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-site loss investigation.
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 additional training, in addition to the license, they can get. be necessary to obtain a job. The simple answer to that question is often ‘none’.
Insurance companies and adjusters have extensive internal training programs for new hires. Training typically includes classes on claims software and claims handling procedures. Therefore, someone considering entering this field for the first time should be careful about spending money on Xactimate or other claims training classes offered by independent providers.
Florida has recently seen trainers from other states, particularly Texas, offering classes that can cost anywhere from $500 to $1000 for pre-licensing and software training. Unfortunately, many companies do not use software that students will pay for. Additionally, some of the courses are advertised as accredited for Continuing Education of Adjusters.
NOTE: A Florida resident may not receive Adjuster Continuing Education credits prior to becoming licensed as a claims adjuster. Also, 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 unlocks 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’s adjuster license. This license is only available to employees of insurance companies.
The 3-20 All Lines license is the public adjuster license. A Public Adjuster represents homeowners against insurance companies. Effective January 1, 2009, all PA candidates must complete a 12-month apprenticeship under the direction of a licensed public adjuster prior to taking the state licensing exam.
Licenses for all 5-20 and 6-20 lines are available without taking the state ‘designation’ license test. 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 kind of work experience are insurance companies looking for when they hire adjusters?
The type of work experience that insurance or adjusting companies are looking for depends on the type of adjuster that is hired.
If a business is hiring catastrophe adjusters, typically those with auto body or construction experience will 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 certified for flooding 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, please read ‘Catastrophe Adjuster Training’ on Ezine.
If a business is hiring an in-house adjuster to receive and process claims, prior experience is often not required. This is a customer service oriented job, so good communication skills are a must. The company will provide you with 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, training in negotiation, engineering or mechanical trades, and a financial background.
In short, to become a Florida claims adjuster, you must obtain a license. Be very careful before spending extra money on independent and external training courses!