Daniel Day-Lewis Backs Out Of Film About Insurance Adjuster After Spending Five Hours Researching Role

Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis started his day as an insurance claims adjuster with a smile, but it wouldn’t last.

Los Angeles—Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, known for his intense, thorough research into film roles he accepts, has reportedly dropped out of an upcoming film about an insurance claims adjuster after he spent just over half a day researching the role, his representatives have confirmed.

In a statement released by his publicist yesterday, Day-Lewis said, in part: “The script is good, the crew are good. Just spending an entire day with (the claims adjuster) either yelling at people on the phone or getting yelled at by people on the phone, it just was too much. I don’t know how these people do it. I’d rather play a customer service rep than one of these poor bastards.”

Lewis, who once spent months immersed as a cobbler in Italy preparing for a character, confirmed that his time with the unnamed adjuster was the shortest amount of time he’d ever spent researching a role. His statement concluded, “I’d rather spend 10 years working in the heat on some oil rig, like I did before doing ‘There Will Be Blood,’ for which I won my second Oscar, than deal with people on their auto accident. Never again. By God, never again.”

The movie, about an insurance adjuster thrust into a world of lies, deceit and murder, was scheduled to being production in January. It is unclear if Day-Lewis has received any of his reported $15 million salary yet, and if so, whether he will be compelled to return it. Day-Lewis’ representatives would not confirm what company the adjuster being studied by the actor worked for.

A source close to the production said producers are hoping to recast the role as quickly as possible, with James Spader’s name being mentioned as a target. “Depending on his schedule on ‘The Office,’” the source said. “Though, to be quite honest, no one really expects the show to get another year, what with it having jumped the shark years ago when Jim and Pam got pregnant the first time.”


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170 thoughts on “Daniel Day-Lewis Backs Out Of Film About Insurance Adjuster After Spending Five Hours Researching Role

  1. I’m an adjuster for the big one, State Farm. Laughing our asses over here!! Day-Lewis won’t take $15 mil? We take a helluva lot less for doing this, yep, everyday!! And he took a real beating doing the oil film? Not sure if the guy has standards is a heckuva fool. Still howling!!

    • Most of us won’t even make close to $15 mil in our career as claims adjusters. Have to love these overpaid pansies. This dick has probably filed claims and was one of those nightmares we all have to deal with.

    • Can’t be too good of an actor…duh! I have been acting for 24 years juggling different hats in the claim arena plus having a family and non-profit work. What a wuss! I hope all the insurance company managers see this and evaluate that all adjuters are underpaid and should share more of the profits with the adjusters and front line managers who really run the operation and deliver the great customer service! They should seek a woman adjuster for the role:) I bet the insurance companies would pay $15 million NOT to make the movie. Ya know how the skeltons will come out of the closet…they can’t take the truth!!!

    • I think a real adjuster should be hired to play the role, one that’s been doing this a long time, god knows we’re really great actors pretending that we can handle the verbal abuse on a daily basis. At least one of us should have a shot at the 15 mil.

      P.S. note to the public.. when we tell you that we work in claims for an insurance adjuster, don’t tell us how you are being ripped off by paying too much for your policy. We don’t have anything to do with your rates. And when we catch you lying or inflating your claim yell at yourself in the mirror for getting caught don’t yell at us!!

  2. Too true. Nothing like taking insults, swearing, nasty sarcasm, then having to respond as though the jerk is our #1 customer. So actor Lewis is saying emotional violence is tougher to take than physical violence or injury? Warped sense of reality.

  3. Going around our place today too. Serious job. Decent pay (bit short of 15 mil).Some grateful folk. Many nasty folk. Do they smart mouth the officer who pulls them over for speeding? Nooooooo! Adjusters? Yeessssss!

  4. Did it for 24 yrs w/ 8 different carriers. They are all the same. Couldn’t take the abuse or lack of respect anymore. It has to be bad for an actor to pass up $15mil. I could do the role…pay me!!!

  5. This really is something that the world should see. We get lied to, threatened, lied to, yelled at, lied to, complained about, lied to, cursed at and lied to, every hour of of every day we work. Most for less than $40k a year.

    I was a fan of DDL, but now I wonder if he really is as committed as he makes out, or is it all a good hype machine.

      • In 6 years investigating the criminals and the fraudsters, I have never had 5 hours of yelling in 1 day. The adjuster in the story must have a little problem with their people skills…for 15 million, I’ll take a couple of 5 hour rants.

    • And….we have to bite our lip because you can’t come right out and tell people you know they’re lying to you even though you want to. It’s like really? I’ve never heard THAT before!

    • I once had a claimant and his mother yelling and swearing at me at the same time because the slug wouldn’t go back to work. WC claims are the worse!

  6. Gentleman, Daniel Day Lewis is currently making a movie about Abe Lincoln, complete with natural beard and hair, but the article is still very funny.

  7. After practicing “insurance defense law” (defending insureds who get sued, and their insurance companies on issues of coverage), I retired on 2/1/12. What a relief. When you do anything that long, you get damn good at it.

    As a lawyer, if all you want to do is take orders and do dumb things without taking any ownership for the outcome, insurance defense is good work and profitable. One of the perks of being an adjuster is that you get to boss around your lawyers. One of the perks of being an insurance defense lawyer, is that you get bossed around by insurance adjusters. Not being able to see the “end game” or the overall process, insurance adjusters have you do the stupidest things: often precisely contrary to the legal advice you give them.

    Example: I once was told to do a motion for summary judgment (where a single judge looks at the case and makes a ruling before having to go to a jury). My advise was to wait until it was time as timing is everything in the world of civil litigation. Directions given to me were to “shut up and do as you’re told”. I made the motion which was denied. Three years and $400K in fees later, I made the same motion which was granted.

    In all my years of law practice, only ONCE was I specifically directed to lie to the court. That was by an insurance company! The goal, was to screw some poor doctor out of $625.00 that we owed him.

