The secret to building your Independent Adjuster income is not a secret at all. All you have to do is stay busy!
It’s a simple idea, but if you’ve been out there for a while, you know that it’s not always easy. Becoming a successful Independent Adjuster is just like any other owner-operated business. You have to work at it to keep the cash flowing. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help you upgrade your business and your income from just scraping by to six-figures plus:
How to Build Your Independent Adjuster Income:
1. Build a strong reputation
If you keep asking for business, eventually some claim departments will give you a try. After that, it’s up to you to develop a professional relationship that brings in lucrative assignments. You must work to become the go-to Independent Adjuster. You must look and act like a professional. Give 100% no matter how big or small the assignment! Try this:
- Figure out what each insurance company or client wants and give it to them.
- Follow instructions to the letter.
- Add value by giving the client a little more than you charge them for.
- Report back quickly and professionally.
2. Figure out what you don’t know
When you work your first CAT loss as an IA, you’ll learn to do the job fast. Efficiency is key. Before a CAT opportunity comes along, you must learn to do the job well. Polish up the skills you already have. Figure out what you don’t know and learn it and you’ll become the indispensable adjuster. And don’t try to fake it! When you’re among a group of experienced IAs, you’ll stick out like the green adjuster you are. Try this:
- Shadow an experienced IA and pay attention. Consider finding a mentor or coach.
- Learn to write good estimates/appraisals.
- Learn from on-the-job training.
- Figure out how to do an assignment you don’t understand.
- Never tell a client or insured person that you don’t know the answer to their question. They’ll give you a blank stare and talk about you when you leave. Instead: a) Recognize it as something you don’t know b)Write down the question c) Tell them you’ll review the policy/price list/labor rate and get back to them d) Figure it out and call them back.
3. Upgrade your IA knowledge
If you’re in the Independent Adjuster business for the long haul, continued learning should always be on your agenda. You’ll be more valuable to potential clients and that will bring in more jobs and more money. Try this:
- Build your knowledge with FEMA Claims Adjuster Presentations & Online Courses.
- Get National Flood Insurance Program Adjuster Certification.
- Enhance your property adjuster skills with a Property Technical Certification or other designations from The Institutes.
- Take a Claim or Fraud course through International Risk Management Institute (IRMI.)
4. Create a side-hustle
You’ll need a side-hustle to make it through the lean times. You could sell ice cream cones at the local Tastee-Freeze, but if you’re an Independent Adjuster at heart, you wouldn’t want to do that. Instead, try developing your skills as an all-lines claims service. Let your contacts know you specialize in CAT losses, but you’re trained to handle a range of other assignments. Try this:
- Auto repair and property appraisals/estimates
- Insurance fraud investigations
- Contents losses
- Fire claims
- Full adjustments
- Fraud investigations
- Activities checks and video surveillance
It’s all about survival of the fittest
Building your Independent Adjuster income into six-figure territory takes patience, knowledge, and the will to survive. You’ll get there eventually. And one day when you’re working back-to-back CAT losses with claims coming at you fast and furiously, you’ll smile and fondly remember the lean times.