It is often assumed that training is the first step in starting any new career. Training and experience for many careers is a prerequisite to getting hired. So to become an adjuster, most believe the first thing you need to accomplish is Adjuster Training.
The goal in your career efforts to become an Adjuster, is getting placed on the roster of several Adjusting Firms. To be placed on a roster, there are three steps that must be completed prior to placement and they must be done in order;
1. Get licensed
2. Xactimate Certification
3. Adjuster Firm training
There are two licenses available, and either will work. The “ALL LINES” allows you to work the following types of claims… liability claims, worker’s compensation, general property and casualty, auto, farm, ranch, ocean, inland marine and worker’s compensation claims on behalf of an insurer. The “PROPERTY & CASUALTY” allows you to work the same claims with the exception of Workers Compensation. If Workman’s Comp is the only difference, then how important is it to be able to work those claims? The answer is, not very, Staff Adjusters with a local insurance company work most of these claims. But, you will only make yourself more marketable by having the All-Lines license, and of course you want it from Texas.
Why is having a TEXAS license important? Back in the early days of insurance, Texas literally wrote the book. The job they did was so well done and so comprehensive, that many other states realized their efforts to also write a book on insurance was pointless! So over 30 states ‘adopted’ the Texas license via reciprocity. This means that by having just this one license you have a near nationwide reach in your ability to work claims. This makes you a far better asset than an adjuster who is only licensed in their home state. Even if you have a license in your home state, you will want to also get a Texas license.
It should be pointed out that these two courses are of little use to you as an Insurance Claims Adjuster! The information is vital to anyone wanting to sell insurance, but other than an a broad overview understanding, very little of what you learn here is ever used. It is, however, strongly recommended that you take the text you download and printed out for the 10 hour Self Study that is required before taking the Final Exam, and put it in a notebook for reference on those rare occasions that information is needed.
(Knowing that this information is not necessary to retain, should ease your initial fears when you delve into the course. The information is written in extreme ‘legal ease’ and is quite convoluted, redundant, and utterly confusing. Your mission is to simply pass the course! So if you keep in mind that all you need to do is get a 70, then this wont be as intimidating and frightening.)
Xactimate is the software program most insurance companies use in estimating a claim. Certification isn’t enough, you will want to master this. More than any other factor, your success depends on your ability to work this program. There are two basic parts; Sketch and Graphical Estimating.
The best time to take the Xactimate course is as soon as you have passed either the All Lines or P&C course. It usually takes about 5 days from the time you mail us the 2 affidavits you download after passing the Final Exam, until you receive your completition certificate from us in the mail. Then you fill out your Adjuster Application, get fingerprinted and mail that with a copy of your completition certificate to TDI. Texas Department of Insurance takes10 days to 2 weeks to mail you your actual license. So, you are looking at about 3 weeks of down time.
Most finish their Xactimate course (which is available on this web site) in about a week. You will want to use your remaining time to Practice, Practice, Practice!
Adjuster Firm Training:
Once you have your Adjuster license from the Texas Department of Insurance along with your Xactimate Certification, you are ready for Adjuster Training. To find the IA Firm closest to you, click… Adjuster Firms. These course are 3 to 5 days long, and are not available every weekend, in fact, most firms only offer them 4 times a year. To get this training done as quick as possible, you may have to attend a training some distance away.
The training will be very comprehensive. You will learn everything you need to know to work claims on a deployment. You will also learn the protocols of the Insurance companies the IA Firm works with. (These Firms do not work with all the companies out there, usually just a few.)
What exactly will you be taught? All the basic catastrophe adjusting skills along with ‘tricks of the trade’ and strategies to enhance your chances of success. Every firm emphasizes different things in their classes, so what you learn will vary a bit, but here is a list most firms cover;
All Lines training
Roof & siding, including Roofing material
Rope & harness
Identifying hail damage
Building material identification
Small to large fire estimating
Water mitigation training
Auto estimating – fire, hail & flood
State Farm Certification: You will eventually want to be certified by State Farm. They do not allow anyone to work their claims without their certification. And since they are the largest insurance company by far, you will need this. (They are twice as big as the # 2 company Allstate.)
Generally this is not needed to get on rosters, because in a major disaster, State Farm will issue ‘Provisional Certifications’ (30 days or less) for those not yet certified to make sure all their claims are handled within the strict time frame under the law.
Strange as it may seem, State Farm does not offer their own certification course – it is only available from Pilot, Worley, Eberls, E.A. Renfroe and The Best IRS (Adjuster Firm training at one of these, doubles as your State Farm Certification.)
To become a Texas Insurance Claims Adjuster, you need to take either the ALL LINES or PROPERTY & CASUALTY course. Click here to Register