    While individual insurance adjusters on a PERSONAL basis are usually super people out trying to do the best they can. That’s only temporary until the system gets to them; or, when they are back at the office surrounded by peers. In this sense, they as a group, they are kind of like what we learned about NAZI officers in the Nurenberg trials.

    Perhaps the August 8, 2005 issue of Fortune Magazine sumed it up best by quoting the founder/CEO Hank Greenberg’s favorite say: “All I Want is an Unfair Advantage” (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/08/08/8267642/index.htm)

    • Wow, Joe, a little bitter?? The real perk to being an insurance defense attorney is you know you’ll get paid, you have plenty of backup for expenses, and you have no risk. Adjusters and lawyers are, by design, supposed to look at things differently. Lawyers litigate; adjusters attempt to resolve the cases as early as possible. If cases resolve early, lawyers don’t make as much money. Insurance defense lawyers tend to forget its not their money at stake. Congratulations on your retirement; its probably best for your customers, those stupid, dishonest insurance folk.

    • Joe, while I can appreciate some of which you speak, for the most part, I tried to work with defense counsel instead of against them…I have been doing this thankless job for 34 years and any time I had to go against defense counsel, it was at the direction of management who always wanted things both ways, for the cheapest ultimate settlement number while getting it for the least amount in legal costs….doesn’t work that way folks…have good friends that used to be defense lawyers for insurance companies that have moved on…I even work for a TPA now handling only 1 account and is the most stress free job I’ve had in this industry…I know a lot of adjusters I still know can’t say that…

      • Which TPA and which account, sign me up! I’m currently with a TPA and have 3 accounts….and an early grave for yours truly. Been doing this mess for 15 years, first with a carrier as a multi-lines field adjuster (ack!, the crazy was too much) and now multi-lines desk person. Please enlighten me as to how you landed a cushy cLAMEs job….

    • You’re working for the wrong carriers dude. Please do not paint us all with that brush. You’re poisoning the public.

    • I am assuming that you are implying that all Defense Attorneys are hard working, always look out for the best welfare of their Clients, maintain high integrity. Better assume again

    • Joe:
      I can’t tell you how many attorneys I ran into on a run-off liability program who dragged cases out arguing the claims were defensible only to recommend settlement on the steps of the courthouse after they maximized their billing on the file.

      I have great respect for the attorneys I work with, but there not all worthy of that respect.

    • your a idiot..i cant believe your just compared insurance adjusters to Nazi officers.. That is the most offensive thing you could say.

    • I’ve gone to court with seasoned attorneys many times and testified. Never once have the insurance companies that I worked for lose a case. Sometimes the insured ended up with less than the original settlement thanks to greedy lawyers and PA’s.

      • I call bs. Yet to meet an adjuster who does not lie in court. Of course, when you get to define your own terms it is not lying I guess. More than half your headaches would go away if you simply paid claims honestly.

        • 99% of adjusters pay claims honestly, if they didn’t, there would be so many commissioner complaints, that adjuster would be fired.

    • Not sure what company you worked for…..but I have never, EVER, requested defense counsel to lie on our behalf, nor do I know anyone who has…..

    • Joe, you must have been a weak lawyer. I’ve been doing ID for twenty five years, and the vast, vast majority of the claim representatives I work with are some of my best clients. It is almost always a team approach seeking the lowest reasonable range.

      I have yet to meet a claim rep who gleefully salivates over screwing people. They are, for the most part, just hard working people trying to resolve claims on the low end of value, which is exactly what they SHOULD be doing. I’m sorry it turned out that way for you Joe, but you were doing it wrong. I make a good living doing interesting work with damn good people.

    • Hey Joe, it’s interesting to read of your perspective. I’ve worked alongside many fellow insurance adjusters, and with insurance companies and with many insurance defence lawyers in my 35+ years working in insurance. I have to say that in every sector of the industry there are good eggs and bad eggs. Joe, I’ve caught at least one defence lawyer lying to me, and I proved it. Does that make all lawyers unsavory types? Of course not. This is one of the most challenging and stressful types of work that a person could do, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  8. I think I sharted in my pants! Been an adjuster for 14 yrs and counting! All true! Crappy job w no respect from employers, claimants, and even our own insured’s who we try to help

    • I congratulate those of you who have managed to stick it out. I was an adjuster for 10 years, took a look at my desk piled with files, and thought I couldn’t do it another day. So I left. Haven’t been back.

      • Robert said it well: “No matter how hard and smart we work…No matter how perfect a product or result there is, someone is always unhappy and you are only as good as your last claim.”
        I have worked staff and indepenedent. After loyally working for what I believed to be trustworthy, loyal clients & handing business to those I perceived as comrades and appreceiative of work I had given to them (defense lawyers) they turn on you. Once I needed help, some referrals or some work to do, since I was not in a position to give them work, they somehow forgot the favors bestowed upon them only a few years ago to help jump start their business…Amen to the short sifghted micro- management or so-called supervision from those that can’t even do the work, but will rip you apart on a tiny one time oversight to make themselves look and feel good. There is no LOYALTY to IA’s from clients no matter how many times you made those miracle settlements or controlled cases to keep them from litigation, etc. or got up in the middle of the night or spent your birthday or your Saturday or Sunday to drive to a fatality accident scene, no loyalty and complain about paying.
        Michele – how did you escape this nightmare? I have been a staffer pressured by management to do impossible numbers of files and expected to keep that smile in the voice. Micro-managed to death; and ignored for achieving superior resultrs, as I am sure many of you have. The real shame of our industry is now that I am over 50, not one carrier will even reply to a resume except to tell me the position has been filled by someone whose “qualifications more accurately fill the needs of the position”. Most of you I believe will agree cxhange is needed. The work you do should be truly recognized and appreciated. I have been in Sr. Management in claims as well and did what I could to try and make workloads manageable and made performance appraisals real. That didn;t bode well as those guys and gals in the Ivory Tower yelled “Best Practices and “World Class service/results!”
        Help! get that support group started!

