Realist Talk

It’s said that there are two types of people in the world – pessimists and optimists.

Pessimists tend to see the worst in situations. They also need a lot of convincing before they jump on board with something.

Optimists, on the other hand, often expect the best outcome in life and events.

These two characters generally appear together in cartoons and as sidekicks in adventure movies. The dream team. Think Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo, or Ariel and Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid. While I consider myself to be a glass half-full kind of person, there’s another type of person that often gets forgotten.

It’s the realist. According to Urban Dictionary (which, of course, is a reliable source of information), a realist is someone who has a firm grip on reality and can see things for what they are, not what they are told they are. Realists have their own views, writes aCanadianGuy. The realist sees the glass as exactly that – half a glass of water.



Reading this inspired definition of realists made me realise that I’m most likely surrounded by them in this office. Realists work and live in the moment, and focus on what is currently at hand. Sound familiar? It’s because seeing things in a realistic light is one of the hallmarks of being a successful loss adjuster.

Although a loss adjuster investigates and settles claims on behalf of insurance companies, loss adjusters must act impartially. They report on the situation exactly as it is, being meticulous in what they see and how it is described. Loss adjusters cannot let their judgement be clouded by overstated or deliberately exaggerated items. Most importantly, they need to be certain of their own facts.

So let’s be realistic. There’s good and bad merits for all three personality types. But there’s a good saying that summarises them quite nicely: a pessimist sees a dark tunnel, an optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel, and the realist sees the train.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Flushed Away

One of the most popular stories for Shakespearean tour guides is the supposed story behind one of the playwright’s most famous lines.

‘What’s in a name? that which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet’.

On the surface, it’s the musings of poor Juliet over the insignificance of a name.

But folklore has it that Shakespeare was also making a joke at the expense of a rival theatre, The Rose. The story goes that The Rose had a notorious sewage problem. Legend has it that Shakespeare was throwing some serious shade about its smell.

Sewage vs rose


But not all things are grounded in folklore. There’s some real-life exciting news that just so happens to be sewage-related (hooray?).

According to Insurance Business, Allianz Worldwide Partners has forged a five-year partnership with Unitywater, a statutory authority that provides water and sewerage services.

The article says that Allianz will offer water-related insurance to Unitywater’s customers in the Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa areas. The cover will include concealed leak protection insurance and emergency home assistance, designed to protect homeowners against unexpected expenses. And the number one priority? Providing local residents with better assistance and insurance options.

That’s about enough toilet humour for today. On to a more serious note: what will this insurer think of the urban legends about alligators in the sewers? Don’t worry, Allianz – it’s a complete myth. Everyone knows you get crocodiles in northern Australia!

Cracking Up

Most of the time, insurance is no laughing matter. With all the site visits, investigation and report writing going on in the office, it can be a long time between chuckles. But sometimes, it can be fun to see the light side of a serious situation. Especially an insurance situation.

We had to bite our tongues when a certain loss adjuster attended a site visit that was very messy. As in, sewerage-pipe-burst messy. The walls, ceiling and floor of the building had been completely covered in liquid sewage.

In order to conduct a thorough investigation of the site, the loss adjuster had to get up close and personal. Including wading. You’d better believe we made that loss adjuster shower before he came back into the office.


Actual evidence of ‘the situation’

I guess you can say that our loss adjusters are highly dedicated to their jobs.

The situation sure did cause some laughter back in the office. And on a Friday afternoon, it’s reassuring to see that some people are in a crappier situation than you.


All that laughter reminded me of this cracker of an insurance joke that I heard some time ago:

An insurance agent goes to a museum and accidentally knocks over a statue.
The museum administrator says to him: “That’s a five hundred-year-old statue you’ve broken!”
The insurance agent replies: “Thank God! I thought it was a new one.”


Words by Skye Jamieson

Weapons of Mass Distraction

Keeping motivated and alert can sometimes be difficult late on a Friday afternoon. The weekend is just out of reach, the office feels unusually stuffy, and you find yourself side-tracked by amusing animal videos while scrolling through Facebook.

Maybe you’ve even been distracted from a conversation or writing an email by this blog. I don’t blame you. Everyone knows that loss adjusting blogs are the most entertaining! Well, it’s time to stop watching adorable puppies falling asleep in their food bowls (aww!!). Inc. has gathered some of the most useful tips to eliminate distractions in the workplace.



