Adjusting 101

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So, you want to become an adjuster? Adjusting can be a very rewarding career – and it can either be a part-time or a full-time occupation. So, before you spend a lot of time, effort, and money you need to make sure that adjusting will be a good fit for you.
There are a lot of components that go into making a good adjuster – but there is one that trounces all the others, and that is customer service. Our mission is to assist insureds in time of need, and it takes empathy and patience to help insureds through the claims process. If you do not possess those two character traits then adjusting is probably not for you. If these characteristics describe you then maybe adjusting is the right career for you. Read On!

We have made clear that the most important trait of a successful adjuster is customer service, so what are the other traits that make a successful adjuster- They are as follows:

1. Customer Service
2. Understanding Policy
3. Understanding Estimating Software
4. Understanding Construction
5. Organization/Documentation Skills

We will briefly discuss each of the above traits:

  • Customer Service – Most people never file a claim in their life- so when an insured fields a claim, it is usually their first. Most insureds have no idea about the claims process, and it is the adjuster’s job to explain the process to the insured and make sure they are comfortable and understand every step of the claims process. Adjusters frequently use terms such as Depreciation, ACV, RCV, etc. It is part of an insurance adjuster’s job to take the time to explain insurance terminology to the insured, so they can have a complete understanding of their claim.
  • Understanding Policy – Understanding a policy is what makes an adjuster different than a contractor. An adjuster not only writes for the damage but must also apply his or her estimate to the policy to make sure it is covered.
  • Understanding Estimating Software – When I first got into the business n 2005 one of the first sayings I heard was “If you don’t get on the technology train you will be left behind” The estimating programs of today are not what they were even five years ago. Xactimate has been the downfall of many adjusters who have walked before you. Master it and you will be among an elite.
  • Understanding Construction – Having an understanding is extremely helpful when estimating the repairs of either a residential property, Commercial Property, or Auto. If you have any kind of hands-on construction experience you already have a leg up in this business.  You have a skill that cannot be taught in the classroom. Xactimate, Google, YouTube, and other technology can help us along the way but hands-on experience in construction is extremely valuable as an adjuster.
  • Organization and Documentation Skills – Two sayings apply to this principle:
    • If you do not put it in writing it never happened;
    • Before you put in any note always mentally start the note off in your head with the Phrase “Dear Judge”.