You’ve made the jump. You’ve made the decision to become an independent adjuster, gotten licensed, and you’re ready to work. Now what? This is where there seems to be a large gap in information; where becoming a licensed adjuster ends, and your career begins. We’re going to over how you can move yourself from waiting for that phone call for the next deployment to turning down deployments almost every day.
Step 1: You need to be on rosters for IA firms. If you’re not on their rosters, they’re not going to know that you exist. Our suggestion is, in the beginning, to concentrate on the signing up with the biggest firms first. Why would you limit yourself to just the biggest firms? Well there’s a couple of reasons:
- You’re most likely to get deployed. The larger firms have the highest demand from insurance carriers for independent adjusters. IA firms need to fill these orders from insurance companies, and are more likely to train you on the job than smaller firms.
- It’s time saving. Larger firms have the resources to invest in their adjuster portals. These portals are where you’ll be entering your information relative to your license, certifications, experience, uploading your resume, etc. Smaller firms usually have more rudimentary systems, which is fine, but it can be tedious hand entering every license and expiration date on every small adjuster firm site. On the bigger firm sites, you can usually enter your NPN and your licenses will populate to your profile automatically. Once you’ve worked for a bit, and know what and or where you prefer to be, go back to the smaller firms.
Step 2: Start training. The larger IA firms have extensive online training portals where you can learn a TON about being an adjuster. Modules can include Xactimate training, claim handling tips, tricks and how to be efficient, common weather related damage and repair methods, etc. There is so much you can learn and most of it is FREE. So you’re learning a ton, but how is this getting you noticed? IA staffing departments CAN SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING. They can see how often you’re logging into the portal. They can see you taking the initiative to learn, and that you’re taking the initiative on your own to develop your skills as an independent adjuster. If you put 2 adjusters side by side on paper, no experience, same licenses; Do you think the adjuster with more courses under their belt is going to get a deployment call, or the person that has only done the bare minimum?
Along with the IA firm online education, you should also take several NICTA courses (contact one of the IA firms for free access to these modules). A lot of deployments require several NICTA courses under your belt before you can start handling claims, ask the firms which course and knock them out.
Step 3: Make a great resume. Having a resume is important to getting into the filed as an independent adjuster. Even with no experience, you have experience that is relative to your now career; customer service is a huge component to this career. Being self motivated is a big deal. Highlight your previous experience that has these specific components.
While you’re at it, polish your Linkedin profile. Having a linkedin profile allows you to maintain professional contacts that you’re going to make on your journey to success, and to help you stay successful.
Step 4: Attend an in person training course. Attending a course with an IA firm is not only an excellent way to learn more about your new career, it’s a great way to put your best foot forward with the IA firm. It’s a job interview. Make no mistake, those trainers are teaching and looking for talent at the same time. Don’t show up looking like a bum, show up looking like your looking to succeed.
Step 5: Call IA firms. Calling IA firms can reap benefits, especially when you know there has been a large weather event. Huge hail storm in Chicago? That’s a great time to call and let them know you’re ready to roll. There are also storms and events that aren’t going to make the news, but will generate a deployment, so calling firms to check in is great too. What you do not want to do is call every day. Do not call more than once per week, and if you can get a hold of an email address, even better. Remember, the staffing people have a finite amount of time to fill deployments, they need to make calls to get people into the field on short notice. If you’re calling everyday, even if you’re the most polite, sweetest person out there, all you’re doing is distracting, and probably annoying, a busy staffing person. Slow and steady is how you win the race.
Here’s a great video from Matt Allen at AdjusterTV where he talks with IA firms about what they’re looking for in adjusters.