Larry Smith has had an extensive career in the adjusting industry with over 40 years of experience. He recently transitioned into a file reviewer role after working as a CAT Adjuster Supervisor. Spending only about three weeks a year off the job, Larry has dedicated his life to his work.
“My work is my life,” he said. “Crawford has a huge part of that life.”
Throughout Larry’s career, he has almost exclusively worked for Crawford, starting in 1989. Before this, Larry worked as an adjuster for a small firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During Hurricane Alicia in 1983, he decided to become a CAT adjuster. His first assignment with Crawford was an oil spill in Alaska and since then he has worked most major hurricanes, oil spills and explosions, and earthquakes.
“Crawford was and still is one of the largest adjusting companies, and they have kept me busy,” he said. “I’d rather have steady income and work.”
Larry describes himself as a people person who wants to help others in need. He treats others how he would like to be treated during the claims process. He believes that it’s necessary to build trust with the insured and encourages those new to the industry to create these genuine relationships with policyholders, companies and clients. Larry emphasizes the importance of loyalty as an adjuster and credits his lengthy career to the meaningful relationship he’s had with Crawford.
“I get along well with people,” he said. “I treat the insured how I want to be treated. But most importantly, I build rapport with the company.”
Larry has witnessed a lot of change since he started adjusting. He has seen how the technology era has prioritized speed and efficiency, sometimes lessening the focus on building connections with the insured. Larry prefers some of the older methods when it comes to training and educating adjusters. He thinks that adjusters are often trained on systems to know what to do, but that there is not a great emphasis on the why. Larry hopes the future will bring more well-rounded training and information sessions for adjusters to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.
“It’s not always about doing it quicker and cheaper,” he said. “We have to make the time to build a personal connection.”
Larry recently returned from six months in Puerto Rico, supervising adjusters working on earthquake claims. He transitioned into the file reviewer role to give himself a break from the field. As a reviewer, he double-checks field adjusters’ reports and makes sure the claims will qualify. With his knowledge and experience, he helps adjusters understand their mistakes and counsels them on future claims.
“I try to stay out of the field when I can because, in my mind, I still think I can do all the things I could do when I was younger like climb roofs,” he said.
Larry embodies Crawford’s mission by doing everything he can within the insurance policy parameters to help policyholders get back to their livelihood before the storm. He has experienced many catastrophic storms and appreciates being able to empathize with the insured. Larry specifically remembers the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 being extremely devastating and impactful but enjoys hearing the insured’s stories and being there to offer support.
“People can get emotional,” he said. “You have to listen to their story and try to help them as much as you can.”
Larry has enjoyed the freedom that the adjusting job allows. He appreciates the opportunity to take time for himself if he needs to. Larry has traveled with his wife to Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and most US states for adjusting work and hopes to travel back to some of the locations in the future. His dedication and wealth of knowledge make him an asset to the Crawford family.