        • I like your posting. It is all too true.
          I have worked for what was once “The Biggest Insurance Company in the World”. You know it, the one owned by Hank Greenburg who is now suing the government for the bailout! I’ve been in the claims industry for a very long time and can only say everyone has an opinion to which I may or may not embrace. As an adjuster I took it upon myself to be successful and therefore, LEARN to be effective in handling my inventory, customers and numerous bosses. I consider myself successful and achieved high rewards and pay. No, it wasn’t because I worked for the biggest carrier but rather because my employer payed for good talent which is rare as you can read elsewhere in this blog. A good adjuster is usually successful through experience and sound advice. It is not taught nor is it forced upon.
          Much of what I read on this blog is true while some of it not necessarily. For example; because I worked in such a big company, the diversity in management backgrounds created chaos and internal conflict. Because of this, I certainly was regarded as undesirable by certain individuals and management while held in very high regards by others. I have worked with many types of “managers”, some who were better than others and some who should never have been given that position. I strongly believe that no manager/supervisor should have the opinion that his/her “team” is there to provide him/her with position but rather is there to be the LEADER of the team. This philosophy however, was not always accepted within the company. Maybe they should read the Art of War. It says much and applies in today’s business world.
          Regarding Mr. Lewis, I regret he did not get the proper source of information nor should he from that individual he sat with. I think that had he sat with me, he would have a much better opinion that could have been “acted” upon in a much clearer setting. My suggestion to him is not to easily accept the first impression he received but for $15 million, I would have gotten a second, third or forth. Instead, his action only exemplifies his own “character” instead.

  9. How did Mr. Lewis prep for Gangs of NY???? He should have worked as an insurance adjustor then, he would have been tougher for that role. Pansy.

  10. I have been an independent Insurance adjuster for 34 years. I am also a professional actor. Member of SAG and AEA. I would very interested to know the particulars of the movie. Title, producers,director. I want to throw my hat in the ring. I can handle both jobs. Please reply if you have any knowledge. Thank you email on my website

    • Lincoln is in post-production.
      There is no mention of this on Day-Lewis’ IMDB page. No mention in the Hollywood Reporter. You’d think that turning down a $15M role would be big news around town. No mention of this online except in blogs that picked up this story. Quite suspect in my opinion.

  11. Tough guy is not so tough I have been doing the adjusting thing for 20 years. The nasty people are bad enough, but these spineless managers you have to work for is even worst that the crazies you speak to on a daily basis.

    • THere should be some law in place to protect adjuster from psychos to protect us all. A friend of mine denied a claim and the customer tracked her down and went to her house in tried to kill her for the denial.

      • I was assigned to re-investigate a robbery claim that a previous adjuster denied. It was quite easy to prove the legitimacy of the claim, but before the meeting was over I had a large kitchen knife at my throat. A few years later the same guy was reported in the local news to have been convicted of trying to hire a killer to eliminate his mother-in-law and one of her friends. True.

  12. No matter how hard and smart we work…No matter how perfect a product or result there is, someone is always unhappy and you are only as good as your last claim. After many years of handling claims I’ve learned not to to ‘live on your laurels’. No matter how many excellent results are achieved, 999 out of 1000, it is the one that got away (in the eyes of the layman who calls the shots) that will be highlighted, even if the layman was totally wrong.

  13. Insurance claims work is absolutely one of the hardest jobs in the white-collar work-world. After being in it for 26+ years I can definitely say that it is a miracle that most adjusters have not gone ‘postal’. However, take-heart fellow claims-men/women, there is a place of honor in Heaven for you-all in the next world; if not Sainthood too!!

    • Coping mechanism: Adjusters are great for enjoying partying, love to help others in need and have a nack for detail. It’s called liquid relief- wine and hard liquor that helps one cope with the stresses. Also, career claim adjusters, not the fly by night CAT adjusters that don’t have any file ownership are a great breed of human beings that after all the BS and perseverance, that we get up every morning to try to help an insured or claimant understand coverage and strive to be an advocate for settling the claim fairly.
      Love adjusting…get to play judge and orchestrate attorneys and not even incur the expense of law school…got to love that. Going on 24 years on May 2. Started with the number one residential insurer…love the old days when it was like family. Profits and stocks along with bean counter mentality have really affected the employee loyalty that once was a gold star selling point being employed with SF. Wish insurance companies would go back to basics.
      I think we should all interview for the movie- we can have one hell of a party for $15 million…actually we can save them some money:)

  14. I have been an adjuster for 21 years and honestly, I can empathize with the insureds and/or claimants who are upset when they call in. Diffusing the situation and building a rapport with them is the EASY part of the job. What makes claims jobs so stressful is the shitty managers that are typical of most carriers, with the micro-managing, Monday-morning quarterbacking, and hyper-focus on whatever assinine metric du jour some jackass whose never done the job tells them needs to be scrutinized.

    • dont forget the crappy legal system and judges that are afraid of the claimants, and no matter how good the defense is…it is always the poor claimant….then you have to deal with the micro,micro anal managers….!!!! doing this job fo 25 years too long……..

  15. I was an adjuster & later a manager for 25 years. The job really puts your customer service skills to the test while trying to be world class!! Only the best can take it & still be professional and stern with a smile in their tone. What I am describing is real life acting!!! The tough part is trying not to take it personal. The job is hard because most don’t understand their insurance coverage but know they spend a lot of money for it & get so little back. But the day they are at fault & kill someone they understand. Too many people feel entitled & don’t understand insurance, so they stage, lie, inflate & commit fraud. I sure hope he never treats any adjuster that way ever!! And better yet any job that is weighted heavily in phones & customer service. Face to face transactions would not go down that way!

