What does a property claims adjuster really do?

A look into one adjuster’s day-to-day

5 min read

October 2021

Downed palm tree laying across roof of home with obvious shingle damage.

To hear Property Adjuster Eric talk about his job at Progressive, you’d think he won the lottery of world’s best jobs. He absolutely loves being an adjuster. “This has been a dream job for me—I get to meet and help new people every day and travel the country, all while representing the Progressive brand!”

With a statement like that, you might think he’s been with Progressive a while. In reality, he started here in the fall of 2020, onboarding virtually at the peak of the pandemic. Read on to learn more about his role and experience at Progressive.

What brought you to Progressive?

I was working as a property adjuster with another insurance company. I loved the job, but there wasn’t a lot of upward mobility for me there. One of the things that intrigued me most about Progressive was their reputation for career growth and development. I learned that Progressive was building a traveling catastrophic loss (CAT) team. I came onboard about two months into the team being formed, and I’ve seen a lot of opportunity to grow since I’ve been here.

Tell us about your onboarding experience

I’m so impressed by how Progressive has taken the challenge of the pandemic and risen to it in a way that benefits our customers and employees. We’re embracing this new situation instead of just waiting until things get back to normal. It was really apparent during my onboarding that Progressive was doing all they could to keep employees engaged and set them up for success.

This job is very hands-on. After an initial virtual training period—learning our culture, processes, and things like that—we started training out in the field. This was really the more CAT-specific onboarding—getting up to speed on emails, systems, tools, and equipment. For this job, the best way to learn is to get out there and get started. My first assignment was going to Gulf Port, Mississippi, for hurricane claims. My manager, who’s based in Florida, met me there and we worked my first claims together as part of my onboarding.

Eric standing outside a home assessing damage

What’s a typical day like?

I’m usually on the road—or out in the field is another way to put it—three weeks at a time and then I’ll have one week off. Being on the road means staying in hotels, often having a rental car…things like that. I start my days early, driving to the properties for the new claims that came in. Most often, the claim will be due to things like wind, hail, hurricane, and fire damage. I always begin by meeting our customers and getting the ball rolling by expressing how sorry I am about their situation and then simply saying, “Show me what happened.” From there, I assess the damage inside and outside the home, taking notes and photos as I go.

After my assessment, I’ll write up an estimate right there on the spot. As long as internet service is available, I’ll log all my notes and images into our system then as well. I’ve almost always prepped the day before so that I’m familiar with the customer’s policy and coverage. In a lot of instances, I’m able to issue the customer their estimate and payment within that one visit.

What are some challenges you face?

On any given day, I’m working with a lot of different types of customers—our insureds, contractors, content specialists, engineers—so there’s a lot of collaboration and negotiation that happens. And sometimes, I’ll get pushback on an estimate I’ve written, and those conversations can be challenging. I always keep in mind that I’m working with customers who are going through a very trying—and sometimes tragic—time, so patience and empathy is a must in this role.

What are some of the rewarding aspects?

Sometimes I come across customers that are so grateful for the work I do, and that’s a great feeling. I’ve had past customers who’ve kept in touch with me and sent me photos of their home repairs after a claim. They want to share what they did with the coverage from Progressive. It’s really heartwarming. With this type of job, you’re often in people’s homes; the place they rest, relax, raise their families. You really can get to know people, and a lot of times they want to share their experience because you helped them.

What skills have helped you succeed in the role?

You have to like using your independent judgement and helping people; that’s what it all comes down to. You meet new people all day, every day. You almost turn into a therapist on some of these claims. You have to remember that you’re the first—and maybe only—person they ever work with from Progressive. You have to genuinely care and be empathetic and be able to flex your style to your customer. You need strong negotiation skills, too.

What would you tell someone who’s considering pursuing this role?

First of all, I’d say that if you need structure and routine, this isn’t the job for you. You have to be flexible. You’re traveling all the time and have to be ready to go at any given moment. For me, this job feels like an adventure because I’m in new places all the time. Being a property adjuster isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a people person and like getting to see different places and different aspects of people’s lives, then this might be for you.

What’s next for you at Progressive?

Progressive people are always asking, “How can we be doing things better?” That really resonates with me. I’m always asking myself, “How can I do more to help people?” I came here because I wanted opportunities to grow and develop. Leadership is where my sights are set. I love helping people, and I think developing others could help me make an even bigger impact here.

Learn more about the property claims adjuster role

Eric Igo works as a senior adjuster in the Progressive Home Field Catastrophe department, handling catastrophe claims for our customers all over the country. He’s also on the Progressive Home Claims Advisory Board helping identify and improve areas of opportunity in our work environment so Progressive employees continue to love to come to work.

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