Becoming an Adjuster
Becoming an adjuster starts with having the Texas All Lines or Property & Casualty Adjuster License. This enables you to work Fire, Personal Injury, Auto, Residential, Commercial, Inland Marine and Ocean Marine. (Plus Worker’s Compensation with the All Lines license). Having a license with Texas gives you reciprocity in over 30 other states. When disaster strikes, you will get a call from one of the Adjusting Firms you are registered with. You will then have 48 to 72 hours to arrive at your assigned designation. Therefore, you have to be prepared to leave within hours of their notification. There is no time to pass that state’s exam or pre-licensing course. Having reciprocity with the storm damaged state, means in most cases all you have to do is apply on-line for their license.
In many deployments you will download a stack of claims. It is important that you contact all of them ASAP and set appointments. Time management is essential, so logistics is a major consideration in setting those appointments. Remember that your clients’ time is also valuable. Notifying them if you are going to be late will go a long way in gaining their trust and confidence.
Being sympathetic to the customer’s situation is crucial. If you do your best to relate to their needs, you will act appropriately. Prompt and constant communication must be a priority. You are going to be dealing with all kinds of people in different stages of panic. Good people skills are required. You need to understand that you are representing the Insurance Company, and in most cases, you will be the only contact they have with the company. It is vital that the service you offer is professional in every aspect of the claim.
In any claim situation your objective is to restore the insured’s assets to a pre-loss condition as best you can given the parameters of their insurance agreement. Not all aspects of a claim are easily discernible, so you must be able to bring common sense, personal judgement and experience to the claim. Never underestimate the insured’s comprehension of the policy and their desire to get a settlement larger than allowed for.
Becoming an adjuster also requires you to be proficient in the estimating software the insurance company uses. Most use Xactimate. This will be the primary determining factor in your success. This can not be stressed enough! Practice, practice, practice. You must also master scoping the loss, policy evaluation, measuring and taking photos. A fundamental knowledge of construction will also be beneficial.
In this profession, insurance claims adjusters have a lot of latitude over many situations. Abuse of this authority in the way of bribes or kickbacks is strongly prohibited. Nothing will end your career faster than this sort of violation. Integrity is crucial, and a good reputation will serve you well.
Understand that every disaster and every claim will bring their own set of challenges. You are going to have computer problems, software issues, wi-fi difficulties, power outages, downed cell towers and road closures. Also be ready for adverse weather conditions, abusive customers, language barriers and hotels at 100% capacity. Many times you are going to feel completely overwhelmed. Needless to say, the ability to ‘adapt and overcome’ is rather important. Remember, if just anyone could do this they wouldn’t need you. Becoming an adjuster means keeping a positive attitude and embrace the mayhem. Don’t forget you are getting compensated extremely well to make it happen!
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Becoming an Adjuster