One of the most common questions I am asked as an experienced claims adjuster is: “How do I become an adjuster myself?” Surprisingly, it isn’t just family and friends asking this kind of question regularly. Sometimes, insured people even ask me after I process their claims. At 2021 training in Plano, TX my team and I have spent years working with talented individuals to give them the knowledge and skills they need to achieve success in the insurance claims adjusting industry.
To help ambitious potential adjusters out there, I have decided to spend some time sharing important information on how to become an insurance claims adjuster. Many people think the path to success as an independent adjuster is challenging and frustrating, but the truth is that with hard work and the right support from me and my team, you can get started sooner than you realize.
Start by Deciding You Have What It Takes
Claims don’t depend on the economy like many other professions. As long as there are insurance companies, there are claims that need adjustment, which makes it a very stable path towards a successful career. Being a claims adjuster is surprisingly easy to break into for newcomers and has huge potential. There are many entry positions to choose from and an almost unlimited variety of career paths involving claims. Independent adjusters can sometimes have a harder time breaking into the field without having experience with claims.
Adjusting claims means helping people in difficult situations, which can often make it a very rewarding experience. That said, this is not for everyone. Sometimes being an adjuster can be very demanding and even stressful. For example, a career as an independent or catastrophe adjuster can be difficult physically and mentally.
You must be able to climb ladders comfortably and work in unstable conditions. It also requires serious discipline, a good work ethic, and a lot of self-management. A claims adjuster will often need to expect to cover all their own costs, including equipment, travel, transportation, and accommodation. Financial discipline is the key: You need to plan your money well to get through the slow phase when you are not in business.
What Kind of Skills Do I Need?
Larger insurance companies will typically prefer hiring adjusters with an associate or bachelor’s degree, but that doesn’t mean this level of education is always going to be required. Some colleges and universities offer industry specializations, such as an associate degree in insurance services or a bachelor’s degree in risk assessment and insurance.
The following professional skills are also important:
- Analytical and mathematics skills – Having a strong knowledge of math and analysis techniques can go a long way towards making sure your experience as a claims adjuster isn’t a crash course in numbers, spreadsheets, and calculations.
- Word processing experience – Many claims adjusters underestimate how important it can be to have confidence and experience with typing. Because of how many forms and documents need to be taken care of, knowing your way around a keyboard can make life as a claims adjuster much less stressful.
- Software knowledge – You need to know how to navigate through appraisal software and other industry applications. Xactimate® is the most popular software available today, and it is used by 60 percent of insurance claims adjusters. Anyone who takes a licensing or basic examination for property insurance adjustments must also take the Xactimate course. For field adjusters, being technical enough to do all this from a mobile office is important.
- Above-average working mentality – Insurance companies need motivated people with high integrity. Hours can be long and going above and beyond is practically expected. You must be willing to travel frequently to new locations and work at night and on weekends. For some jobs, such as disaster relief, internships (trips abroad) are common and can take you away home for a long time.
- Professional communication skills – Professional claims adjusting is about customer service and you often must work with people who are very stressed out. Listening and communicating with patience is very important. There will be conflict! Sometimes losses are taken care of, sometimes not. It is always important to focus on defusing a heated situation.
Work with 2021 Training in Plano, TX
When it comes to starting out in a new career, it is never a good idea to try and reinvent the wheel. Instead of getting stuck or making mistakes that could have easily been avoided, don’t hesitate to contact 2021 Training today. As an experienced claims adjuster, I’ve spent years sharing the knowledge I’ve gained from deployments with members of the community so that they can start making fresh, positive changes in their own lives!