The NFIP flood certification is a mystery to many independent adjusters and can be challenging to obtain. This causes many insurance adjusters to ignore this certification, even though it may be the single most valuable certification you can get.
In addition to your own state licensing requirements for insurance adjusting, completing more certifications can add to your career opportunities and your bottom line.
In this article, I’ll explore what the NFIP flood certification is, whether it’s worth the effort, and how you can earn it.
What is NFIP certification?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a government-run insurance program created after terrible flood losses in 1968 following Hurricane Betsy. NFIP is the insurance side of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Standard insurance companies cannot afford or choose not to insure homeowners in high-risk flood areas, yet floods have a huge negative impact on local residents and the economy. The government started NFIP to cover homeowners in high-risk areas following a devastating event.
Being a licensed adjuster doesn’t allow you to inspect NFIP flood claims. Only NFIP trained adjusters can investigate an NFIP flood claim.
The NFIP certification is obtained by receiving specific training and meeting certain requirements, which we’ll discuss in a later section.
Is NFIP a good certification to get?
Is NFIP a good certification to get? YES!
Is that too simple? Let me explain. The more certifications, licenses, and training that an independent adjuster has on their resume and in their portfolio, the better. The more types of claims you can handle, the more income-generating opportunities you’ll have at your fingertips. Being able to handle flood claims for FEMA is no exception.
The NFIP claims pay very well due to the large amounts of damage caused to a home during a flood event. Claims that were filed during hurricane Harvey averaged $110,000. Depending on their fee schedule, this size of claim can result in a very handsome earning for the independent adjuster.
Due to the complexity of obtaining the NFIP certification, it is also a great way to make you stand out to IA Firms. These are the companies that hire and deploy catastrophic insurance adjusters after a storm or flooding event. Having the ability to work NFIP claims will make you more valuable than many other adjusters on IA Firms’ rosters.
Requirements for NFIP certification
The hurdles to obtain an NFIP certification are large and most adjusters don’t pursue it due to the difficulties. As I mentioned before, I believe this could be a mistake. It takes time, but obtaining the NFIP certification could be a game-changer for you in your career.
So what are the NFIP certification requirements and how difficult are they at obtaining?
There are two major levels of the NFIP certification and each have different requirements, according to FEMA.
The requirements for NFIP Residential, Commercial, or Manufactured (Mobile) Homes claims are:
- Minimum of 4 consecutive years working full-time as a property adjuster.
- Capability to prepare accurate estimates for scope of damage, up to $50,000 for mobile homes, and up to $500,000 for residential and commercial.
- Attending a workshop with NFIP and demonstrating knowledge of the adjustment criteria and policy forms.
- Familiarity with adjusting techniques for manufactured (mobile) homes and Cost of Compliance
If you want to handle large commercial losses (and who wouldn’t), you’ll need to meet additional requirements.
For Large Commercial losses or RCBAP losses, an adjuster must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum 5 years consecutively working full-time as a large-loss property adjuster
- Capability to accurately prepare scope of damage and estimates of $500,000 or more
- Written recommendations, to reflect adjusting experience only, from three insurance company supervisory or claim management personnel.
- Current insurance coverage for Errors and Omissions.
How to Find an NFIP Certification Class
NFIP calls their classes Claims Adjuster Presentations, and they have a complete up-to-date schedule on their website.
As of this writing, NFIP classes are being held as online webinars, due to the spread of the coronavirus. Details for each live webinar class can be found below:
|Tue Apr 7||Atlanta, GA||Register|
|Thu Apr 9||Lisle, IL||Register|
|Tue Apr 14||Arlington, TX||Register|
|Thu Apr 16||Westlake, OH||Register|
|Mon Apr 20||Lexington, KY||Register|
|Wed Apr 22||Alexandria, LA||Register|
|Mon Apr 27||Charlotte, NC||Register|
|Thu Apr 30||Overland Park, KS||Register|
|Thu May 7||Seattle, WA||Register|
|Tue May 12||Needham, MA||Register|
|Thu May 14||Jacksonville, FL||Register|
|Tue May 19||Carolina, Puerto Rico||Register|
|Wed May 27||Mobile, AL||Register|
How to get NFIP Certification through FEMA
For most new independent adjusters, the four-year experience requirement can be the biggest hurdle to overcome, but don’t lose heart! There are other options that can get you working flood claims prior to your reaching your four year experience requirement.
A handful of companies like Pilot Catastrophe, Alacrity Solutions (previously called Worley), Crawford & Co., among others, occasionally offer NFIP mentorship programs.
This isn’t something ANYONE can participate in, but be sure to ask about opportunities to be mentored in flood claims once you get on the rosters of some independent adjusting companies.
Along with training classes for flood, including flood-specific Xactimate training, be sure to ask for a complete training schedule from each company you sign up with.
As you build your career and pursue mentorship programs, you should also stay focused on meeting the requirements to obtain the NFIP certification. Four years sounds like a long time, but it will fly by if you are successful in your career. You’ll be glad you focused on reaching that goal when you get there.
Once you meet the NFIP requirements above, you can apply through the FEMA website.
Start building up your independent adjuster certifications
When getting started as an independent adjuster, it can be difficult to think four years into the future about getting NFIP certified. Being aware of the certification and watching for mentorship opportunities or NFIP class will help prepare you for a long and successful career as an independent adjuster.
Other certifications that can help you early on in your career are:
- State Farm Certification for both Auto and Property
- American Family Certification (through Pilot Catastrophe)
- Allstate Certification (through Pilot Catastrophe)
- IA Path Auto or Property Damage Certification
As you may have experienced, many new adjusters get stuck trying to meet experience requirements. That is why IA Path’s mentorship programs provide certifications that get the experience requirements waived with over 20 companies — so you can get started working in the next 90 days.
If you’re interested in learning more about our online auto adjuster mentorship or property adjuster mentorship programs, feel free to schedule a call. I would love to discuss whether it is a program that is right for you. You’ll be able to ask any question you’d like about our program, about being an IA, or your career. We are here to help you.