  16. I am a claims adjuster for auto insurance and it SUCKS!!!! I would gladly take 15 mil to do that role so, I could quit!!!

  17. I would like to see, Gary Busie and Johnny Depp play the roles as the Insurance Adjusting Team..
    After all we Insurance Adjusters do all have a sense of humor.
    They could film the dark parts showing their inner thoughts and emotions as they interact with the Insured and then switch to the normal thought paterns of the ever alert and savey Insurance Adjuster.
    Forever Juan,
    Still loving the challanges of my career. .

  18. Look at all the “Likes” on this article. I’ll be every one is an adjuster (or that one attorney). Daniel Day Lewis is a wuss if he can’t play that part. Heck, I’ve been doing this for 30 years… It’s easy!

  19. I have been Adjusting for 40 years in Australia and we have the same issues to our colleagues in the states. I have become thick skinned compared to when I started out and the customers have become more and more assertive. But DDL is a girl.

  20. Very funny. And for those who bought into it…go stand next to the congressman who thought The Onion was real news.

  21. “And for the few of you who found your way onto this site by chance, or couldn’t already tell, be advised: This is ALL SATIRE. Honest. If you have no sense of humor, you are wasting your time here.

    Did we mention this is a SATIRICAL SITE? Good. “

  22. I’m thinking of starting a support group for insurance adjusters. Seems there are a LOT of us out there who are overworked, underpaid, under managements microscope daily and rarely, if ever, appreciated or rewarded for a job well done. Management will be rewarded when the peons do a good job. Doesn’t seem right to me since they don’t have a clue what we do, are never in the line of fire and will bow to the demands of any customer, whether or not the demands are justified, making the adjusters look like idiots who are not capable of doing their job. We get regular reports about the 1 or 2 errors we make each month, but the dozens of errors we correct and the many claims that we handle without error, are never noticed. Yup, that motivates me to continue handling the most difficult of customer, with a smile in my voice, so that we don’t lose customers and upper management/CEO’s can continue to reward themselves for OUR job well done.

  23. After 38 years of working in the claims business I still find it to be one of the most interesting and challenging fields of endeavor. Something new every day, never the same cast of characters and an opportunity to test your patience everyday. What more do you need in a job???

  24. Funny!!!!!!!!! Definately gave us something to laugh about here at our claims office. Thank you! Happy Friday Adjusters :)

  25. This is 100% True. We take a beatings all day everyday for far far less than $15 mill. We get screamed at, cussed at, lied to, and death threats. It takes a certain person and tough skin to take the abuse that we endure on a daily basis. What is harder is at the end of the day to leave that at work and go home to our families and still smile. I’ve been reduced by customers to tears, left shaking at my desk only to have to compose myself seconds later to answer another call in attempt to help the next caller. The volumes of claims that come in and phone calls is beyond what can be explained. However if a phone call isn’t returned to a customer within a couple of hours, they are calling you again most of the time to tell you that your incompitent and don’t know how to do you job. If they don’t like the answers you give them, they demand to speak with your supervisor or manager. Even if what they are asking for is beyond the scope of their policy. Mr Day-Lewis if you don’t want the $15 Mill, I’d be HAPPY TO TAKE IT! Because even after a decade of doing this job, i’ve yet to even dent that salary!

  26. I have been an adjuster for almost 20 years, I started the week Hurricane Andrew hit and I’ve stuck with it. I like the industry and enjoy helping those in a time of great need. I’ve handled inside claims as well as field claims. Even did a stint in the SIU Department (eye opening). I’ve been all over the country handling CAT losses and have seen many things most people will never see. I have stories both good and bad where I could write a book and it would make the #1 bestsellers list. What people don’t realize is that it is one of the most stressful jobs out there as you come into someones life in their time of need. It doesn’t need to be stressful it could be very gratifying, however, the customer sees us adjusters as the bad guy. They make the process for us more difficult than it needs to be and forget to realize that we are in this business because we actually may enjoy helping others, helping them get back where they belong.

    Geez, I’d gladly take on the role of the adjuster in this film…..I’ve already got the part down.

  27. I’ve been a work comp adjuster for 21 years and can empathize with this article. I see it as a great opportunity to exercise a split personality: I get to be nice to those in need and a jerk to those trying to steal my clients’ money.

    • I agree, working for those who really need it and a hug for helping them get back to their lives is a great feeling. NOT those that are out to make extra cash by their insurance company.

  28. Some of you are pretty thick if you can’t figure out this FAKE. “The Daily Quarterly” didn’t tip you off?

    Currently working as an adjuster in Florida fighting against PIP fraud. Hilarious piece, really brightened my morning.

  29. Seriously??? This guy could handle working on an oil rig, but couldn’t handle hearing what we have to deal with on a daily basis? You have got to be kidding me? I love my job as a claims adjuster, but it drives me nuts at the same time. It amazes me at how much verbal abuse we take, all because Muffy decided to try and park her car in the trunk of the car in front of her, and somehow she feels like she is the victim because I had to tell her that she was at fault. I firmly believe that we as adjusters have to work with people when they are at their dumbest…..and anytime they call us for help, they try and tell us how to do our job. Totally amazes me how stupid people really are. And what kills me even more is that the company I work for (membership based) as management that is just as dumb as the clients are.

  30. I was an adjuster for State Farm for 22 years and then a Supervisor at Sedgwick. I’ll glady accept the role for that movie!

  31. I was an auto adjuster for 4 years..but now an FCA for property..I love it when we tell them that they are at fault and they are rated for the accident for the next 7 years..especially if a smart ass is on the other line…Baaaaaa!@

    • Only 4 yrs experience? Goes to show the industry toughens one up. I’ve seen college kids come thru the system, all innocent, well intended, just to be toughened up and become skeptical of just about anyone they speak with. What a life changing experience.

