Public insurance adjusters play a critical role that sometimes goes unnoticed in the insurance industry. They help policyholders navigate the complex claim-making process. And since this profession has excellent rewards, people are willing to pursue it as a career. However, not many of these people know what they are required to do or where to start. In this piece, we’ll take you through the process of becoming a professional public adjuster.
However, before we get into that, let’s figure out what public adjuster is and its role in the insurance industry.
What Is A Public Adjuster?
A public adjuster is a professional who investigates insurance claims and determines the insurance company’s liability on behalf of a policyholder. They conduct an in-depth assessment by going through claim forms and insurance coverage, conducting interviews, and inspecting damages on the respective properties. Depending on their findings, they help policyholders file claims, negotiate for settlements, and recommend litigations.
The Process Of Becoming A Public Adjuster
While the level of education varies by state, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED for you to become a public insurance adjuster in most states. You’ll have an added advantage if you focus on relevant coursework in school. These include courses with high-level mathematic and those that offer business, management, and marketing skills.
Although having a degree is not always a requirement, it can help set you apart from the rest of the industry’s public adjusters. Therefore, pursuing a relevant college or university education will give you an edge over the competition.
Public adjusters need to be licensed for them to perform their respective duties. And since various states have different licensing requirements, it is up to you to do your due diligence and understand the needs of the state you’re targeting for practice. Generally, you’ll require some or a combination of these things for you to be licensed:
- Apply for licensure and pay application fee to the state insurance commission
- Some states may require you to take a licensed public adjuster course.
- You may have to do a licensing exam.
- Before you get your license, some states may ask you to familiarize yourself with how the insurance industry works. This can be achieved by apprenticing or working in a reputable insurance company.
- In some states, you’ll be required to obtain a public adjuster surety bond. This is an essential requirement by the government to ensure that your clients are protected if you commit professional malpractice.
To be recognized as a professional public adjuster, you need to obtain certification from all relevant insurance bodies in your state and nationwide.
Certification from the National Association of Public Defenders
No matter the state you’re in, getting a certificate from NAPD can add to your credibility and make you stand out. Besides getting a certificate from this body, it is also crucial that you consider membership.
Certified Professional Public Adjuster (CPPA) and Senior Professional Public Adjuster (SPPA)
The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters offers two types of certification to long-term practicing members. To be eligible for the Certified Professional Public Adjuster (CPPA), you need to have a college degree and five years of experience as a practicing public adjuster. To get the Senior Professional Public Adjuster (SPPA) designation, you need to sit for an SPPA exam administered to those with more than ten years of experience.
Join Other Professional Organizations
Individuals can also join local or state professional organizations. Voluntary membership to insurance bodies allows you to keep tabs on recent developments in the insurance industry, as well as get insights that will help you build a reputable public adjuster career.
Decide Whether To Join An Existing Firm Or Set Up A Solo Practice
Once you are fully licensed and certified, you now have the chance to start working for a public adjuster firm or establish a solo practice. Working under someone gives you valuable training, but going solo offers you the freedom to do what you want and may also offer greater financial rewards.