Introduction

Writing auto damage estimates can unlock new careers, freeing lifestyles, and earning potential that many people dream of but few ever have the chance to achieve.

Before learning to work insurance claims, for my entire “adult” life, I worked as a regular employee at a Target store and later at a Walmart Distribution center. When my father-in-law presented me with the opportunity to shadow him to learn the insurance claims business, I nearly balked and walked away…

I had never changed my own oil, didn’t know a thing about cars, and had no vision for the future. Thankfully, I decided to change my shift at work and learn how to be an auto damage appraiser. I didn’t know what that meant, but after six months of training, my father in law turned me loose on my own insurance claims, and now 11 years later, I look back and marvel at the journey I have had.

I’ve traveled the country, worked with companies like State Farm, USAA, numerous hail repair companies, and amazing individuals at body shops. I’ve worked with IA (independent adjuster) Firms, and other adjusters who can be found all over, from Florida up to New York, over to Colorado and most places in between. Through the training and mentorship I received from Mark, my father-in-law, in insurance claims, my life was given a breath of fresh air, and here eleven years later, I want to pass it on.

Mark, my father-in-law, was a painter, body man, and then a body shop manager before becoming an IA. I still call him to this day, and although I won’t give you his phone number, I want to give you what he taught me, plus what I’ve learned over the years in this business.

Thi­­­­­­s book is designed to be your MANUAL to writing auto damage claims as an adjuster and appraiser, but as an adjuster or appraiser, YOU must not treat this book like it is a prison. This book shouldn’t trap you from making decisions on your own, but rather this book serves as a mentor, suggesting how to handle a given situation. ONLY YOU are the adjuster and you ultimately make the final call.

I’ve done my best to not only write my best practices, guidelines, suggestions, and processes, but I have also sought the advice of various people in the business, auto body specialists and professionals from all walks of the industry, to bring you widely accepted “best practices”. Carrier and IA Firm guidelines you receive will ALWAYS trump the advice given here, but when you find yourself staring at a car, assignment, or screen and are unsure of what to do, just know, you have a book built upon the experience of industry experts here to help you.

This book is NOT a replacement for training, but a primer for someone who is new or a quick refresher to help you in a pinch. When you feel you need to phone a friend, I hope you’ll consider this book your go-to resource.  If you can’t find the answer in this book, I hope that you’ll head over to the IA Path Community, tapping into the massive amount of resources and people that are there to help you on your journey.

If you desire to be an independent adjuster or auto damage appraiser, THIS ENTIRE BOOK IS FOR YOU! If you want to become an auto body estimator or staff adjuster, this book will teach you about auto body estimates. To organize the information you need, I have broken the book into 3 primary sections, the Process, the Parts, and the Playbook.

Part 1: The Process
Here you will learn about the process of being an independent auto damage adjuster or appraiser. You will start at the very beginning, with receiving your first assignment, guiding you through the entire claim, even including how to handle a supplement to a claim.

Part 2: The Parts
This is where you will get a breakdown of the major components of vehicles, their names, best practices, standard operations, and/or prices for each part. This will be a great reference when standing at the vehicle wondering what something is called or how to write adjuster/appraiser notes about it.

Part 3: The Playbook
I know that you will face many situations that you will want to ask questions about, the playbook is designed to give you a fighting chance with common situations. Here you will find portions of some chapters from previous parts of the book pulled out for quick reference, plus specific scenarios to make your claim estimating career easier.

It does NOT cover how to get the first claim or how to get started in this industry.

If you need help learning about how to get started as an independent adjuster or auto damage appraiser, you can check out my book the Independent Adjuster’s Playbook.

If you are trying to get IA Firms to hire you and wondering how to get more work as an IA, I’d recommend you check out a book I co-wrote with Kagan Blackburn called the Networking Adjuster’s Playbook. 

Now, are you ready to learn how to estimate auto body damage? Are you ready to walk with confidence in your new career? Then let’s dive into the Auto Adjuster’s Playbook.

All forms, templates, and guides discussed in this book can be found and downloaded at IAPath.com/auto-downloads/

**If you would like to purchase the Auto Adjuster’s Playbook, you can find it on Amazon by Clicking Here

 

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