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Independent Insurance Adjuster Must-Haves

Independent Insurance Adjuster Must-Haves

Independent Insurance Adjuster Must-Haves
So, you’ve made the decision to become an independent insurance adjuster. Now you need to know what equipment an adjuster should have in the field.
 
Independent insurance adjusters operate as independent contractors. They are frequently required to supply their own adjusting equipment. In general, there are 8 things that every independent adjuster should plan to have in the field. These items are not luxuries, but necessities. Without which the job becomes difficult if not altogether impossible.
 
Since 2009, technology has given adjusters new and better options for everything they need. It’s also made one of our items near obsolete.

A Vehicle

The real question is what kind of vehicle an independent adjuster should drive. Much of that depends on the types of claims you’re handling. In many cases and areas, a sedan or coupe will work fine. For other situations, especially CAT claims, something more robust is often needed. This is to maneuver through flood, storm, or wind damage. A light truck is a great balance between providing the space and toughness you may need, without going overboard.
 
A few things to consider:
  • It needs to accommodate your ladder.
  • Fuel Economy. Adjusters can drive 100 or more miles a day. So, while a huge truck may seem attractive upfront, keep your gas costs in mind.
  • Traffic. Deployment can take you anywhere. This includes heavily congested cities like New Orleans and Miami. Good time management is the key to success. It’s important to consider what will help you get in and out efficiently.
  • Cost. Don’t put yourself under massive debt to buy a work vehicle. It’s not necessary – or worth it.
  • Perception can be an important part of establishing trust with a claimant. Fancy, expensive cars, and high crime areas don’t mix well. An old pinto that backfires won’t leave the impression you want in a million-dollar neighborhood. Bottom Line: drawing as little attention to yourself as possible is usually best.

A Good Ladder

Roof damage due to hail and high winds results in tens of thousands of claims a year. Property adjusters should prepare to spend some time on roofs. Unfortunately, most accidents befalling claims adjusters involve ladders. Having a good quality, stable ladder is vital.
 
There are three main types of ladders – folding, wood, and telescoping.
 
  • Folding ladders are a nice, space-saving option. Many fold into 5 feet and can fit in almost any car.
  • Wooden ladders are the most stable however they are heavy and cumbersome. Wood is a must if working around power lines.
  • Telescoping ladders are the most compact. But, these can be unreliable if not from a quality manufacturer, or if used incorrectly.
 
As we mentioned, roof claims are a huge part of the business. You will need a 28-foot ladder to access second story roofs. Unfortunately, most folding and telescoping ladders don’t come in a 28-foot option. Ultimately, most independent adjusters need both a compact, folding ladder and a 28-foot ladder.  

Digital Camera

A claims adjuster must represent as accurately as possible the damages, or lack thereof, to the claimant’s property. And when it comes to claims, the details matter. The best way to capture those details and close claims quickly is still a good digital camera. Some claims with multiple types of damages can require dozens, if not hundreds, of photos. These need to be uploaded quickly and easily accessed.

The great news is that digital cameras have only become more affordable in recent years. They are offering better features and technology. You will want something smallish, lightweight, and easy to work. Anything over 7 or 8 megapixels isn’t necessary, but the more memory, the better. GoPro’s popularity has upped the standards. Impact-resistant cameras are much more available today. Adjusting isn’t exactly an extreme sport. But, cameras drop from a ladder or adverse weather are job hazards so invest in a camera that can stand a little of both. Taking advantage of the protection plans offered at most retailers can help protect your investment.

 

If you have any questions about the equipment needed for becoming an independent insurance adjuster, contact us today!

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