From the well-known fault lines in California to the not-so-famous fault lines in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, earthquakes happen across the United States. After an earthquake, claims adjusters hit the streets to assess damage and figure out how much the insurance company will pay out to homeowners and businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2012, women make up 63 percent of all claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators. Whether male or female, earthquake adjusters gain legitimacy in the industry by earning certification.
Choice of Providers
Earning certification as an earthquake adjuster starts by choosing a provider. Certification providers include private companies that specialize in certifications, such as Adjuster Pro, which offers the California Earthquake Accreditation, and AMCAT Education Center, sponsor of the Earthquake Certification. Government entities that offer earthquake adjuster certification include the California Earthquake Authority, which collaborates with the Catastrophe Adjuster Training Institute to provide the California Earthquake Certification.
The providers set their own qualifications that candidates must meet to earn certification. Eligibility requirements can be as simple as registering for the program and paying a fee, or they can involve having a certain number of years of experience. For example, the AMCAT Education Center’s program mandates two to three years as an adjuster and familiarity with estimating software, like Xactimate. Other requirements include passing a background check, undergoing an application process and having basic computer knowledge to complete course assignments.
Each provider has its own way of evaluating whether a candidate has the skills and know-how to earn certification. Some utilize exams to test candidates, while others make a candidate hit the books to gain the education needed for certification. Adjuster Pro, for example, gives certification to anyone who completes its extensive one-day training seminar, offered at different locations across the country each year. The certification courses typically conclude with an exam to test candidates and assure they’re ready for the credential. As part of a certification course, you’ll cover a variety of topics, including post-earthquake response, damage assessment, earthquake policies, adjuster responsibilities and settlement practices. Depending on the provider, the certification may be good for life or holders may have to renew every few years, generally every one to three years.
Benefits of Certification
Along with looking great on a resume, certification gives a candidate additional knowledge and skills she can utilize in the real world. Certification courses not only give comprehensive training in earthquake adjusting, it also offers up-to-date information on regulations and industry changes. Many certification programs also give participants continuing education credits that they can put toward licensing re-certification. Some programs offer adjusters the opportunity to join contract claims teams and provide networking and career advice.
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