A Claims Adjuster is someone who investigates insurance claims. Job duties include reviewing applicable documents such as insurance policies, receipts for lost or damaged property, interviewing claimants and witnesses, and an on-the-scene investigation of losses.
While the first step in becoming an insurance claims adjuster is to obtain a Florida All Lines License, those considering becoming an adjuster often have questions about what type of additional training, other than licensing, may be required to obtain a job. The simple answer to that question is often ‘none’.
Insurance and adjusting companies have extensive internal training programs for new hires. The training usually includes classes on claims software and claims handling procedures. Therefore, someone considering entering this field for the first time should be cautious about spending money on Xactimate or other claims training classes offered by independent providers.
Florida has recently seen trainers coming in from other states, particularly Texas, offering classes that can cost between $500-$1000 for pre-licensing and software training. Unfortunately, many companies do not use the software the students will pay for. In addition, some of the courses are advertised as accredited for Adjuster Continuing Education.
NOTE: A Florida resident cannot receive Adjuster Continuing Education credits before becoming licensed as a claims adjuster. In addition, the CE credits advertised are for Texas, not Florida!
The bottom-line is that prospective adjuster students should proceed very carefully before spending money on any training other than licensing. A Florida All Lines license is the key that opens the door to the adjuster job market.
What Type of All Lines Adjuster License Is Available?
The 5-20 All Lines license is the Independent adjuster license. This is the license that is available to a new applicant who is not employed by an insurance company.
The 6-20 All Lines license is the Company adjuster license. This license is only available to insurance company employees.
The 3-20 All Lines license is the Public adjuster license. A Public Adjuster represents property owners against insurance companies. As of January 1, 2009, all PA candidates must serve a 12 month apprenticeship under the direction of a licensed public adjuster before taking the state licensing exam.
The All Lines 5-20 and 6-20 licenses are available without taking the state licensing test by ‘designation’. The Accredited Claims Adjuster Designation is a course that exempts or excuses the student from the state test. For more information on the licensing designation Google ‘UCF Adjuster Licensing’ and review the information you find.
What Type of Work Experience Do Insurance Companies Look for When Hiring Adjusters?
The type of work experience that insurance or adjusting companies look for depends on the type of adjuster that is being hired.
If a company is hiring Catastrophe adjusters, typically those with construction or auto body experience are going to be first-in-line for the job. Catastrophe adjusters go to the scene of a hurricane, tornado and flood to adjust property claims. Often these adjusters are also flood certified by the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) and may have extensive training in other areas as well.
If you are interested in becoming a CAT Adjuster read ‘Catastrophe Adjuster Training’ on Ezine.
If a company is hiring an inside adjuster to take and process claims, often no prior experience is required. This is a customer service oriented job so good communication skills are a must. The company will give you substantial training when you are hired.
Other types of background that may be helpful in landing a job as an adjuster include paralegal training, business law courses, negotiation training, engineering or mechanical trades, and a financial background.
In summary, to become a Florida claims adjuster you must obtain a license. Be very careful before you spend any additional money on outside, independent training courses!