During my first deployment as an adjuster handling hurricane claims in southern Florida, what things were essential to success and what things weren’t quickly became apparent.
Equipment in general and gadgets in particular, for instance, weren’t particularly vital to my success. I didn’t have the latest and greatest laser tape measure. I only had one, modestly sized fold-up ladder. Unlike some adjusters who towed a second home behind their tricked out dualie pick-up, I drove a decade-old Honda Accord coupe.
Profound, in-depth knowledge of construction really wasn’t essential either. Would it have helped? Absolutely, and I would have done a better job for it. But, truth be told, I was able to learn a great deal about materials and building composition as I worked. Sure, I made mistakes here and there, but they weren’t egregious and I didn’t make the same mistake twice. Overall, the learning curve was pretty manageable.
What was absolutely, indispensably essential, however, was mastering the estimating software required by the carrier I was representing. In this case, Xactimate. Learning the software was, and still is, in my opinion, the single greatest challenge to serious success for cat adjusters. If you don’t know Xactimate (or IntegriClaim, Simsol, or requisite software), and know it well, you simply won’t realize your full earnings potential as a cat adjuster. And learning on the fly during a real deployment is a recipe for firing yourself.
There are a couple of factors at work here. First, Xactimate is not an immediately intuitive program and the learning curve is steep. There are very few things that need to be memorized for a given component in construction. When policy application questions arise, the only skill you really need to possess is the ability to read and you can figure it out. But knowing Xactimate requires very specialized knowledge and general education and/or skills cannot really help you. Put simply? You need training and you need training prior to deployment. Second, I believe mastering Xactimate does more towards increasing your efficiency in closing claims than any other single item (maybe outside GPS?). Closing claims quickly means more satisfied customers, more money, more claims, better claims, longer deployment, and finally rock-star status with the folks at the home office. Closing claims quickly and efficiently with minimal hand-holding is the name of the game as a cat adjuster!
At AdjusterPro, we have always recognized the importance of intensive Xactimate training, taught by adjusters specifically for adjusters. Often imitated, never duplicated – we offer live online Xactimate training every month. It’s a great class, hosted by an excellent teacher. You can read reviews and check available dates on AdjusterPro’s Xactimate Page.
Begin your career on the right foot by starting estimatics early. We would love to help you become the absolute best adjuster you can be!