A reliable vehicle is so important as a field adjuster because you will be doing a lot of traveling. Take into account where you might be traveling, and what tools you currently have that will need to fit into your vehicle. Will a large ladder fit? What happens if you're responding to claims and there is still flooding, road damage, or debris — is your car able to drive in those conditions? And, what impression do you want to give to policyholders when you pull up? We do recommend SUVs or trucks, but many adjusters make it work using sedans; the key is reliability.
Pro Tip: Invest in a rack for your truck bed. You will want one that reaches above the top of your truck so that it is stored easily and safe. And it won't scratch your paint!
Smartphones nowadays can get you where you need to go. If you have a navigation device you like, then by all means use it! Make sure that whatever you choose is up to date, in full working condition, and can download directions if you lose signal. If you choose to use your smartphone, make sure you are able to mount it to your vehicle so that it is visible and easy to access. You can find a magnetic car mount and metal plates (goes in between your phone and the case) on Amazon!
A reliable laptop computer that runs the software systems you will be using as an adjuster is one of the most important tools. You will want to pick out a laptop that is lightweight and durable. You need a laptop that can smoothly run Xactimate, has enough storage, and has great battery life. Not only do you need a reliable laptop, but you need to secure your laptop. We found a great blog post on Consumer Gear Guide that talks about the best laptops in 2021 for Xactimate. We've also written about how to keep your laptop safe while on the road; click here to read more!
Safety is our number one priority, and it should be yours, too. Many accidents happen to adjusters because of a faulty ladder or mishandling. Chances are, you will need more than one ladder. The most common is a telescoping ladder, which is compact. If you choose to invest in a telescoping ladder, make sure it is good quality and that you are using it correctly! Check out this blog post we found on Electronics Hub that talks about the best telescoping ladders of 2021. If you find yourself needing to access a two-story roof, you will also need a 28-foot ladder. Check out the 28-foot and 32-foot Werner ladders at Lowe's.
A handy tool that saves you time is a laser measure. We aren't discouraging you from a standard measuring tape, but a laser measure will provide you with the most accurate results. For a standard measuring tape, aim to have one that extends 100 feet. The true necessity here is the standard tape measure. Later, you can invest in the laser measure, unless you want to purchase it now. Whenever you are ready to purchase a laser measure, check out this post we found on Adjuster Zone.
A digital camera is going to allow you to document accurate information about the claim. You will be using this every day for your inspections. You will want a camera that can store your photos, is durable, and has good battery life. You may also need to purchase a few extra SD cards between 4 GB and 8 GB or you can invest in one large SD card. Regardless, you will always want to have a spare in case your main SD card malfunctions. Also consider buying one or two extra sets of batteries and keep them charged.
If you are planning on spending a lot of time on a roof, Cougar Paws are a great option. They have additional attachments to protect the traction pads and provide you with great traction on roof inspections. This investment will provide you with an extra level of safety! Shop on their website to learn more about Cougar Paws.
When you are climbing a roof, it is essential that you properly use and wear a rope and harness. This is going to protect you from a severe fall and injury that may occur. These are pretty standard and can be found at your local Home Depot. Click here to shop for a harness at Home Depot. On the same page, you will see a “frequently bought together” where they provide a Shock Absorbing Lanyard and Climbing Rope.
If you are climbing a steep roof, a Goat Steep Assist might be a good investment. A Goat Steep Assist is a kind of ladder that hooks over a steep roof and provides stable handholds for scaling rooftops. This provides you a safe way to get on and off the roof and a stable anchor to hold while inspecting the entire roof. If you are climbing steep roofs, we highly recommend that you invest in this tool. Shop for this tool on The Goat Steep Assist if you want to learn more.
You are going to want a belt that will hold all your tools and keep them secure. Aim to find a tool belt that does not have open pockets. You do not want to be on a roof and have your camera fall out of your pocket! This will also keep you safe by allowing you to be hands-free when you need to climb. Bully Bag & Tool Company provides great tool belts that you can customize and keep everything safe. Visit their website and start building your tool belt.
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