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Avoid These 3 Simple Mistakes New Adjusters Make

As the summer months go into the rear-view mirror and the stormy seasons of winter and spring arrive, the need for insurance claims adjusters rises. If you’re one of the new adjusters seeking to get a foothold during this time of the year, then there’s probably a burning question you’d like to have answered: “Which mistakes should I be avoiding?” 

The answer will probably seem simpler than you think, because the short answer, at least to me, is that new adjusters simply aren’t sure of themselves or the process they need to follow while on the job. I don’t blame new adjusters, and I know that everyone has been at that point because there are some things that just have to be figured out along the way. 

When it comes to insurance claims adjusting though, there are some things that new adjusters should try to avoid. To help new adjusters feel better prepared for their new role while positioning themselves for real success over time, I’ve decided to spend a little time going over a few areas that seem to create more than a few headaches for beginners. 

Keep in mind that while it is easy to BECOME a licensed adjuster, achieving true success in the field will depend on how many claims you are closing successfully.  

Be Prepared to Write (A Lot)

A big misconception most people have when entering the insurance claims industry is that most of the work will be in inspections. The reality is, though, that more than half of the work (and the most difficult work) will be in the estimate writing. I cannot put enough emphasis on how big of an impact it can make to be properly prepared for the writing aspects of being a claims adjuster. 

To put it in practical terms, being able to write multiple claims in a short time is much more productive than a single claim written during that same time. In addition to potentially earning more money, you are also making yourself a more valuable resource to your employer, which will translate into more opportunities to write claims in the future. 

Keep in mind, though, that trying to learn on the fly during a big deployment after a storm is typically a bad approach. Instead of taking time away from your colleagues during a busy period, your best option is to practice ahead of time as much as possible so that you understand the basics. Once you’ve got the core process down comfortably, you can work on mastering small tricks that can speed up your writing even further down the road. 

Stick to an Organized System

Spending the time as early as possible to establish an organized system for your claims adjustment process is very important. Whether you’re dealing with a single claim or a whole neighborhood at once, attention to detail is incredibly important. Closing claims means making sure that everything has been handled the right way, and missing even small steps can be a headache to deal with later on. If nothing else, you’ll be spending extra time and effort to correct your mistakes. Trust me on this one. 

One of the toughest things to deal with is the stress of trying to complete multiple claims in a short amount of time. Instead of feeling rushed, though, it is important to stick to an organized process. The speed you’re after will come through practice and with confidence. If you try to rush yourself through multiple claims without a lot of experience, the chances are high you’ll make a costly mistake somewhere along the way. 

Stay Calm When Things Are Tough

One of the hardest challenges of learning to be an insurance claims adjuster is actually figuring out how to handle the workload successfully during your first major deployment. While the opportunity for success is there, I cannot deny that there is a real need to be prepared to stay strong no matter how tough things get.  

To be a truly successful adjuster, you’ll need to be ready for some genuinely tough challenges, especially while you’re still learning how everything works and perfecting your process. With the right training and a solid-state of mind though, success can be within your grasp. 

The 6 Biggest Mistakes New Insurance Adjusters Make

When we started 2021 Training, it was in response to the lack of good, credible online adjuster training courses. There were some options available at the time, but we did not feel that they prepared new adjusters for the challenges they would face in the field. We believe that there is no such thing as being too prepared. That’s why we do everything we can to educate our students about the real-world problems they will face when they begin their careers as licensed insurance adjusters in Texas.

Not all students are so fortunate. Some have serious gaps in their education, while others might have felt rushed to finish their courses before they truly comprehended everything. Whatever the reason, here are 6 real world examples of mistakes new adjusters make – and what you can do to avoid them.

2021 Training: Real Training by Real Adjusters

If you’re looking for more advice on how to achieve success in this industry, then don’t hesitate to reach out to me and my team at 2021 Training. With years of experience and a passion for the work itself, I’m always ready to share information on the best ways to find success.

The 6 Biggest Mistakes New Adjusters Make

1.) Overworking During a Deployment

Deployments can be chaotic. Adjusters get dropped in the middle of a disaster zone where every claim is urgent and there is often little to no oversight. It can be a lot for a newcomer to handle. Many are tempted to work as many simultaneous claims as they can, which can lead to stress, frustration and premature burnout. We recommend newcomers start with just two claims a day.
It doesn’t sound like much, but consider all the steps involved in inspection: mapping, contacting witnesses and parties involved, scheduling interviews, gathering evidence and writing reports. To do the job well, especially when you are just beginning, you need to organize your time and be thorough. Punctuality is a must in this industry, so if you know you will miss a deadline, tell your IA firm as soon as you can.

Not Knowing Who to Ask

When you’re training to become an insurance adjuster, it’s important to make connections along the way. Find someone with real-world adjuster experience who can answer the questions you haven’t been able to answer through your own research. At 2021 Training, our instructors have real experience on deployments to natural disaster sites, and they are always willing to answer your questions and provide some mentoring. You will have the same instructor throughout your course, so you will get the chance to establish a rapport. Hang on to their contact information after you get your license.

Not Taking Enough Photos

It is much better to have more photos than you need than to realize you don’t have enough. You don’t have to use them all, but do take a lot. Successful adjusters come up with a system, like photographing the interior of a home before looking for damage outside. This routine helps them avoid skipping over important parts of the site. Pros recommend taking exterior shots horizontally and indoor shots vertically to show the structure from floor to ceiling.

Not Being Prepared for Estimate Writing

Estimate writing is likely what you’ll be doing most of the time as an insurance adjuster. If you’re not proficient with industry software, you will be at a serious disadvantage in the field. The more claims you can complete, the more money you will make – and the more valuable you will be to your employer.

To write estimates efficiently, you need to know how to use Xactimate. It’s the program used by most insurance adjusters these days. Our online training includes a course in Xactimate that will give you a solid base knowledge of the program. The course is delivered online and you can begin immediately.

Not Having a System in Place

It can be daunting to try and manage your workload as a new adjuster, especially if you’ve never had to manage your own schedule before. Experience will teach you how much time you need to investigate and write up an estimate for a claim. Until then, you need to get and stay organized. Be careful not to over schedule yourself. It’s better to go slower and finish your claims on time than to overwork yourself and miss deadlines.

Giving Up

Insurance adjusting can be a lucrative job, but it’s not a get-rich-quick type of deal. It takes time to get through the training, get your license, find employment, and put together an organizational system. You won’t be operating at maximum efficiency right from the start, so you might not see the returns you were hoping for right away.
Add to this the stress of catastrophe deployments, and it’s no wonder some adjusters run back to a regular job before their career has the chance to take off. It will be hard at times, but with a solid training curriculum under your belt and a network of people to answer your questions, you can absolutely rise to the challenge.


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