      • These young kids do have I life changing experience and not all of them make it…..I Have heard them complain about how much they are appreciated. They are used to mommy and daddy doing everything for them. Suck it or get out. This job is not for everyone.

  32. DDL is so typical of the modern citizen. He can’t handle any dissent and probably just wants a 100% “non-partisan” world. What he really needs to experience is getting personally sued 300 to 400 times in a 4 or 5 year period and having to pay for the ransom for E&O coverage that get’s him a defense. Such is the life of an IA: paying more for Professional Insurance and deductibles than an anesthesiologist so that some scumwad plaintiff attorneys can make a good living. He needs to sit through a few 10 hour video depositions about how he or one of his adjusters missed a dime size water spot on attorney’s clients ceiling………………..all while keeping a relaxed smile on their face. Or maybe DDL ought to be try climbing up a 12/12 pitch roof on a hot summer afternoon, and then follow that up with a couple of hours in a home with a nice sewer back up and plenty of black mold. I bet he wasn’t on the roadside at 2 AM trying to figure out how 20 cars and trucks piled up. It is nice to know, though, that most of the world couldn’t begin to do this job for 6 hours let alone 20, 30, or 40+ years.

    • Amen! So true. I suppose only those of us with strong stomachs and spines can do the job. Sometimes I think I’m hauled into court more than the average lawyer. All in a day’s work. :)

    • Kudos!!!! To you for doing this work out in the field.
      I always thank my IAs for their great bravery. IT’s onteasy.

  33. I don’t really care if the DDL story is real, it is hilarious and better yet has provided a great forum to know to know that most of us are all experiencing the same crapola whereever we work in the industry. Keep up the comments, this is great reading and I want to incorporate the comments into our next weekly “training” on customer service!

  34. I worked for the largest for 38 years as a claim specialist, I loved the job, helping people that don’t know what to do, many get uptight or nasty, but only because they don’t know what’s going on. Would love to have been paid 15 M for the job. lol.

  35. I’ve been an adjuster for 7 years now. I started at the bottom and worked my ass off at two big companies to get the right experience to go to a nice company. Now I am working for a smaller regional carrier that only cares about being within state guidelines, and reasonable resolutions. I have a manager that actually trusts/values my opinion on 6 figure cases. (I know that is a novel concept for all those big carriers, to actually trust the people that they’ve hired and trained to be anything but a monkey.) I know it is a tough job to stomach. I was under so much stress at one company that I actually became very ill. But it’s very rewarding once you get to a certain level of claims handling, and are not overworked. I know that this article is satire, but there is just too much truth to it.

    • To quote you….

      ” I have a manager that actually trusts/values my opinion on 6 figure cases. (I know that is a novel concept for all those big carriers, to actually trust the people that they’ve hired and trained to be anything but a monkey.) I know it is a tough job to stomach. I was under so much stress at one company that I actually became very ill”.

      Who do you work for? I want to come over. I myself am under sooo much stress I have become physically ill. (Mainly due to Ivory Tower unrealistic, thankless, expectations).

      • Kim, I too work for a great company! I have been in insurance for 11 years, and like you started at a mill to get experience.I started at my current company 4 1/2 years ago and worked my way up into management. My team has total auth to evaluate claims and settle them. No micro managing, no 10 new losses per day, no BS. We’re like a family. Great great place to work with lots of opportunity.

  36. Hilarious! I love how he is smiling at the beginning of the day. They should’ve taken an end of day photo as a “Before” and “After”. As an adjuster for 14 years, I could definitely stick it out for 5 hours and the production of a movie for $15mil. Maybe DDL should have some mercy on us poor adjusters and share some wealth. Lol. I certainly would be willing to play myself in the movie. I’m sure all of us adjusters have enough material on fraud and ridiculous people to make several movies.

  37. I think the movie idea is great! However, I think the role should be cast with a female dealing in Auto Claims…..most men and shops assume you’re stupid when reality is that I probably know more about their cars than they do. Then you have the lies, the threats, padding of claims, and of course, the people who think their insurance policy is a bank account for times when their cash is tight. It’s great to help people in their time of need. It’s just unfortunate that some people think defrauding their insurance company isn’t wrong….the same people that will complain their rates are too high. Claims Adjusting can definitely be a rewarding career that brings something new and different everyday….assuming you have the stomach and spine to handle it.

  38. This article is too funny!! I work for a non standard company having to deal with all those people that big companies like State Farm won’t insure and let me tell you, we deal with a lot more bs then any standard company. We deal with more fraud then any standard company just because of the kind of people we insure. But yes being a claims adjuster is a pain in the ass but someone has to do it.

    • I worked for a non standard carrier for “one” year. The work was not hard. Yes lots of scum, the bottom of the barrel that can’t get picked up by anyone else. But still, the worst experience with them was management. One of my mangers had 2 mottos: 1. Deny, Deny, Deny and 2. Let them sue. Now that was sad.
      I just took a new loss from a member yesterday who wanted to go 3rd party. Guess who the carrier was? Yes, that carrier I used to work for. I strongly emphasized to our member not to go thru them. I was adamant we represent him and he would be better off letting us take care of him and deal with that carrier our selves. This is where the thanklessness comes in. He said thanks but I’ll think about it and call you back. Geeze, you want delay your claim and stress out over it. Knock yourself out. He will come back crying that the other carrier is jipping him. Oh well. It is what it is and we can only do our best to resolve the issue for them.

  39. WOW great responses from all of “US” out there. We would love to use the words John Grisham wrote in the book what are you stupid, stupid, stupid. But we have to bite our tongues. Tough job hell yes $15mil, not in this lifetime unless your the plantation owner.

