What Independent Adjusters Need to Know Before Contacting Independent Adjusting Firms January 4, 2023 by Chris Stanley What do independent adjusters need to know before contacting independent adjusting firms for work?Most independent adjusters aren’t sure who to contact and are looking for a list of independent adjusting firms (like the one we provide) that may give them work, before they even know how to do the job.Now that you are armed with a massive list of companies to contact, what should you know before you contact independent adjusting firms?That is what we are going to talk about.Having an Adjuster Licensing Isn’t EnoughSo many new independent adjuster dreams are crushed when they begin contacting independent adjusting firms because they think if they get an adjusters license they’ll suddenly be rich.IA firms will come and thank them for their sacrifice and stuff thousands of dollars into their pockets.As laughable as this sounds, this is the mindset of over 50% of new adjusters.Getting a good license is a great first step, but it’s just one step to becoming a successful independent adjuster.Adjuster pre-licensing doesn’t teach you much about how to actually do the job. It’s a required test by the state, but it doesn’t fill in the Grand Canyon practical knowledge gap you face.You Don’t Need an Adjuster License to Get WorkDespite all the misinformation online, you don’t have to have an adjuster license to get work.People in our industry either genuinely don’t know or are over generalizing how to get work as an IA.16 States don’t even require an adjuster’s license to handle any claim types.Or if looking to handle auto claims only a handful of states require that you even have a license to handle auto damage claims.Even states like Florida and Texas you DON’T have to have a license to handle daily auto claims.Reason? Because you’ll be working as an auto damage appraiser. Difference between an adjuster and an appraiser is the appraiser writes an estimate, the adjuster writes the check.Of course, getting an adjuster license is recommended to have more options in your career, but even if you don’t have one you can get other types of work handling property claims or auto.Carrier Certifications Don’t Mean You Know How to Do the JobCarrier certifications, like the State Farm Certification, serve an important role in our industry.They determine if you understand the unique way that an insurance carriercarrier wants you to handle their claims based on their guidelines and policies.policies. Once you earn the certification you are able to handle claims for that carrier, in theory.Without that certification you can’t handle a carrier’s claims, but if you don’t have other certifications showing you actually know how to do the job of an independent adjuster, you are unlikely to get work!The carrier certifications are not a skills test, it’s about their policy. Many IA’s think “I’m State Farm certified, that proves I’m ready to work.”WRONG.It means you took an easy one day test after being fed the answers about their policy and every IA Firm knows this.We as IA’s need to do some honest assessment of ourselves. If someone handed you a an insurance claim, would you know how to handle it?If not, you’ve got more training and adjuster certifications to complete!You Are a BusinessMany opportunities in our industry are to hire you as a 1099 contractor.You aren’t getting a job; you are being hired as a specialist for an assignment. (or multiple assignments) The assumption is that you actually know how to do the job.You don’t expect the landscaper you hired to come to you and say, “Hey I know you hired me to make you a beautiful garden, can you show me how to do it?”Neither do the IA Firms expect you to show up knowing nothing.Certain IA Firms do have adjuster training programs that will help you get prepped, but my caution with those trainings are that the only company that will recognize you’ve received training… is the IA Firm that provided it.Use the IA Firm’s training as additional resources and an adjuster networking opportunity, but I’d hate to show up to my networking opportunity only to be found out I didn’t know how to do the job.Show up knowing how to do the job and use it as a showcase to prove you are ready.You Need to Be Registered as a CompanyFor the 1099 opportunities, you’ll need to have at least an LLC, ein, and business bank account set up so before contacting independent adjusting firms or you are ready to accept claims as a 1099 contractor.IA Firms that hire contractors cannot give you claims as an individual, you must be set up as a business.There are opportunities where independent adjusting firms hire you as a W2 employee. These are typically opportunities where you are working as a catastrophic adjuster or on a desk deployment working 10-12hrs a day 6 days a week.Have Your Coverage Area and Claim Type Determined PRIOR to Contacting ThemIA Firms may ask you on their portal, or when they onboard you, about what areas you are willing to cover.Have a list of coverage zip codes ready that you are willing to handle around your area. There are some great tools online for grabbing your coverage area and zip codes quickly.Decide if you are interested in handling auto, property, desk, heavy equipment, liability, etc claims.Are you willing to deploy to another area for months working catastrophic claims?Or are you looking to only handle daily claims in your area?Willing to sit in a cubicle for 10-12hrs a day for months at a time?All of this will help you answer the questions they’ll ask you prior to contacting them.Have a Simple Adjuster Resume ReadyJohn Bachmann and I have an entire book dedicated to this topic called the Adjuster’s Resume Playbook, where we interviewed hiring managers for IA Firms and companies and asked them what a good adjuster resume looked like.I’ll give you some quick highlights.Think of your resume as an advertisement1 page resumeNO images or graphicsMake it clean and free of mistakesTalk to how you fill the needs and requirements of the position you are applying forBe honestGrab the Adjuster’s Resume Playbook if you need practical help, but you need to have an up to date resume ready.Be Honest About Your Experience & SkillsI said it in the resume section, but you’ve got to be honest about your experience, ability, and skills.Mathew Allen of AdjusterTV and I have talked with dozens of IA Firms and they all would love for you to be experienced and have boat loads of experience, but even if you are new they NEED to know where you are at in your skillset.Lying might get you in the door and then thrown out and a permanent lock being put on it.If they know the truth they can find opportunities that match your experience level and don’t make you look bad when you are called.Being Added to a Roster Doesn’t Mean You’ll Get WorkWhen a company adds you to their roster, it is just being added to a list/database of adjusters.You are now on a list of people with thousands of others that they may contact with an opportunity if they get down to you on the list.Don’t quit your job because someone wants to bring you into an orientation, you are an independent so it’s just getting you read “just in case” they need you in the event of a catastrophe.Work is Likely Months AwayIf you don’t have any work experience or serious certifications under your belt work is likely months away.Especially if you are contacting catastrophic independent adjusting firms you are most likely to see work as a new person after a series of major hail storms, floods, or a hurricane.If you are pursuing daily auto damage claims and you are auto damage certified, you can get work in days. The work is always there because cars are always hitting each other.Just understand the difference, and how demand plays a role in you getting work.So don’t expect the IA Firm to call you next week just because you talked with a recruiter. You are building a business and each IA Firm is a lead.Your job is to develop that lead into paying customer in the future.Be patient and professional.Begging for work is not the way to get work. Making yourself valuable is how you get work.Alright I hope that helps give you some things to think about.If you need more help to become a successful independent adjuster, you can check out the Independent Adjuster’s Playbook or join the IA Path Digital Adjuster Mentorship, Community, and Help Room.