How I Became a Raccoon Wrangler

As a claims adjuster, I wear a lot of different hats on a daily basis.  On one hand, I am always trying to provide the best customer service, but I am also focused on the steps of adjusting a property claim or investigating an automobile accident. One of the best things about being a claims adjuster is that your job is never boring.  Each claim has different circumstances, which provide separate challenges.

One of my most memorable claims to this point is a bit odd.  You never think of your claims adjuster serving as animal control, but that is exactly what I had to do.  I received a claim for some type of animal damage in a lake house owned by one of our policyholders. The owner had not been to the house for about three weeks and the house had already been prepped for the winter months.

When the owner arrived at the lake house, he discovered all sorts of damage that looked to be caused by an intruder.  However, this was not your typical intruder, but rather one of the four-legged variety.  When I arrived at the home to inspect the damage, the biggest task I faced was determining what caused the damage, because this would in turn determine whether or not the damage was covered by the policy. A typical homeowners coverage form excludes damage caused by birds, vermin, rodents, or insects. I remember thinking to myself, “How in the heck am I going to be able to figure out what caused this damage?!”

Little did I know, I would soon have my answer.  As I moved from room to room evaluating the damage, I was surprised to find the largest, most vicious raccoon I had ever seen hanging out in the bathroom. I would like to say I wrangled that masked bandit with my bare hands and saved the day, but that was not the case.  To be honest, my raccoon experience is very limited and this sleeping raccoon was hardly a threat. I quickly removed myself from the bathroom and shut the door behind me. 

Luckily, the homeowner was prepared for such a situation and had a cage.  We put some jelly in the cage (we knew it liked jelly due to the amount spread all over the kitchen) and then we placed the cage in the bathroom.  Five minutes later we had ourselves a raccoon.

You would be amazed at the amount of damage a little raccoon can make – we settled the claim at around $15,000.  The insured noted that he knew he had his insurance with us for a good reason and was elated at the service that he received.  I confidently responded with, “Just doing my job sir.” 

Raccoon wrangler is just one example of the many hats I wear as a claims adjuster, but it’s also what keeps my jobs exciting.  Have you ever had a wild or strange claim? Can you beat my raccoon story?

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