Martin Contreras has always adopted a pay-it-forward mentality that has found its way into his professional career. A manager at Crawford noticed his dedication and work ethic that was steered by his overall goal to help others and suggested the adjusting field. Over the past nine years, Martin has traveled across the world as a CAT adjuster determined to do everything he can to help.
When asked to describe his role at Crawford, Martin said, “It’s to help those who lost everything to get back up on their feet as quickly as possible.” He has been based in Puerto Rico since January 2020 in response to an earthquake. He discussed how the area is not the wealthiest, and that there is a constant struggle when trying to rebuild after a catastrophe due to the lack of resources. Martin tries his best to restore their livelihoods as professionally, efficiently, and empathetically as possible.
Many policyholders have expressed acknowledgment and appreciation for how Martin helped them. He still receives calls from former claimants thanking him for his hard work and assistance during their time of need. These moments fill Martin with a sense of purpose and inspire him to continue providing for the insured.
Martin revealed that it is easy to feel burned out from his job. When he’s not physically in the field or with the insured, he’s at home working on reports. Day after day, this routine can become exhausting, but being able to see the larger picture of Crawford’s mission gives him that extra push to keep going. He said,
“I know that what I’m doing is for the greater good, so I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.”
Martin believes effective communication is the most essential skill to have for the job. “The more you can explain to your policyholder, the better,” he said. “They notice when you go the extra mile and appreciate it.” A part of this effort is building a relationship with the insured. Martin admits that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, this has become more difficult to achieve. He believes that while technology has allowed adjusters to get the job done, it does not allow them to create the same meaningful relationship with the insured. In Martin’s experience, it’s been helpful to have another set of eyes at the site where the claim is needed
As an adjuster, he spends most of his time away from his family in Frisco, Texas. He shared that it’s difficult to be away from his family, but he has made life-long friends as an adjuster. They’ve adopted a family-like approach to the workday. There’s no competition in the field, and they are there to help each other and take care of the insured. Martin said, “I always try to pay-it-forward and help where I can. There’s no ‘I’ in team. I don’t know everything, but I’m willing to try anything to help others.”
Martin spends about four months in a location before he returns to Texas for a few weeks. When he is home, he fills his time with his family. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three teenagers by going to sporting events including football games and drill team performances. He also likes going to a nearby lake and cooking out for his close friends and family. He said, “When I’m home, I’m home and there’s no place like it.” Like Martin, his family also cherishes the time they get with him, but they understand the greater need their dad is serving to people across the world.