  40. Adjuster for 10 years. He won’t do it for $15M?! I do it for not even a drop in the hat of that amount. Give me 1/3 of that and they have an experienced claims adjuster doing the roll for waaayyyyy lessss. I don’t blame him though. It is a thankless job. Mostly from The Ivory Tower. I can handle an ungrateful insured or claimant. But when The Ivory Tower says good job, “BUT” then smack you on the back of the head for that one issue they feel you did not addres according to their inexperienced belief of how a claim should be handled, goes to show the level of micromanagement that goes on in the claims environment. I do have to say that I have 5 years Commercial and 5 years Personal. By far, Commercial claims are the way to go. Less stress, less micromanagement. Not saying it doesn’t have its pros and cons but definately way less stress. At least that is my experience.

  41. I’ve been in this line of business for 19 years – if an adjuster “yelled” back at a customer, it’s time for that adjuster to find a new job. It’s hard helping people through something that can be life changing for them. Even something small, can turn into something quite big for the person going through it. Sounds like he sat w/the wrong claims adjuster. Our job is tough, can be very satisifing and mentally challenging at times; but when you help someone through a rough situation, it makes it worth it in the end.

  42. Folks:

    The article is satire, but the responses are not. Lots of pent-up angst. Eighteen years or so as an adjuster, and I have to tell you that life got easier when I transferred from Personal lines to commercial lines. Much, much, much easier to deal with the adverse attorneys, than with civilians.

    • …No more rear-enders or complaints over rental. No more cars full of claimants, yet none of them know the names of the others. No more soft-tissue neck/back injuries. You could not pay me enough to go back to that.

  43. I have been an adjuster for over 25 years in all lines. Can’t believe the insurance fraud especially in Workers Compensation!! Why doesn’t 20/20 or Dateline do an investigative piece on that issue? The system has made most adjusters feel cynical and helpless!!!

  44. Howdy from Western Canada.
    I have worked the company side for 16 years.
    Started with Safeco & the Dominion when S pulled out in 1992. I went I/A and was with the same employer under 3 different names, for the most part handling 2 large commercial accounts. Recently had to follow one of these accounts to a new company, but with a manager I have enjoyed in the past.
    Over the years, my prior training has been invaluable, I can relate that there have only been a few situations where strenuous negotiations occurred. The most memorable was a promise of exchanging gunfire (remember – Western Canada). Anyway, 32 years later, I am on the freedom 85 program and still enjoy my job. I can still deny a liability claim.and have people thank me for the alternative resolution, or for their being treated like a person, instead of a number.
    Perhaps Mr Lewis – never heard of him, shoulda come to Canada.
    Tom, Neil, Larry Riley from Safeco US, you guys still around? I lost touch when Dominion bought Safeco.

    Regards

    Glenn

  45. Boo effing hoo you little cry babies. If the insurance claims is so miserable, quit. If being an insurance litigator is a nightmare, quit. It’s wimps and jerks like you all that force companies to look for workers in cesspool foreign countries. Babies.

    • @BobMArley – seriously?? If we all quit when the going got tough, then you would be dealing with an outsourced call centre, where the employees first language is NOT English and then who would be complaining? It’s a tough job, most don’t realize it at first blush, but through all the 31 yrs that I have been doing it have come to appreciate the fact that what we do is help people when they need it the most. And, unfortunately, people – and corporations – are stupid sometimes and that’s what keeps the paychecks coming. Nobody here is really complaining, it’s just a good sounding board sometimes. Go to any insurance function cocktail party and you’ll hear stories like the ones alluded to above (and then some) that will make your toes curl. At the end of the day, it’s a job and it can be both rewarding and unsettling. We deal with your problems. Who deals with ours? I wouldn’t trade my job and my experience …

  46. Dude, exactly what is it you do to support your addictions? Aha, you represent the much maligned (with good reason) ivory tower folks!

  47. It is a thankless, demeaning, unending and, for the most part, ungratifying job. However, I am really good at it.

    I do try and offer fair dollar amounts for settlements but sometimes greed gets the best of people. More often than not, by the time the claim is done being litigated, the plaintiff will settle at a number much closer to mine than his.

    I’ve worked with counsel throughout the county. Like everything else, some are good and some are bad.

    Hang in there fellow adjusters!

  48. Can I just say that I am happy to see so many people in the insurance industry, some with over 30+ years like myself, feel the same way? Working as an insurance adjuster or supervisor of claims is a VERY, VERY difficult position and glad to see that so many of us are in the same boat. I have done both. There are too many people out there that have no idea what insurance people do, much less what we have to endure each and every day! Years ago adjusters/supervisors may have actually liked their job and enjoyed going to work everyday as the stress was nothing like it is today. Now, it is a struggle to get out of bed because you couldn’t sleep the night before as you were thinking of what you didn’t get done the day before on your desk or what project you were supposed to get done that didn’t get done. Not to mention the “diary” that is supposed to get completed for that day done that you can’t get done because of the huge amount of phone calls or new claims that you received. Someone previously stated that it takes a “thick skinned” individual to handle claims and they are so correct. Handling claims is definitely not what it used to be as there is too much MICROMANAGEMENT going on now. Caseloads for adjusters are off the charts but upper management still expects it to get done as though the caseload was small. In my opinion, if companies would actually listen to the adjusters/supervisors of what can actually be done in any given day and give adjusters/supervisors a caseload that can actually be managed, then I think that maybe more people in this industry could handle the day to day ups and downs in this business. You are not going to get the “Quality” you need in a file by overloading an adjuster with a large caseload. It just isn’t going to happen. Upper management is only concerned with the numbers these days and nothing else. When adjusters leave they are no longerbeing replaced and the other adjusters have to absorb their caseloads putting more stress on everyone. But once you have been in this business for years, it is hard to get into another field which is why so many people have to stay in the business regardless of the stress they endure every day. I would love to see the show “Undercover Boss” with the head of the company sitting with adjusters and supervisors on any given day. Don’t you think it would make “good” TV? I could go on and on and on, but I’ll let someone else pick up where I have left off. Good reading for sure!

