Insurance Adjuster – How Much Money Does a Claims Adjuster Make?
How much insurance claims adjusters can make per annum is the subject of considerable interest and speculation to those interested in a career in claims. As unstable weather continues into the fall, and the Atlantic hurricane season reaches its stride, its important to correctly understand the financial landscape of the adjuster industry.
What Does a Public Adjuster Do?
When damage, such as mold infestation or flooding, occurs in a home, the owner must call their insurance company to report the claim. Then the insurance company will create a claim, and an adjuster representing the company will go to the home to investigate the loss and, if deemed necessary, offer a settlement.
Keep in mind that a company adjuster or ‘Staff adjuster’ works directly for your insurance company. The company insurance adjuster does everything they can to try and pay out as little as possible for your claim, preserving the company’s bottom line.
Even an ‘Independent adjuster’ is that in name only. Independent adjusters are contractors who work for and are paid for by any number of insurance companies. The bottom line is that they represent their employers, and in the end, they have only the insurance company’s interests at stake.
When you suffer a property loss, you don’t want to have an adjuster who only works for the insurance company. You need an adjuster who works for you. As a policyholder, you should have equal representation. Bringing in a public adjuster early in the process to handle the matter can provide you a better opportunity at a fair settlement for their losses.
A public adjuster works directly for you, the policy owner. Many homeowners hire a public adjuster to document, expedite a claim, and engage the insurance company directly on behalf of the policy owner. Through a public insurance adjuster, the insured can often recover a higher settlement than they would otherwise have been awarded, allowing for a faster and more complete restoration of the damage.
Public insurance adjuster services include:
* Evaluating existing insurance policies to determine what claim coverage is applicable.
* Researching and reporting the overall damage.
* Determining the values of covered losses.
* Negotiating settlements with the insurance company on behalf of the insured.
* Recommending future improvements on the insured’s policy.
* Re-opening claims and renegotiating damages if discrepancies are discovered after the claim is settled.
Public adjusters can usually recover more than a homeowner than they would normally be able to secure on their own. The fees for our service are percentage of your recovery – and we only collect if we are able to get your insurance company to pay you for your damages.
It just makes sense to use a public adjuster. You won’t need to handle the claim, and because the recoveries are generally more than you would recover yourself, having an adjuster on your side can more than pay for itself.
How to Become an Independent Insurance Adjuster
Many people ask me how to become an insurance adjuster. The first retort is always this, “What kind of adjuster do you want to be?” Insurance adjusting is one of those rare fields where your success is fueled by your motivation. There are no degrees required and you are tossed into a crowd of people who THINK they want to be adjusters.
There are many fields related to adjusting. Look around you. Almost
everything you see which has value is insured by someone–houses, commercial buildings, cars and boats are all covered by insurance. Most people who enter the field of insurance adjusting start out as independent adjuster. Independent adjusters are sometimes referred to as CAT(catastrophe) adjusters. These are the adjusters who go out when a hailstorm covers a large populated area and help the insurance companies meet the strict time frames of responding to a claim. Independent adjusters only work on an as need basis for these firms. Hailstorms and hurricanes are the most popular types of storms that they are called in on.
The mechanics of becoming an adjuster are quite simple. In most states such as Texas there is a pre-licensing class that you can attend and at the end you will take a test. When it is passed, you receive a certificate. Submit this certificate to the state with their application and within a few weeks, you can become an adjuster.
But so what. You took a class and passed a simple test. So did a bunch of other people. Even though it got you a license, it hardly makes you a qualified adjuster. Here is where your motivation comes to play. Adjusters have a unique role of making everyone happy. You serve the insurer and the insured. You are required to make judgment calls for both parties. You are required to manage yourself and expenses as a business. You are required to understand construction of what you are adjusting. You need to be able to read policies and explain them to insureds. Now this may all seem daunting, but it becomes very natural with time.
So here is the point. I’m guessing that one out of ten adjusters who get their license go on to become adjusters. They all send out resumes and they all get on a few rosters, but when it comes time to work, only a few will actually do it. Why? Everyone has excuses. I’m sure you could make up a few if needed.
Are you motivated? It’s easy to say “yes”, but are you being honest and letting your actions show it? The life of an insurance adjuster is extremely fulfilling and financially rewarding, but you need to be self-motivated to take advantage of the opportunity available to you. I always look at those who start and wonder if they have what it takes to do it. The sad part is that everyone CAN if they only could find a way to motivate themselves. The reason people aren’t successful in this career has nothing to do with their ability to master skills. It has everything to do with their ability to get out there and try.
Companies will invest in adjusters who are giving full effort and are treating this as a job and not just a hobby. As you can imagine, it is frustrating for many of these companies to have so many on their rosters saying they are ready to go only to find out that 30% actually say “yes” when it’s time. Looking at the 30% who show up, only 50% of those are truly prepared. Now I’m making these numbers up, but I’m trying to get you to understand that the only limiting factor is YOU. Don’t let the failure of others and their lack of motivation influence or affect you. You are in charge of what opportunities are in front of you. Make the most of them and you will understand why insurance adjusters love their jobs.