Create a sanctuary

Having your own space, free from noise, distractions and even your phone, can lead to the best kind of creative thinking. In a solitary space, it’s easier to get in the zone and complete the project you’re working on. Think J.K. Rowling, who isolated herself in a suite adjacent to a castle while writing the seventh Harry Potter book. Where’s your castle?

Plan your hours

Allow yourself a set time during the day, maybe thirty minutes, to check social media and email. Then switch off any notifications. By not allowing yourself to get distracted in the first place, your performance will greatly increase. Not even by cat videos.

Log your good work

Keep a tally of your focused, undistracted working hours. Apparently, it’s a good way to confront reality, something that I generally try to avoid. Sometimes you think you’re working undistracted, when in actual fact you’ve forgotten about that Buzzfeed quiz you did that tells you what kind of potato you would be.

So next time you catch yourself slipping away to the world of Twitter or Instagram, try and remember one of these helpful tips. It might just save you time in the long run.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Moving and Shaking

Australia is no stranger to natural disasters. Fires, floods, cyclones – we’ve had our fair share over the years. But there’s one natural disaster that doesn’t often come up on the radar – earthquakes. Or does it?

Way back in science class we were taught that earthquakes occur due to tectonic plates moving and shaking against each other. So you can be forgiven for assuming that Australia is safe, given that it lies in the middle of the Indo-Australian plate.

The reality is that Australia is shaken by roughly one small earthquake a day. Turns out there’s a lot more going on under the surface than we know about.



In December 1989, an earthquake that struck Newcastle became one of Australia’s worst natural disasters. The quake killed thirteen people and caused an estimated $4 billion worth of damage. According to National Geographic, the devastation was unusual for a relatively low magnitude quake. Experts say soft sediments may have intensified the shaking, the strength of which older buildings could not withstand.

It’s somewhat related to the parable about the wise and the foolish builders. Now, this bible story, taken at face value, actually has some sound structural building advice. The first man builds his house on rock, and it stands tall in the face of natural forces. The second man, however, watches his house fall after building it on a bed of sand.

Australian Geographic says that magnitude six earthquakes occur every five years or so due to pent-up stress from neighbouring plates.  Kim Henshaw, CEO of Strata Community Australia (SCA), says that people need to be more aware of their insurance arrangements in relation to earthquakes.

“We want people to abandon the complacent ‘this won’t happen to me’ psyche, because contrary to assumptions, Australia is a very active location for seismic events,” said Henshaw.

Guess there’s something in common with loss adjusting and seismology – they’re both trying to find out where the fault lies.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Waffling On

If there’s one thing the staff at the FT Adjusting office can testify to, it’s the fact that food can be a great motivator. In the kitchen, we’re lucky enough to have a bottomless supply of Tim Tams and Mint Slices. But there’s also the added bonus of our monthly pizza parties and spontaneous cake days. All those treats makes for one productive and happy team of loss adjusters.

So it’s not too surprising that Belgium has taken up a similar tactic of culinary persuasion. According to a report from Insurance Business, Belgium’s deputy director of economic and financial policy reporting used their famous Belgian waffles to lure insurers. The temptation tactics also included the country’s strong regulatory regime and its high quality beer.



The waffles might just be making an impact on insurers after QBE announced plans to expand their Brussels branch, establishing the Belgian capital as its new EU base. Belgium is hoping that similar moves from more insurance companies will lead to big operations in the long run.

While we’ve got enough tea and biscuits to sink a ship, we can’t help but enviously daydream over the thought of fresh Belgian waffles on a cold winter’s morning. Maybe there’s some truth in the saying after all – the way to a loss adjuster’s heart is through the stomach.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Play That Funky Music

Here at FT Adjusting we have a pretty tight knit team. There’s just ten of us, to be precise. A team of ten, tackling the treacherous world of property damage, contract works, public and products liability and professional indemnity claims. Working in such a small team means that everyone gets to know each other quite well, and nothing is hidden behind closed doors. Seriously. My office doesn’t even have a door.

This sense of openness means that everyone’s happy to poke their heads in and have a chat. You can learn some interesting things, like the fact that our very own loss adjuster Zack is a huge fan of metal music. He’ll often plug his headphones in behind the desk and listen to some head-banging tunes. Zack says it helps with his concentration and focus.



Personally, I’m also a big fan of listening to music to help stay focused at work. There’s nothing like the dulcet tones and soothing synths of Enya to help you concentrate while registering claims and composing engaging and hilarious blog posts.