  49. retired after 38 years from field adjuster thru supvr in all casualty lines….If I reacted like Danny..think of all I would have missed out on

  50. WOW, it seems as though this has become the venting forum. I didn’t realize there was so much hostility that would come out from so many in response to a humorous article. It is a difficult job that intrigues only those who initially think they want to help people but soon become addicted to the challenge. Though I dislike what unions have become, it looks like I could make that $15 million by starting one for insurance adjusters. I would hope these messages are read by the same managers who compound the troubles of line level claims people that have to carry out some difficult objectives. Actually claims adjusting used to be an honorable career with a secure future. Unfortunately, things have changed…

  51. Wow. I just started working for an independent about 3 months ago. I read all the comments. I must say i’m starting to wonder what I got myself into. Here I naively thought that this would get better. I can say though, that I kind of see it as a challenge now. Time will tell if I can stick it out.

  52. I work for an international carrier. Dealing with customers and the public is tough enough but dealing with Corporate Dilbert is worse!! This article hits it on the head but misses by a mile the insanity of having to deal with incompentent, fearful, poorly trained or qualified Management, muchless the corrupt upper Managers. Seriously, I’d take working on an oil rig over this job!

  53. All I can say in five hours this guy saw nothing! As a Independent Claims Adjuster, I can only laugh. This guy says that he felt sorry for us. Hahahaha! When I started in this business they told me it not for everyone. That in mind if they are looking for a real actor and adjuster I will give them a real run for their $15M.

  54. Well-from a woman’s standpoint and 21 years in the industry- it’s hard work but the key is “patience” and treat everyone with respect. Climbing roofs may not be fun but I do bring home the bacon.

  55. I worked for a large auto carrier in the late 90s, early 00s & it started off as a great company & when I left it s**ked – I went from 10-14% raises to when I left and was given a 1% raise (at a superior rating)— I quit a month later.
    Then, I worked at the Florida Guaranty Fund (FIGA) (state of Florida insurance once companies went under) & they paid litigation reps $52,000/year 4 years ago {other companies paid about $70,000} – YES you heard it correctly. This was the WORSE by far as at least at prior companies there was some structure & they constantly talked in a demeaning manner to their employees. Years later, I know work for myself, still in claims, pay doubled and SO much happier. So with years of experience you can find better pay with good word of mouth as I always recieved high scores/kudos from management.

  56. The sad part is He picked the wrong company to study! I have had my share of people kicking me out of their homes and calling me names but I have also been there when the mother is crying because we helped them through the death of their baby….like everything else in this world you have your bad days and your good days! I love what I do.

  57. I read everyone of the posts and agree with most, it is not a rewarding career anymore. It’s a very stressful, fearful, life sucking job. I loved burned out’s comments, I felt I had written it. With over 20 years of experience in all fields, I am ready to get out. I used to really enjoy what I did, and was, and still am good at what I do but because I still have high standards and want my work product to reflect a high level of quality. I work very late almost every day, I don’t have the luxury of taking a lunch break or socializing with my peers, not to mention Sunday afternoon jitters thinking about Monday morning… If I did make this a 8-5 job, there would be no hope of keeping my head just a little above water and then I’m afraid I would give up. I can feel everyone who is going through the same; downsizing, taking on more responsibility and not to mention being told I may not have a job since big corporate ivory tower wants to rob Peter to pay Paul.

    • There was a time long ago when the job though bad did have its benefits. If you had just had it, you could pack up and take in a movie and take some work home. Management treated you like an adult and the hours worked were your business as long as the work was done. There were some days you worked short hours and other days when you took crates of files home and worked for hours in the office of at the dining room table. We were happy to do it because we knew there was flexibility in other areas of the job. We had authority to evaluate and settle claims. We were considered profession and decision makers. This was a career. Somewhere along the line, corporate got greedy, robbing Peter to pay Paul. If you have 10 people they are still 10 people no matter how you divide them up, it does not make the work get done any faster….hire employees to help with the work load? Corporate people are sucking up bonuses for controlling costs on the backs of employees. Strapped to our desks each and everyday. Treated like children….less authority for adjusters and their management people. Having to give way to upper management people who don’t have a clue of how a claim works…making decisions that are ridiculous but it is ok because they climb the ladder and the next fool comes in and changes things to reflect his/her particular stupidity.

      Shall we then talk about the cash strapped insureds and claimants who will stop at nothing to make a buck. At least before they would make you work to see through the lies. Now they are so transparent that it is insulting. Yelling, name calling, threats when you catch them in their lies. Things have really changed.

      After all of these year what I thought was a career in a good paying position that was interesting and challenging, it has turned out to be a job where you are not paid to think, you are paid to march to the beat of a bunch of idiots.

  58. After working 31 1/2 years in claims I retired, and it was one of the happiest days of my life!! After reading all of these comments, I’m happy I retired all over again! I feel your pain!

  59. Just think for a minute about what an actor would have to portray in order to accurately be one of us long time loyal employees of an insurance company. It would not be an easy feet, after all look how long it has take us to get were we are.
    To be an adjuster, one must ‘be courteous, diplomatic, shrewd, persuasive, an expert jollier, of an equable temper, slow to anger, a Sherlock Holmes, up-to date, good looking (with honest eyes and a glad hand), have a good memory, acute business judgment, and the embodiment of virtue but with a good working knowledge of sin and evil in all its forms. We must understand insurance, electricity, chemistry, mechanics, physics, bookkeeping, banking, merchandising, selling, shipping, contracting law, medicine, real estate, horese trading and human nature. We must be a mind-reader, a hypnotist, an athlete and above all, an expert photographer. We must be acquainted with machinery of all types and material of all kinds and know the current price of everything from a shoestring to a skyscraper. We must know all, see all and tell nothing and be everywhere at the same time. We satisfy the claims manager, the claims examiners, the home office claims department, the underwriting department, the general agent/broker, the solicitor, the insured, the claimant and the State Insurance Department or Financial Services Commission. And above all we must be capable of attending insurance courses once every week for 12 weeks and them wrote a 3 hour examine on our own time.

