The Prospective Adjuster’s Checklist: 10 questions to answer before you commit to a career as an independent insurance claims adjuster – Adjust U

Who wants to be an independent insurance claims adjuster say yeah!

So you want to become an independent insurance claims adjuster? But why? How do you determine whether claims adjusting is your best career path? It’s a great career path, but is it your best choice?

I have often called independent insurance claims adjusting “the accidental career.” Why? Most independent claims adjusters I have met over the past 20 years did not have claim adjusting on their short list of career choices when preparing to enter the workforce. I have met former preachers, plumbers, politicians, doctors, builders, roofers, nurses…you name it. The key is the word “former.” Most of us independent adjusters were something else before we became independent adjusters. If this is your case, be heartened. If you are the rare bird launching your initial career, congratulations! You are getting a head start. However, if you are like me and tens of thousands of other adjusters and are “changing horses in the middle of the stream,” be encouraged. The experience you bring with you will be invaluable.

Regardless of how you got here, you are likely here because someone influenced or encouraged you. Perhaps you know someone who made a ton of money as an adjuster working a hurricane or hailstorm. That’s cool. Does that mean you will? Maybe.

The prospective adjuster checklist

First, you must decide if claims adjusting is for you. But how can you tell? Some will say you won’t know until you do it. There is some truth in that. It is also true that you can evaluate certain indicators. Below is a checklist to help you evaluate adjusting as a solid career choice.

  1. Am I willing to work hard to achieve my goals? Hollywood mogul and Polish immigrant Samuel Goldwyn said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Claims adjusting can be good money; it is not “easy money.”
  2. Am I good with people? People skills are at the top of my list for what makes a good adjuster. Remember an insurance claim is also called “a loss.” You are dealing with people who have suffered losses. Your ability to establish a rapport with the insured will help ensure your success as their adjuster.
    Moreover, claims adjusting is a team effort. You will deal with managers, admins, file reviewers, contractors, and sometimes public adjusters or attorneys. People skills matter.
  3. Am I teachable? The problem with the one who knows everything is that they can’t learn anything.
  4. Do I thrive in a fast-paced, stressful environment? Storms bring losses. Losses bring stress. So does the relative Department of Insurance, the insurance company you represent, and the IA firm you work for. Time is of the essence. You will hear the term “cycle times” again and again. Why? Because the only good claim is a settled claim. The longer a claim lingers, the more stressful and complicated it becomes. Time is money. Time is of the essence. The clock is ticking. All the cliches are true.
  5. How do I respond to change? Change is about the only constant in this business. As technology evolves, as laws and the rules of the game change, so do the adjuster’s role and responsibilities. We can debate which changes are for the better but there is no debate that change is inevitable. An adjuster has to have the mentality of the United States Marine, “IMPROVISE, ADAPT, OVERCOME, THEN ADAPT AGAIN.”
  6. How are my communication skills? I recently posted this to LinkedIn: “Vaguery creates chaos. Be clear. Be concise. Be specific.” Written and oral communication are key to the adjuster’s success. If you fail to communicate clearly, completely, honestly, and with empathy, you will experience unnecessary difficulty. Bad manners, poor grammar, slouchy posture, being too familiar or stiff…you can see little traps everywhere for the person lacking in this area. The good thing is this: you can improve. Communication skills can be learned, honed, refined, and improved.
  7. What do I know about construction and what do I need to learn? I have wonderful news! You do not need a construction background to excel as an adjuster. Knowing the basics is a boon but this is something you can learn. What do you know? What do you need to know? Where will you learn it? Contact us at Adjust U or check out our class schedule. We can help.
  8. Am I able to learn and utilize technology? Emerging technology is changing insurance claims handling. More things are automated. More solutions are cloud-based. AI is bound to be a player in these changes. If laptops frighten you, if the Internet is an uncomfortable place for you, or if learning new software overwhelms you, adjusting may not be your best option.
  9. Am I willing to learn before I earn? The launch is often the hardest part of becoming an independent claims adjuster. Seneca, a Roman philosopher and Senator in the glory days of the Roman Empire, famously said, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Abraham Lincoln said, “If you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I will spend the first four sharpening my axe.” Preparing yourself for success is part and parcel of experiencing success. During the preparation stage, you will be required to invest time and resources into your preparation. Can you afford to invest in yourself today to ensure success when an opportunity arises? Better question: can you afford not to?
  10. Am I willing and able to commit to a proper education? The effectiveness of your preparation is directly related to the quality of your education. We recognized a need for adjuster education that builds a firm foundation for the new adjuster’s success and expands the knowledge base and skillset for all adjusters regardless of experience, so in 2020, we established Adjust U. Today, we are leading the way in training a new generation of adjusters. You may wonder if it is possible to bypass the educational phase and jump right into adjusting. Yes, it is possible. It is not advisable. They call learning by experience “learning it the hard way” for a reason. The money you save by not investing in your education you will lose in mistakes, inefficiencies, and learning curves. It costs much more to deploy unprepared than to prepare for deployment by investing in yourself. Call us today at (833) 938-4545. Let’s talk about the right path to get where you want to be – into the wonderful, lucrative world of insurance claims adjusting.

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