Pilot-Allstate team to deploy to Ocean County in New Jersey. After traveling over 6,000 miles (total for trip), my claims are complete (except for one that I'm taking with me) and I'm heading on to my next deployment in Lake Charles for Hurricane Laura.
New Jersey - a state full of 55 and 65 mph speed limits where every driver goes in excess of 80. Where there's a Wawa or Dunkin Donuts on every corner. Where most folks are extremely nice and others definitely live up to the stigma the rest of the country has for New Jersey and New York. Where bad drivers are a plenty and gas is pumped for you.
I stayed in Princeton, NJ, home of Princeton University. In fact, the campus was less than a mile from my Homewood Suites. Such a beautiful area, lots of great places to walk Bob dog and do other recreational activities along the canals. Didn't have time to shop or dine out much, but plan on revisiting someday down the road.
On this trip, I litterally survived on Wawa sandwiches and soup - so a quick shout-out to all the fine folks at the Rocky Hill store and other locations that kept me fed!
The office for this event was in Hannover-Whippany, NJ, about an hours drive from Princeton. I spent many long hours there and met some really extraordinary adjusters. The best part of this deployment is that I made a new friend and learned the most from a 48 year veteren adjuster named David Abod. He shared his many years of wisdom and helped me get through many challenging claims - I will be forever grateful for his assistence and all the shortcuts and experiences he shared. The life of an adjuster is hard and often lonely, so meeting other adjusters like David helps kindle new friendships that are both personally fullfilling and career expanding. I highly encourage any adjuster, no matter their skill level or rating, to work from a help room. I met lots of brand new adjusters who were just getting their feet wet and remembered my first time out as a CAT adjuster at Harvey with Pilot -State Farm - totally nervious and eger to please. The same holds true today, always a bit on edge until I get moving, now I'm running and ready for the next storm.
I'll close this rather wordy update with this, I find adjusting to be a very rewarding career choice with the ability to travel, meet other adjusters and help people in their time of need. Financially it can be very rewarding as well, but only if you close claims quickly. I learned on the New Jersey storm to never again wait for invoices and if the tree isn't off the roof, just learn to adjust around it!
Soon, I will be driving to Mobile, AL to attend a 7 day, hands on, immersive flood class. I became a mentee last year in Pilot Allstate's Flood program and will continue my training from June 10th-17th at their training faucility in Mobile. I'm excited as I missed last year's class due to a storm deploment. I may repeat that issue if Hurricane Cristobal hits the US as forecasted on June 8th, but finger's crossed, it dies out way before reaching our already troubled soil.
2 days of Xactimate software training on all things flood, followed by 5 full days of in-class and in-field training. Always eager to learn something new, and I feel moving to flood adjusting full-time is the right move. Less roof top ascents and more 1-on-1 with people needing my help to get them back on their feet. Helping people is the main reason I do this job and why I have decided to pursue it full-time from June forward. At the end of October my apartment lease in Austin is up and I plan to adjust from wherever the job takes me. I'm going to trade the comfort of an apartment for that of a home on wheels. Still working out all the details, but the plan has already been set in motion, so wish me luck.
Will update if the hurricane hits Lousiana as forecasted.