    TGIF

  60. My name says it all. Been doing this for 30 years. What fascinating reading, all the comments. I could have authored so many of them. Used to be that insurance companies hired the best, trained well, and then turned loose the claims adjusters to do their jobs. Jeez, what happened??!! Now it’s micromanagement, no trust in our judgment, idiot software doing the injury evaluations, attaining the numbers, and being pummeled and berated by managers who have no clue why we cannot get it all done with the ridiculous workload that is dropped on our shoulders. I do love it when a claimant or insured is appreciative of my handling, but that is rare, and there is little to no appreciation from management.

    – Just doing time in my prison cell (er, cube) until I retire or die first. Hmmm, wonder which.

  61. I have been in the insurance industry since more than 17 years working as surveyor & investigator, i have handled many a fraud claims and how these are settled in India, if i can be of any help in your producing films on adjusters and investigators, i shall be glad to assist you in providing information.
    with regards
    Shyam sunder

  62. Spent some years as a front line adjuster(In house and field), spent more years in staff area auditing, and working with medical staff on anti-fraud training for adjusters (One of the top 5 P&C carriers). In my direct experiences, 30% of public and 60% of adjusters and senior management at company were good people just trying to make a go of it.For the rest, well…People get funny when you talk about money.

    Prior to Insurance was a Police Officer. Was called every name in the book, lied to constantly,physically attacked, thrown up on (And other bodily fluids), shot at, threatened, you name it. However, there were many times when I actually was able to help some one, and I could see they were greatful for my efforts. I would take law enforcement over claims any day

  63. Great comments here. I worked as an adjuster for 20 years; worked for three major carriers and never left my desk. After three “mergers” and more downsizings, realignments, restructures, etc. etc. than I can even remember I finally took a buyout rather than move to another state to keep my job. However, I found actual claim handling for the most part interesting and satisfying. Frankly, the toughest part of the job was dealing with management. Change for the sake of change was pretty much the order of the day. Don’t like the current claim handling philosophy? Wait six months and it will change. Do a bang up job and produce great numbers? Better hope those files are the one’s that get audited. The claim industry is no longer run by claims people, and therein lies the problem. Accountants and Auditors rule. We live and die by the spreadsheet. No one cares about a great settlement as long and we pass the next audit.
    Taking the buyout was the best thing I ever did. This is no longer a line of work I would recommend to anyone.

  64. I have worked in the Autobody industry most of my life. The insurance companies are the bread and butter of the trade. I have seen adjusters that do not have a clue how to repair a vehicle telling others why they will not pay for something. They deserve to be yelled at because they are ignorant and unfair. I have seen adjusters that listen to the customers and shops and are able to make fair judgement calls. I am now one, and I enjoy helping honest people, although most are not honest. My company surveys us on our customer service. Is it possible to get a fair score from a cheater, liar or scammer? The few honest customers are lost in the multitude of customers that want additional items included because they paid their premiums for years. It just doesn’t work that way.

    • With all due respect sir, you are an idiot. Most insureds only want to be fairly compensated for their loss. But too many adjusters have your mindset and seek to underpay the claims.

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  66. I’ve been in the business for 20 years for a company that was regional carrier and now a national player. It was a great job with the autonomy to handle claims fairly with a reasonable workload and I wasn’t micromanaged. I had authority to handle 99% of my claims without anyone evening looking over my shoulder. Now, i get more new work in a week that I did in a month. I can’t even pay a simple $1000 pd claim without someone approving the estimate. The process takes 4 days, all the while they are in a rental car that has to average less than 10 days per ticket to meet the goals. Our management has us complete a survey on the work environment. My favorite question is would you recommend the company as a great place to work to a friend. My last response was, “I’m not friends with Bin Laden.”

  67. Hey MORONS: This is SATIRE. Do you really think he said “By god, never again?” I’m an adjuster too, but the worst job ever?

  68. I have been both an attorney and a public adjuster and with rare exception, I have never seen a group of people more dishonest and disingenuous than insurance adjusters. I have met very few who have any concern for the insureds and use the most ridiculous excuses for not paying what an insured is owed. Those on this blog who claim that they have never lied in court are flat out lying. I am not sorry if that offends people. It is far less offensive than the conduct that the insurance adjusters on a daily basis.

  69. I think Samuel L. Jackson would be a better choice. By the way, this is the best job I’ve had. Great company. Can’t please everyone, but just try not to live next to them when they snap. Sleeping well at night knowing I’ve been fair. Great story/satire.

  70. I’ve been adjuster dealing with California attorneys for some time now. I really am shocked that Daniel Day Lewis could not handle this. It is a tough job and not rewarding at all to be honest. I think we are addicted to the fight and outcome. I am now glad to stepping away from this after so many years. I agree though, Hire a real claims adjuster, they have more humor and acting chops than any actor out there for this type of job. We could earn an Oscar for the acting we do every day.

  71. Hey, DDL only has to “pretend” to be an adjuster. Working in this field(for far less than 15 million) is the true challenge. P.S. Can I just pretend to be an adjuster and earn 15 million…I am sure I can do that!

  72. I worked as an adjuster for 24 years. The last company Amfam was a horrible sweatshop. 80 hr weeks common. When I left in 2009 I warned everyone their jobs would be gone when lease up in 2012, management lied said I was disgruntled. Guess what, they let everyone go and closed office in 2012. I now work as a part time hairdresser and private investigator for lawyers. It will be my mission to force the immoral insurance management to pay as much as possible everywhere I can. The companies are godless immoral capitalist right wingers with hands in the cookie jar. Don’t miss the 90 hr weeks for salary any more

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