The world of adjusting is such a fast paced industry. Being dependent of the weather rather than the economy means you need to be ready at a moments notice.
Storms can pop up out of the blue and strike within hours or days of being noticed. Adjusters need to ready to deploy as soon as they get the call. If they aren’t prepared, it could cause them to lose hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars from a single storm.
The act of being prepared is essential to every adjuster and their ability to make money. Being a weather-based career, adjusters never know when they will be deployed. Thus, in a sense, adjusters should have already been packed and ready to go yesterday. In this industry, today is already too late. So, what do you need in order to be prepared? You need a CAT kit.
What is a CAT kit?
Being prepared is a major need in adjusting. Having a CAT kit ready to go will make life so much easier for the adjuster. But what is a CAT kit?
Alan Olson, The Adjuster Guy, defined a CAT kit as “all of your gear—all your essential storm gear—in one location [that] is easily accessible so that when you get the call for deployment, your kit’s already put together—all you have to do is throw your pillow [and] your bed sheets in, jump in [your vehicle], and go.”
It is a bag, box, suitcase, trash bag or all of the above that holds all the gear an adjuster is going to need while he is on deployment. Additionally, it has all the needed gear in one location, which will make packing the gear into the the vehicle quicker and storing it easier and more convenient
Why is it important?
Though ease, quickness and convenience seem convincing enough, there are more reasons in which having a packed CAT kit are important.
1. It has every tool you need in order to do your job.
The tools are an adjusters livelihood. If someone were to show up to a deployment without tools, they would be unable to do their job and complete a claim.
2. It’s already prepared.
When an adjuster is called to a storm, usually they only have a few hours to get there—anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. If they do not already have all of their tools bought and ready to go, they will not be able to 1) accept the deployment or, 2) if they do accept the deployment, get any claims completed—because they wont be able to include all the information needed for the claim to be submitted. By already having all the tools, the adjuster is able to jump into their vehicle and go.
3. It’s easily accessible.
In addition to having the tools and being prepared, by having everything an adjuster will need for a deployment in one location, it will make all the equipment easily accessible. The adjuster will also have a shorter packing time and can get on the road faster.
4. You always know where your tools are.
By having a CAT kit ready and packed, the adjuster will always know where his tools and his pare tools are. Nothing can get lost with this system. Moreover, an inventory list can be made which means the adjuster will always know what he has and what he still needs to get.
What should be in the CAT kit?
To answer this question shortly, everything. The CAT kit should have everything an adjuster will need in order to do his job while on deployment. There are many things a CAT kit can have in it, such as: a clipboard, paper, pens, tools, tool belt, chalk, Cougar Paws, clothes, printer, extras of everything, batteries, etc.
Everything an adjuster uses on a daily basis should be packed into their CAT kit. In addition to this, everything an adjuster uses on a daily basis should also have a spare packed into their CAT kit. However, if a new adjuster is worried about cost, here is a list of the five top tools that should be in their CAT kit.
1. Pitch gauge
2. Shingle gauge
3. Metal gauge
4. Tape measure
If an adjuster has these five things, they will be fine in the field. The rest of the stuff that was mentioned is small in comparison of importance. To take pictures of the damage, the adjuster can use their phone’s camera. A pair of Cougar Paw boots would also be a good idea to get and have available; however, they are not a necessity depending on the location the adjuster is deployed to. Additionally, a tool belt is not necessarily needed, but it is recommended.
After each storm, rather than throwing the CAT kit into the closet to be forgotten about until the next storm, the adjuster should replenish the CAT kits inventory. Ran out of chalk during the storm? Buy two more before getting home. Lost a tool while working? Order it immediately.
Post-Covid, the world is finding it difficult to keep staple items stocked within stores. Shipping times have also gone from two days to two to four weeks. Adjusters are realizing that they need to keep spares of all their tools so that just in case they lose one, they wont be panicking or scrambling to replace it when they get the call.
Having a packed kit that has everything an adjuster will need during deployment is essential. It helps keep the adjuster organized, prepared and ready to go. Adjusting is a fast-paced, weather-dependent career. If adjusters aren’t prepared, they will lose money and experience; and that would not be good.
“You can’t delay deployments to go find tools. You have to have everything ready already,” The Adjuster Guy said.