Basics of Adjusting
Taking care of the ‘Basics of Adjusting’ (licensing & training), enables you to position yourself to be the best qualified candidate for deployment. Having an Adjuster License from Texas is an essential part of the equation!
Can I obtain a Texas Adjuster License?
Regardless of where you live, anyone 18 or older can acquire an Insurance License. No previous experience necessary. You do not need a college degree or any special educational background. Desire and a strong work ethic are your best assets. TXALA will provide all of the training you will need. These ‘basics of adjusting’ include the All Lines or Property & Casualty adjuster license, Xactimate and HAZWOPER. This gets you started in this exciting and lucrative career.
If you live in one of the following 20 states, you can get the Texas Adjuster License (All Lines or P&C) without any other licensing. This is the first step in the ‘basics of adjusting.’
Alaska | Colorado | Connecticut | Washington D.C. | Illinois | Iowa | Kansas | Maryland | Massachusetts | Missouri | Nebraska | New Jersey | New Mexico | North Dakota | Ohio | Pennsylvania | South Dakota | Tennessee | Virginia | Wisconsin
However, if you live in one of the other states, you need to get your home state’s adjuster license before you can get the Texas Adjuster License.
Do I really need an additional license from Texas, if I live in a state that requires a license?
As in any industry, you have to position yourself to be the best candidate possible for the job. Having an Adjuster License with Texas, gives you reciprocity in over 30 states. This ‘basics of adjusting’ makes you a more attractive prospect. Most successful adjusters have the Texas license. Even if you are just wanting to be a Staff Adjuster, having a Texas License is still recommended. Staff Adjusters occasionally do travel to other states. Bottom line, it is a serious resume enhancement for a Staff Adjuster and a must have for an Independent Adjuster.
What am I going to be expected to do?
Processing a claim can be broken down into four parts:
1. Asses damage
2. Interpret the customers insurance policy
3. Determine the appropriate settlement amount
4. Authorize the payment
Why are adjusters needed?
The damage customers experience from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fire and hail, are all unique and require a physical inspection. Computers and call centers are helpful, but they will never take the place of an actual physical inspection.
In any catastrophic event, the insurance companies are required by law to handle claims within strict deadlines. To insure compliance, penalties imposed on insurance companies are severe. So they need adjusters trained and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. It would not be financially feasible for them to pay thousands of adjusters to sit around and wait for the next catastrophe. Instead, when disaster strikes, they call on any of the two dozen or more Adjuster companies (CAT companies). These companies have plenty of qualified individuals on their rosters. However, when a major disaster like Katrina, Ike or Sandy hits – all bets are off! Because of the size of such storms, even the Adjuster companies become desperate. Just about anyone that can fog a mirror will be given a chance to work these events. And the scientific and meteorological forecast is for a substantial increase in Cat 5 storms.
What are the types of adjusters?
There are three basic types:
Independent Adjusters – They operate as independent contractors and are on multiple rosters. They are ready to travel whenever disaster strikes. A successful independent adjuster will work all over the country. This is why a Texas adjuster license is essential for anyone wanting to become an Independent Insurance Adjuster.
Staff Adjusters – These adjusters work directly for insurance companies as employees. They primarily work locally. Travel to other states does happen, but not with the frequency of an Independent adjuster.
Public Adjusters – A public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who works for the policyholder. This is done by appraising and negotiating a customer’s insurance claim. Public adjusters are the only type of claims adjuster that can legally represent the rights of an insured during an insurance claim process. The best time to use a public adjuster is when the insurer has agreed to pay the claim, and the only remaining issue is determining the settlement amount.
When do I work?
An independent adjuster will be deployed for as long as it takes to complete the work. A hail storm may only require a couple months. A ‘Cat 5’ storm could keep you busy for over a year. Because of the uncertainty of work, travel, long hours and having to deal with adverse environmental working conditions, independent adjuster are paid substantially more than staff adjusters. It is said in the industry, that “Hail pays the bills, while Hurricanes buy the toys!”
Staff adjusters are salaried employees and have a more consistent work schedule that will generally keep them busy year round.
What do I need to do to get started?
First step is Adjuster Training through TXALA. You will receive your license upon completion of the course. Decide which license you want, “All Lines” or “Property & Casualty.” The only difference between the two is the “All Lines” allows you to also work Workman’s Compensation claims. Even though the difference is small, the “All lines” license enjoys greater acceptance. Click here to Register.
Second step would be to get your Xactimate certification. Most all insurance companies use Xactimate. It is the software program that enables you to determine the amount of a claim. Click Xactimate to register.
Third step is to take a basic training course from one of the IA Firms, CAT Firms or Adjusting Companies… click Contractors (Adjuster Firms) These courses are typically 3 to 5 days in length, and are usually held at their headquarters. You will learn what you actually need to know when you are deployed. You will learn all the protocols of the insurance companies the firm represents. For example; the threshold for “totaling” a roof differs company to company, state to state and even from event to event.
Fourth step would be to get certified by State Farm. They are the largest insurance company and the only one that requires their own certification to be able to process their claims. For info on the companies that offer the training and where they are located, click State Farm. The State Farm courses are usually accepted as a basic training course, so you take care of two steps with one course.
Last step in the ‘basics of adjusting’ is to start contacting the different Adjusting companies to get on their rosters. If being a staff adjuster is your goal, then you would apply to the different insurance companies locally. State Farm is the biggest, but they require additional training specific to them.
To get started as an Insurance Adjuster, you need either the ALL LINES or PROPERTY & CASUALTY license.
Click here to REGISTER.