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Managing Your Stress and Burnout in the Property Claims Industry

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

If you're new to the property insurance claims industry, this article may be one of the best things you could have come upon.

For those that have worked in this field for a while, whether you're a:

  • Public insurance adjuster

  • Staff adjuster

  • Independent adjuster

  • Contractor or mitigation professional

  • Building envelope consultant

  • Professional or other type of engineer

  • Attorney

  • or any other professional,

you know the unique challenges and stressors that come with the job, all too well. Our work not only requires technical know-how across many disciplines, but also managing professional relationships with empathy and compassion, in often challenging or contentious situations!

A person hiding under their blanket in bed.
It's ok to admit it: we've all been here, at one point or another.

Compassion is a wonderful virtue to strive for, but there is always a human element to manage

This very virtue can also unknowingly lead to a documented condition known as compassion fatigue.

  • Exhaustion

  • Decreased empathy

  • Constant irritation

  • A diminished sense of self-worth and accomplishment, directly tied to your work If you work within the claims side of the property insurance industry in any capacity, you've likely experienced some of these symptoms at some point.

These can be signs of something called compassion fatigue, which is a form of (or can lead to) emotional and physical burnout that can occur when we're constantly exposed to the suffering or trauma of others.

No matter how big or small each instance, the constancy of such negative situations, and external emotions and actions, are what can lead to this condition. First responders, healthcare and social workers, and attorneys have well-documented occurrences, and even help groups.

It's important to note that compassion fatigue is not a sign of weakness or inability to cope. Rather, it's a normal response to the emotionally draining work that we do. But, just like any other stressor, it needs to be managed.

"It's not due to a failure of character, or lack of will. It's simply because you're human." - Sarah Parker, on the topic of managing compassion fatigue, Pain of the Claim Podcast, Episode [date]

Here are a few ways you can start to manage and reduce your stress:

Recognize the signs

Awareness is the first step towards managing compassion fatigue. If you're feeling constantly drained, irritable, or detached from your work, it might be time to take a step back and assess your emotional health.

Don't neglect your basic, human needs. You're not infallible

Make sure you're taking care of your physical health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and enough sleep. But also take time for emotional self-care: hobbies, relaxation, and social activities can all help recharge your emotional batteries.

Seek support. No man is an island

Don't hesitate to reach out to colleagues, friends, or mental health professionals. It can be helpful to talk about your experiences and feelings with someone who understands.

The world will not fall apart if you aren't there to "fix" it

Learn to say "no" when you need to. It's important to set and know your limits on your work to prevent overexertion and burnout.

A healthy perspective can mean understanding that while you play an incredibly important, unique, and valued role in the lives of others, you're not so omnipotent that you have to be the Grand Director and Arbiter of everything, everywhere. It's ok to step away from your work, enjoy your everyday life, and not make your entire identity your profession.

a woman smiling and laughing in the warm sunshine.
Yes, it is possible to feel as fulfilled and happy as stock photography models look.

Remember, managing compassion fatigue is not just about preventing burnout for yourself and your family, but also about ensuring that you can continue to provide the best service to your clients.

If you're interested in learning more about compassion fatigue and how to manage it, I highly recommend checking out the insightful article by Sarah Parker, a fellow public insurance adjuster who has experienced and successfully navigated this challenge. Read more about Sarah's journey with compassion fatigue and pick up more practical tips [here](URL of Sarah Parker's article).

Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury or a —it's a necessity. It allows us to be our best selves for our clients, our profession.

For anyone that is reading this while struggling with anything aforementioned in this article (or, simply as a "thank you" for reading the whole way through), I wish you the gift of la joie de vivre. May you experience, share, and amplify all the peace and joyful passion that is possible in this life. No matter how dark circumstances may seem, the best things in life are available to you, and waiting out there for you to claim as your own.

Yours truly,

Sarah Parker

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