The Insurance Institute of America (IIA)
The Insurance Institute of America (IIA) was formed in 1909. They combined operations with the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters in 1953. In 1998, the Insurance Research Council becomes a division of the Insurance Institute of America. They simply became known as The Institutes as of 2009.
They have a long standing history in the insurance industry and are regarded as a standard for designations for insurance professionals.
The main designation for an insurance adjuster is AIC or Associate in Claims.
This designation will most likely take you several years to complete. You should look at this as the equivalent to getting an MBA in business. It is not a small investment in time or money, but if you are climbing the corporate ladder, these designations are well recognized and respected by corporate America.
Does a catastrophe adjusting company care about the AIC?
One of the questions new adjusters continue to ask over and over is “What designations and certifications do I need?”. The quick answer for the independent claim adjuster is none. The real answer is a few.
The main thing you need to prove as a new insurance adjuster is competency. Pieces of paper usually don’t impress the CAT companies as much as your work ethic and work product. So lets bring this back to the AIC. The honest answer is that they really don’t care if their good adjusters have this designation or not. Those that I’ve talked to continue to say over and over again that they need competent people. It’s up to us to determine the best way to show that competency though. The perfectionist tends to look for certifications and designations. But the real truth is, they want to see someone who is ambitious, willing to work, and understands the basics. They are more than happy to help you grow, but they need to know they are investing in a long-term asset.
So where does the Insurance Institute fit into our industry?
Corporate America is the logical answer. I will say that as an independent adjuster, when a company sees this designation, they understand the effort you made to get it. As a staff insurance adjuster, these designations will assist you in getting promotions and moving up the corporate ladder. As always though, they are never a replacement for good work ethic and quality work product.
I always recommend The Insurance Institute for those walking into a corporate career. Their training is considered essential and relevant to our industry. As in independent insurance adjuster, I never discourage going to the Insurance Institute, but always recommend that you concentrate on getting experience and learning tools such as Xactimate extremely well before you head down the road of getting your Associate in Claims (AIC).