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Property Adjusters

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5 Steps To Become An Insurance Claims Adjuster

5 Steps To Become An Insurance Claims Adjuster 5 Steps To Become An Insurance Claims Adjuster

Any career path requires a dedicated individual willing to take the necessary steps for success.  I'll show you how to get started on a rewarding career called "Insurance Claims Adjusting"!

 

Before explaining the step by step instructions, here's some background. 


TYPES OF CLAIMS

There are many "types" of claims that require adjusters to specialize in that specific area.  In this post, we will primarily talk about property claims/adjusters, however, the overall procedures for getting started are true for any type of adjuster that works any type of claim.  Here is a brief list of the different types of insurance claims: 

1. Property claims (residential, commercial, farm/ranch)
2. Auto claims
3. Liability claims
4. Workmen's Comp
5. Aviation
6. Marine
7. and more

 


TYPES OF ADJUSTERS

There are 3 basic types of property adjusters and each of these types can either work in the Field or in the Office (Inside). 

1. Staff Adjuster (W2 - employed by the insurance carrier)
2. Independent CAT Adjuster - (1099)
3. Independent Daily Adjuster - (1099)

 

Staff Adjusters:

Are employed by the insurance carrier with benefits and salary wage. 

Independent CAT Adjuster:

Is a 1099 adjuster that receives work from an Adjusting Firms (contracted with the Carriers) and travels (deploys) to catastrophic events around the country (hurricanes, major hail storms, etc.).

Independent Daily Adjuster:

Similar to a CAT Adjusters, however, they stay at home and handle the day-to-day claims within their area. 

Field or Office:

As a field adjuster, you will travel to the damaged property and inspect the loss.  As an "Inside Adjuster," you will usually be in office (or at home) reviewing claims that are received from the field. 

PREREQUISITES (Property Adjusters)

Most career choices require some background and the more experience you bring to the table the more successful you'll be!  Here is a list of common insurance adjuster prerequisites:

1. Construction knowledge/methods/practices
2. Investigation experience
3. Computer experience
4. Estimating experience

 

Not all these prerequisites are necessary but will help the one get started and turn an adjusting "job" into a career.  Keep in mind there is training available in all these areas. 

Construction methods and practices are definitely on the top of the list.  If you don't have any experience in this, then I would suggest working for a construction company (general contractor, roofing contractor or restoration contractor) to gain the experience in this area. 

STEPS TO BECOMING AN ADJUSTER 

 

1.

ADJUSTER LICENSING 

Licensing is your first step.  Most, not all, departments of Insurance within each state require an individual to be a licensed adjuster to handle claims on behalf of the insurance carrier.  If you handle claims in Florida, then the Florida Dept of Insurance will require you to be licensed with them.

Not every state requires a license however carriers and Adjusting Firms won't hire a non-licensed adjuster.  

Therefore the 1st state license that most (if not all) adjusters get is the Texas license.  Why?  Because most states (not all) reciprocate with the Texas license, therefore, you will not take a test in each state.  

To be licensed as a Resident (or Non-resident) Texas Adjuster, you will need to have classroom (or online) training (40 hours) and pass a test.  You can find more details about the Texas All-Lines Adjuster requirements here. 

Here are some resources for adjuster training and licensing. 

...

Mile High Adjusters, LLC.

Join the Mile High Adjusters' roster of licensed professional adjusters and gain access to job opportunities, training updates, and additional career resources.
...

AdjusterPro - Insurance Claims Adjuster Licensing

We provide affordable online insurance claims adjuster pre-licensing, exam prep, and CE for individuals and corporations.
 
...

Home | 2021training.com

All the training you need to earn and maintain your Texas Insurance Adjuster License.
 

2.

XACTIMATE TRAINING

Xactimate is the most widely used estimating program in the property claims industry.  There are others but Xactimate (Xactware) holds the largest market share, by far.  

Training in this program is vital to your success as an adjuster.  There are many certifications that can be obtained to showcase your knowledge of the program.  It is not necessary to be certified but it is a bonus when first starting out.

3.

MARKETING YOURSELF

This step is one of the most important and often missed.  Independent adjusters are self-employed, meaning it is up to them and them alone to market themselves to a client to show them that they are the best for the job.  The clients, in this case, are the IA Firms (Independent Adjusting Firms).  

Just because you are licensed, trained and skilled doesn't mean that work will fall into your lap.  Professional adjusters will market themselves in a way to gain the trust of the IA Firm.

An IA Firm is a company that is has been contracted by the insurance carrier to handle such claims in a certain state or during a catastrophic event. These firms have 100s of adjusters on their roster and will assign claims to said adjuster accordingly.  These firms will help the adjuster manage their claims and complete the claim per the carrier guidelines. 

There are 100s of IA Firms to look into and begin applying for.  Some only work with certain carriers.  Some only work in certain states.  Some only handle large CAT events.  

Here are a few IA Firms:

1. Pilot Catastrophe
2. Worley Claims
3. IAS Claims

4.

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT

Before receiving your first claim, you need to be prepared with all the right tools for the job. 

  1. Vehicle.  It's your biggest expense no matter if you are a Daily or CAT adjuster.  Some like trucks so they can carry tall ladders while other adjusters pick the most economical (MPG) and use telescoping ladders or other "fold-up" ladders. 
  2. Ladders.  Always carry a ladder so you can access the roof.  Roof inspections are required for most claims.
  3. Pouch for hand tools
  4. Digital camera 
  5. Tape measure
  6. Digital tape measure
  7. Shingle gauge
  8. Pitch gauge
  9. Pens/pencils
  10. Chalk
  11. Clipboard for notes or phone/tablet for digital notes
  12. Laptop/desktop computer (Windows i5 or i7, minimum 8gb ram 

Software Tools/Programs

  1. Xactimate Desktop
  2. Xactimate Mobile (you'll need to have the Pro version of Xactimate to utilize the mobile version)
  3. Chrome (best browser to use)
  4. IE (for Xactimate Online version)
  5. Microsoft Word/Excel
  6. PDF viewer AND editor (PDF annotation/creation is very important)
  7. Recommendation:  Mapping software (Scope.claims)
  8. Recommendation:  Note/guideline management (Scope.claims)
  9. Recommendation:  Photo labeling app (Scope.claims)

5.

TRAINING & EXPERIENCE

The best way to get some "hands-on" experience is to do some "shadowing" of other adjusters.  Reaching out to other adjusters and offering to tag along, drive for them, set up a ladder, etc. will give you the hands-on experience that most need when getting started.  

Continuous education is also a big part of the insurance claims world.  The claims industry is ever evolving, growing, and expanding.  Be diligent in your efforts to stay on top of the latest trends and changes.  

There are many companies that offer continuing education for adjusters both online and in a classroom. 

Here is a couple:

...

Adjuster Continuing Education Courses | Adjuster Insurance CE | WebCE | WebCE

Complete your insurance adjuster CE requirements online with WebCE's insurance adjuster continuing education courses.
...

Insurance Claims Adjuster Courses - AdjusterPro

We offer the largest selection of insurance claims adjuster courses. View AdjusterPro's pre-licensing, training, exam prep, and continuing education courses.

Insurance Adjusting is an exciting and rewarding profession!  You can meet new people, travel the US, help restore someone that has suffered a loss, all the while turning a good profit. 

 

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June 01, 2020
Hi, I'm an independent adjuster with over 12 years of experience in property adjusting and founder of Scope.claims.  I've handled over 5,000+ claims for a variety of insurances and loss types.  I have a passion for building tools that help adjusters succeed! ...

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