FINDING SUCCESS AS AN INDEPENDENT ADJUSTER
FFebruary 4, 2015
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I began my adjusting career in one of those movie-style semi-reckless moments, quitting my job and just venturing out into the unknown. It required learning new skills, meeting new people and venturing far outside my comfort zone.
So how did it work out for me? For starters, before IndieAdjuster.org, I was the operations manager for a large national adjusting firm overseeing hundreds of adjusters and millions of dollars worth of claim files. Before that, as an independent adjuster I was consistently being called back for deployment opportunities, daily claims and even had to turn work down.
Here is a sampling of what worked for me and how it will undoubtedly work for you as well:
Get to know people in the industry now!
One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was the power of a powerful network. Making it on your own is not an option in this busines. At least not easily. Start building your network before you start adjusting and if you’re already in the industry, start expanding now.
With sites like LinkedIn and other social networks, finding people with similar interests is incredibly easy, and free.
For those with an affinity for shaking hands, sign up for an adjuster conference or complete your continuing education in person. Make sure you grab business cards, ‘do lunch’ and keep in touch with these contacts, you never know when you might need to lean on them.
I once made an agreement with a company that I would waive all mileage just to give myself a competitive advantage. It worked, and I got the call… more than once. But you don’t have to give away money to be flexible, just think outside the box and be ready to solve the problem. There are a number of ways to make this work for you, including:
- letting claims managers know when you will be available for assignments outside your normal area
- take on all the urgent and cleanup assignments that you can
- take on lesser paying work to be considered for the good stuff
- answer phone calls and emails outside of normal business hours or just make yourself available
When you get the call for a new assignment, be ready to market your experience and service area, but it’s also vitally important to be honest when you don’t know how to do something or when your schedule is already full. Being transparent concerning your inexperience and your ability to get to the claim in a timely manner may not get you a claim today, but it will be remembered favorably.
I am certainly not suggesting that you shouldn’t take on work that will stretch your skills as an adjuster. By all means, take on challenging assignments and make the most of this experience. If it is clearly beyond your expertise, it’s usually wise just to pass.
Find a mentor, or better yet, find several
I have several different experienced adjusters that I can call on and trust their advisement concerning:
- policy interpretation
- construction knowledge
- Xactimate or technical questions
- complex liability and mediation questions
Plus, I always have someone available that can boost my confidence in a subject when I lack knowledge…an encourager.
Well, there you have it, while I have had a mild bit of success in the industry, none of it came easily. It took hard work, sacrifice and constant learning. It also took getting outside my comfort zone by meeting people and being honest with them about my experience. So, what kind of tips do you have for finding success as an independent adjuster? Share in the comments.