April 17, 2024

Cert Power!

Cert Power!

There are countless certifications available to P&C insurance adjusters. Find out which ones give you the best opportunity to succeed!

To the Internet!

A quick google search of professional certifications for adjusters will present you with a lot of options that may or may not be beneficial.

There are designations, industry certifications, carrier certifications, IA firm certifications, training certifications and many others that seem bright, shiny and helpful…but are they?

Short answer…NO. 

Quality > Quantity, Always

In a competitive landscape, it can be tempting to ‘Collect Them All’ when it comes to adjuster certifications, but should you?  

At Acorn we’re all about quality, and when it comes down to it, so are the insurers.  Rather than collecting a multitude of certifications, focus on obtaining those that truly add value to your skill set, but also enhance your credibility as an independent adjuster.

Some certifications have experience prerequisites, while others are open to anyone. Understanding the different certifications, their requirements and benefits can help you build a path to a successful career as an IA.

Breaking Them Down

  1. Xactimate – Proves your knowledge and proficiency in the Xactimate estimating platform.
    • Three Levels: I, II, III – Each level increasing in difficulty and serving as a prerequisite for the next.
      1. Fundamentals
      2. Proficiency
      3. Mastery
    • There is a cost associated.
    • Valid for 2 years.
  2. CoreLogic Claims Certification (Symbility) – Validates your knowledge and proficiency in CoreLogic Claims | Workspace (formerly Claims Connect) and CoreLogic Estimates (formerly Mobile Claims).
    • Three Levels: 1, 2, 3
      1. Basic Proficiency in Workspace
      2. Advanced Proficiency in Workspace and Estimate
      3. [Coming Soon!] Mastery of Workspace and Estimate through practical project-based simulations.
    • There is a cost associated.
    • Valid for 2 years.
  3. HAAG – Proves your ability to effectively and efficiently inspect and assess damage. They also provide invaluable resources, tools and other items. You’re also added to a directory database of HAAG Certified Professionals that insurers, firms and other industry vendors use to find qualified people to work assignments. There is a cost associated
    • HAAG Certified Inspector (HCI) – Helps establish your authority for damage assessment during inspections. Focuses on roof components, manufacturing, weathering, maintenance, mechanical damage and repair costs for each major roofing type. Available online or in-person.
      • Residential Roofs
      • Commercial Roofs
      • Wind Damage
    • HAAG Certified Reviewer (HRC) – Designed for Desk Adjusters, Inside File Reviewers and those doing estimates from behind a desk. Available online. Expands knowledge on weather damage, data sources, making damage assessment decisions based on photos and reports, and more.
      • Residential Level I – Weather & Residential Construction Basics
      • Residential Level II – Residential Damage Assessment
      • Residential Level III – Advanced Residential Construction & Damage Assessment Elective Courses
      • Residential Level IV – Estimating Platform Competency
    • * If you hold Xactimate Level I or Higher, you’re not required to complete, but must upload Xact Certification for proof.
  4. NFIP (Flood) – In order to adjust flood losses for the NFIP, you must meet certain prerequisites, register with the NFIP, and possess an active FCN through FEMA. Flood losses are only handled by an NFIP Registered Adjuster. Some Insurers request Flood Certified Adjusters for CAT response especially in cases of determining wind vs water losses to ensure proper determinations are made. BONUS – Have we mentioned we’re doing a giveaway for updating your Flood Certification Info with us by May 31, 2024.
    • Adjusters not previously certified must apply and register with the NFIP and attend a presentation. 
    • Adjusters certified the previous year do not need to re-apply, only attend an annual presentation to maintain their FCN. Application for additional categories may be required, but will be determined by the NFIP.
NFIP Registration Requirements
  1. TWIA – Texas Windstorm Insurance Association – the insurer of last resort, offering windstorm and hail insurance to home and commercial property owners who cannot get this coverage in the regular market due to the risk of catastrophic hurricanes.
    • Adjusting Firms are certified to handle TWIA/TFPA losses, and provide resources for training and certification. 
    • Valid for 1 year from completion.
    • Residential and Commercial Certifications.
    • Claim Examiner Certifications.
  2. IICRC – Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has various different options and are available online and in-person to complete. We won’t go into each, but we’ll provide some information on a few that could apply.
    • ASD – Applied Structural Drying Technician
    • BMI – Building Moisture Inspection
    • CDS – Commercial Drying Specialist
    • CPT – Contents Processing Technician
    • FSRT – Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
    • HCT – House Cleaning Technician
    • ISSI – Introduction to Substrate and Subfloor Inspection
    • MRS – Mold Remediation Specialist
    • SMT – Stone, Masonry, and Ceramic Tile Cleaning Technician
    • TCST – Trauma and Crime Scene Technician
    • WRT – Water Damage Restoration Technician
  3. CEA – California Earthquake Authority Certification designates individuals the ability to handle California Earthquake claims as an adjuster. Adjusters must be ‘properly certified and accredited before handling any residential earthquake insurance claim in the state.’ Explore their Claim Manual to learn more.
    There are online courses required to obtain your certification including:
    • CEA Policy Coverage Training – Every 3 years
    • CEA Residential Earthquake Damage Assessment (REDA) General Guidelines Training – Encouraged every 3 years
    • Insurance Adjuster Training for Evaluating Earthquake Damage – Every 3 years
    • California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations (FCSPR) – Annually

Outside of certifications, there are additional training courses that can help you advance your career and ensure added safety.  

Roof courses that offer specialized training in using a rope & harness, or other tools to assist in scaling difficult structures are invaluable when it comes to longevity in this career.  Knowing the proper techniques, resources, and tools to safely inspect a structure could save your life one day.  

It’s important to align your skills and training with the type of work you decide to pursue. Flood Certifications don’t help much when you’re handling residential hail claims and vice versa.  Assess your strengths and weaknesses and prioritize the areas needing improvement to become a well-rounded adjuster.

Figuring it Out

Figuring it Out as an adjuster is tough, but we're here to help!

To round out this edition of our blog, we’ve put together some helpful questions that may help you prioritize which certifications suit you:

  • Does it align with my specialty?
  • Is there industry recognition?
  • Will this advance my knowledge, skills or expertise?
  • Will this offer more work opportunities? 
  • Is it required?
  • What’s the cost-benefit ratio?
  • Do I have the time and resources?

Remember, it’s your career.  What works best for some does not always work for others.  It’s important to focus on your goals, and the best route to achieve them.  Don’t be afraid to reach out for advice and assistance.  Just because you’re an independent adjuster, doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.

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