But recently I’ve been delving into something a little bit different. It’s the sound of The Avalanches. With samples weaved throughout the psychedelic melodies, it’s hard to pin it down to a genre. But let me tell you, it makes the perfect autumn playlist. It’s funky enough to make you want to have a boogie behind your desk while you’re filing invoices away. The only downside is the irresistible urge to keep turning the volume up. I’m in serious danger of not being able to hear the office phone ring over the music.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Expectations vs. Reality

Loss adjusting can be a difficult profession to understand. Even the name itself doesn’t give much away. When I first applied for the position at FT Adjusting, I had to google ‘loss adjuster’ to find out exactly what I was getting myself into. And after speaking with some of the staff around the office, I now know that I was not alone in my ignorance.

It turns out that most people about to enter the industry have very different expectations of what loss adjusting is, compared to the reality of the profession. Shay, our Cadet loss adjuster, admits that he didn’t really know what loss adjusting was until he googled it prior to applying for the position. Even then, he says, the explanation wasn’t clear and was very different to the reality. Tunnel vision is something that can happen in a lot of professions, so in order to get the most out of loss adjusting, Shay says that you need to have an open mind the entire time.



Zach agrees, saying that unless you know someone in the industry or work in the industry yourself, most people wouldn’t know what a loss adjuster is. Geoffrey is of the same mindset, as he says that understanding the industry is the key to knowing the reality of what a loss adjuster does.

So what is the reality of loss adjusting?

That’s a good question. A loss adjuster investigates and settles insurance claims on behalf of insurance companies. It involves finding out the details of a claim or incident – that’s the who, what, when, where and how. This usually happens by going on site and meticulously inspecting details, communicating with people and analysing all the available data and figures.

Phew, glad we got that one sorted. For some of you, this information might be completely out of your comfort zone. But for the staff here at FT Adjusting, it’s just another day at the office.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Burnout Balance

It can happen to us all – the weeks start adding up, the to-do list starts getting longer and suddenly you find yourself standing before a mountain of work. And despite all your tiresome efforts, the mountain only seems to get bigger and bigger as the days go on. Then you might find you’re having more trouble than usual falling asleep and staying asleep.

Things start to pile up. Soon enough, that mountain starts to take the shape of Mount Doom. You’re drained, both physically and mentally. Sort of like Frodo.

This exhaustion is called burnout and it’s pretty common. According an article from Insurance Business, burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout can seriously impact on your work performance and on your quality of life. It’s important to recognise some of the main triggers of burnout in the workplace. Because not all of us have a Sam to carry us up the slopes of Mount Doom.



Six typical drivers of burnout in business:

  • Over-committing – there’s only so much you can do in a day.
  • Avoiding – sometimes we need to make those tough decisions as soon as they arise.
  • Poor execution – as they say, failing to plan is planning to fail.
  • Aiming for perfection – no one and no business is perfect, and that’s okay.
  • Work-life imbalance – we all need time away from work to recharge.
  • Worry and regret – the worry cycle can quickly get out of control.

Knowing these key triggers of burnout may be the solution to avoiding it altogether. And if you’re currently in a state of burnout, knowing these tips might be the key to overcoming it, or ridding yourself of that burdensome One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom for good.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Adjuster’s Justice

In the Great Pyramid of careers, loss adjusting is a pretty niche field of work in itself. There’s a whole list of claims that loss adjusters can handle, including motor vehicle, personal injury and professional negligence claims. Then, on top of that, you have us. We’re pretty much as niche as you can be, because we only specialise in claims relating to construction and engineering. We’re a small business, but the members of our elite team are pretty great. There are some key areas that a loss adjuster has to excel in, in order to be the best at their job.



Top 3 Requirements for Loss Adjusters:

  • Loss adjusters are constantly communicating with different parties, including through interviewing, so it’s very important that a loss adjuster knows what to say and how to say it.
  • Loss adjusters need to be more on the ball than Sherlock in terms of their detective work. Loss adjusting involves going on site visits to review every minute detail of a claim.
  • Loss adjusters need to be masters at analysing their collected data for reporting. One of the most important processes is double checking and triple checking all the facts and figures to make sure that everything adds up.

Being a small business also means knowing your boundaries. We’re strong believers in the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) because we know we’re niche, and we know our business. We’re not trying to be a company that we’re not. Like Leonardo Da Vinci once said, ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.

But the one area we don’t apply our ‘less is more’ philosophy is when it comes to customer service.  Because paying special attention to customer service means a satisfied customer is likely to be a returning customer.

Words by Skye Jamieson