How to Become a Public Insurance Adjuster
What Does It Take to Become A Public Insurance Adjuster?
People who want to become public insurance adjusters don’t need a lot of qualifications. First, they need to have some practical knowledge of how the insurance industry works and how insurance companies calculate settlements.
Secondly, they need a license to operate in their chosen region or state. And finally, they need a bachelor’s degree, preferably one that is related to the insurance industry.
So if you’re wondering how people become public insurance adjusters then the following information will tell you what you need to know.
In theory, just about anyone with a bachelor’s degree could become a public adjuster. In reality, though, it’s a little more complicated than that.
A public adjuster’s expertise are determined by the amount of time that he or she has spent in the insurance industry, and that means working for an insurance company.
Public adjusters are usually ex-employees of insurance companies, and because most insurance companies only hire candidates who have college degrees, it follows that most public adjusters are also college graduates.
In fact, most public adjusters used to work as private adjusters for insurance companies, so they already know how the system works and how it can be turned to benefit their own clients.
However, most insurance companies often have strenuous requirements when it comes to hiring personnel. So most public adjusters already possess certain qualifications even before they enter the insurance industry.
For example, some may have accountancy backgrounds, while others may specialize in research and analysis.
There are also plenty of public adjusters who have legal or technical backgrounds. Some public adjusters, for example, have backgrounds in home repair and restoration, while others may specialize in insurance law.
The important point here is that almost all public adjusters have extensive educational and academic expertise by the time they get their licenses.
Aside from working in the insurance industry, most public adjusters have also undergone additional training at some point in their professional careers. Some are trained on financial loss calculation, while others are trained to read/interpret financial records.
More experienced public adjusters are also trained to assess damaged properties. Like home repair and restoration companies, they can accurately assess how much money it will cost to repair a damaged home or building.
And depending on their work experiences, some public adjusters can also act as advisers to businesses and large organizations with regards to insurance-related matters.
Finally, some public adjusters are also trained to deal with legal matters, particularly those which block or undermine insurance claims. These additional skills and training allow public adjusters to help clients whose claims are being challenged on legal or technical grounds.
Licensing requirements for public adjusters varies from state to state. Some states, for example, have reciprocity agreements, while others require public adjusters to complete a licensing exam or training program.
There are also certain states that require public adjusters to have a certain amount of work experience in the insurance industry. These states may also require public adjusters to complete an exam or finish a short course work before they are allowed to practice their profession within the state’s jurisdiction.
Most public adjusters receive additional training while working for insurance or private adjuster companies. These training courses usually cover a wide range of topics and activities, including:
- Claim Review – Public adjusters are trained to review their clients’ policies and examine the technical details. This allows the adjusters to identify opportunities and barriers that could help or hinder their clients’ claims.
- Claim Preparation – Public adjusters are taught to streamline the claim process by presenting their clients’ claims in a way that ignores most technical and legal barriers.
- Negotiation – Public adjusters are also trained to negotiate with most insurance companies.
- Collection – Public adjusters can also help their clients whenever their insurance companies attempt to delay or slow down the payment of their insurance claims.
- Client Meetings – And finally, public insurance adjusters are trained to speak with their clients. They are also trained to explain their findings to a layperson, and to create practical and well-thought-out options on how to secure the best settlements from their insurance companies.
National and Professional Organizations
Like most other professions, public adjusters also have their own organizations. The largest of these is the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA), but there are also plenty of small and local groups which cater to local public adjusters.
Although joining these groups is not a requirement for becoming a public adjuster, they offer many important benefits, particularly for inexperienced public adjusters.
For example, they can help inexperienced public adjusters to get the exposure they need. They can also help them to process their licenses as well as comply with local and state laws.
Finally, the NAPIA also helps ordinary people find public adjusters in their local areas, and they also provide news and resources to members who require additional resources and information.
Firms and Private Practices
Sooner or later, all public adjusters need to decide whether they want join a firm or start their own private practice. As in other professions, both options have their pros and cons.
Private practice allows public adjusters to choose their own clients and commission rates. They can also choose to specialize in a particular type of insurance claim, or take on clients that public adjuster firms tend to ignore. More importantly, private practice public adjusters control their time and commissions.
On the other hand, public adjusters with private practices often lack the resources and support staff to handle large insurance claims, nor are they as well equipped as public adjuster firms when it comes to negotiating with their clients’ insurance companies.
Private practice public adjusters also tend to handle smaller claims, so they may not be willing to take you on if you’re trying to get millions of dollars in damages.
So if you’re planning to hire a public adjuster, be sure to consider these issues before you make your decision.