Frequently Asked Questions for Adjusters
Below are some FAQ's for adjusters. Review the questions and answers below and let us know if you have any other additional questions.
What options do I have if I want to be a property adjuster?
I'm interested in becoming a Florida adjuster. Which license do I need?
What's the difference between an Independent Adjuster (IA) and a Public Adjuster (PA)?
Which course(s) should I start with if I’m new to adjusting?
Do you have a suggested course outline for beginners?
What computer programs and knowledge are required for writing estimates?
Can I become an adjuster by taking your online courses?
If I take your courses will I be able to get a license?
As an adjuster where can I work and how can I go about getting a job?
There are two types of property adjusting: catastrophe claims and daily claims. Daily claims deal with common “day-to-day” home owner issues (pipe/water leaks, window breaks, tree falls on a house, etc). Catastrophe (CAT) claims deal with floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. CAT adjusters sometimes choose this concentration and then travel to different areas where catastrophe adjusters are needed. You can do one, or the other, or both depending on your time, schedule, and interests.
Also, keep in mind, that there is a big difference between commercial and residential adjusting. Generally, commercial property adjusters deal with bigger claims and have more industry experience.
Figuring out Florida's adjuster licensing scheme just got easier. Previously, there was the All Lines (5-20 and 6-20) licenses and a group of specialized licenses such as the 5-44 (Property and Casualty), 5-21 (Auto) and 5-24 (Workers Compensation). As of October 1st, 2012, these 'sub' categories will no longer be issued. Instead, Florida will only be issuing the 6-20 license. The Florida website still lists these specialized licenses as options, but, adjusters are ultimately pointed to the 6-20 All Lines licensing requirements.
The WeTrainAdjusters Florida PPIA Licensing and Designation course gives adjusters the quickest, most cost effective path to getting licensed. Our online course meets all of Florida's educational requirements and exempts students, who successfully complete the online training, from the State Exam.
The basic difference between an IA and PA is who the adjuster is working for. An Independent Adjuster is working for the insurance company. Their goal is to ensure that they get the information needed by the company to settle the claim. Public Adjusters work for the insured. Their goal is to help make sure that the insured receives the settlement they're entitled to under the terms of their policy.
In Florida, the requirements for the two positions are very different. For the most current information, visit the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Some of this depends on what type of adjusting you are interested in. Our courses currently concentrate on residential property adjusting. So, if that’s your interest then we have a number of courses to get you started. If you are interested in learning general information about the job, duties, and responsibilities I’d suggest you start with the course Introduction to Catastrophe Claims Adjusting. Even though it refers to Catastrophe adjusting in the title it is a good introduction for most anyone new to the job.
Below is the order in which we recommend taking the courses if you are new to property adjusting. You will have to consider any prior knowledge that would allow you to skip certain courses. Nonetheless, the list below is a layout of the courses assuming you know nothing. Tools of the Trade, Working with Digital Photos, and Residential Construction Basics can be taken in any order, but are optional depending on your knowledge. They include background information that’s important to claims adjusting and the insurance industry.
- Insurance Basics (optional)
- Adjuster Tools and the Digital World (optional)
- Residential Construction Basics (optional)
- Homeowners Policy Interpretation
- Claim File Components
- Property Adjusting 101
From there, if you want to concentrate on daily claims, you may need information on adjusting water losses. Our main course that address this need is:
Writing estimates is now typically done on a computer using an estimating application program. Therefore, in order to successfully write estimates you will need to learn the computer/software estimating packages that are used by the insurance company or adjusting firm with which you are working. The most popular estimating package is Xactimate. A couple of the other packages available are IntegriClaim and PowerClaim.
You can learn a lot of what is required to be a property adjuster by taking our online courses. If you're not currently licensed you can take our Florida PPIA Licensing and Designation course to obtain your Florida Adjusters license. We are not currently offering courses on the estimating package; therefore, that is another key area of training that you will have to address. If you are interested in catastrophe claims adjusting you can either get a temporary license which relates to a specific catastrophe (hurricane, tornado, flood, etc) or the standard adjuster's license. The temporary license will be good for a certain amount of time depending on the state and the catastrophe at hand. You should check the state web sites for state specific requirements.
If you want to adjust daily claims in a particular state you will be required to have a license for that state. Many states require adjusters to take an adjuster exam; however, there are some that don't require a state exam. Some states have reciprocity with other states, meaning that if you get a non-resident license in a particular state, you can then get a license in the state you’d like to work.
We work with HurriClaim Training and have state approval in Florida to offer the PPIA Licensing and Designation course. This will allow you to get the Florida General Lines adjuster's license without taking the state exam. Be sure to check all state requirements on the Web for state specific information.
As an adjuster you can work directly for an insurance company or for an independent adjusting firm. Or, you can work as an “independent” where you offer your adjusting services to an independent adjusting firm, who then is hired out by insurance companies. If you work for an insurance company they are typically willing to help you with your license exam/study courses, etc. Many people get some training/knowledge before applying to insurance companies, so you have “more to offer them”. You should consider your preference of either working for an insurance company or working as an independent or independent adjusting firm. Working for an insurance company gives you more stability of course, but may not offer you as much flexibility. There are many sites that list job opportunities for adjusters. You can use a search engine, such as Google, for more information on adjusting opportunities.