In general, the insurance adjusting business refers to policy, covered perils, deductibles, property damage, payment for covered damages and adherence to state and federal insurance laws. Pretty cut and dry wouldn’t you say? Pretty boring, most would think, based upon the first sentence of this blog. Today, I want to paint a picture of some actual events that have occurred to me in my daily life, while in the field. Looking back on all of the dumb things I’ve done now, they are quite comical. These stories involve a tape measure, the improper use of a ladder, a pit bull on a chain that was too long, and just pure stupidity. So here goes. Enjoy.
Stupid Moment #1
Location: Kansas City
Items in Question: Steep roof, tape measure, a Jaguar convertible, and luck.
My very first deployment was incredible. I went from making 25K a year to 25K in a month. I was trained, I was a pro, I was the steep roof climbing fool that could handle anything and control any situation. I arrive at this very nice, two story home, 10/12 pitch with multiple valleys and a crows nest on the highest peak. I needed a test square on all 4 main slopes with 11 hits in each test area. No problem right? Wrong.
I strapped on my newly acquired Cougar Paws and up I went, clip board, camera and tape measure in tow. I followed the valleys and went right to the top and was on approach to the crows nest. The roof overview photo was merely moments from being taken, all I had to do was secure my 6’6”, lanky, not so coordinated frame, inside the crows nest. The railing was only 4 feet high, no problem for my decathlete physique and cat like reflexes. I’d merely step over and I was home. As soon as I stepped over the rail with the first leg, my tape measure (FAT MAX 35) slipped off of my belt and began a plunge down the first valley, clud to the right, clud to the left. Get the picture? It was not a pretty one to say the least. From my perch, high above the clouds I see a rock hurling itself downhill at a rapid rate of potential destruction towards a very beautiful, brand new black Jaguar convertible. This beauty of a car happened to be sitting in the driveway, directly in the path of Fat Max. I took a half hearted, panic stricken lunge for Fat Max, but my cat like reflexes failed me. Time stood still, my career was held in the chosen path of Fat Max. I was calculating the jumps and cluds on the decent and had surmised the impact point to be directly in the center of the hood. At this point, failing Algebra II was in my favor, my calculations were wrong and I would live to adjust another day. The convertible top was open, the back seat was soft and Fat Max found a spot meant for some ones backside while saving mine.
Stupid Moment #2
Location: Aledo, Illinois
Items in question: Pit bull on a chain that was too long, a camera, and ripped pants.
I had a claim on a small, straight gable rental home with no one present at the time of the inspection. As usual, I stepped out of my truck, took a photo of the front of the home and grabbed my ladder, clipboard, tape and supplies. I proceeded to place my ladder for roof access and then I ascended to the roof. Once on the ridge I looked at a general overview of the property. No fences, no outbuildings, a simple and uneventful quick scope and quick payday. The only tree like thing in the yard was a small hedge row at the corner of the house. No dogs in view, no dogs period, as there was no fence. I performed my roof inspection, then I got off the roof and performed my inspection of the front elevation, then the right elevation.
As soon as I rounded the corner, a combination of CUJO and a Great White Shark with fire in his eyes and teeth a foot long, hit me on my right shoulder and was trying to eat me alive. I felt teeth and saliva and was stricken with fear as well as rage from the adrenaline consuming my body. The hit knocked me back wards, away from the hedge about 5 feet, thankfully a foot farther than the reach of the log chain that held back this blood thirsty, man killer. As with all situations, I jumped up and looked around to see if anyone saw my dumb mistake. Immediately, the dog stopped his attack. I was merely a foot away from him and he was some kind of upset that I had entered his domain. To be honest I got quite lucky, the chain could have been 20 feet longer, it could have been 1 foot shorter which would have been my preference, but this makes for a better story. Once I regained my composure and was out of the way, I realized that the entire right leg of my pants were ripped off of me and half of my birthday suit was visible to the entire world. I headed to my truck and called my supervisor, told him the story and his reply to me was “ We will pay for a new pair of pants”!
I have so many of these stories that are actual events of foolishness that I could write a book. There is never a dull moment in the life of an adjuster in the field. Words of wisdom.. secure your tape, whistle while you work and maybe carry an extra pair of pants. Jaguars are expensive and pride will get you hurt.
Authored by Randy Allgood – Lead Instructor at American Adjuster Academy