By Guy Grand


Good timing is critical to successfully launching a career as an Independent Insurance Adjuster.

Many people who talk to us about starting a career as an independent adjuster take the “wait and see” approach and straddle the fence as the storm season draws near. Their idea is to wait until a hurricane, or tornado hits and then try to jump in as an adjuster when demand is at its highest.  This seems a perfectly reasonable approach at first glance.  But the truth is if you aren’t trained and ready by the time that storm hits…it already too late!

Let’s examine why…

1) Licensing takes time…

To work in any state you will need to get a license.  (Even if your state doesn’t require it…your adjusting firm will.)  So getting your home state license is the first step.  (And for those whose home states don’t license adjusters we can point you in the right direction).  But getting your license can take some time.  Aside from studying for, scheduling, and passing your home state’s exam or taking a prelicensing course; you must also wait for the license application to be processed.  This can take up to 6 weeks in some states.  Add it up and the entire process can easily take two months or more.  If you have to wait two months on a license in the wake of a major storm, you won’t be working that storm.

2) Preparation is key to successful first deployment…

Imagine entering an environment shaken physically and emotionally to its core.  Imagine being tasked with the responsibility of interpreting complex insurance policies with specific riders and endorsements, of applying that policy within the framework of a very particular set of physical circumstances requiring precise damage analysis, knowledge of materials and methods of repair.  Imagine doing so calmly, confidently under immense pressure from myriad stressed/confused/bewildered policyholders.  Now imagine being expected to do that 3 to 6 times a day starting yesterday.
In every first deployment, there is going to be an element of baptism by fire.  But you can greatly increase your odds of enduring success by being appropriately prepared.   Starting your training at the 11th hour simply won’t give you the kind of foundational knowledge or confidence you need before assignment in the field.  A half-day storm orientation or a quick Xactimate training just isn’t going to do it.  Proper insurance adjuster training requires time – both in class and in private study, and would ideally include some real life experience with a Master Adjuster.

3) Getting on a Roster…

Getting licensed, trained, and prepared NOW allows you to really survey the employment landscape in its entirety and build relationships with prospective employers.  A well respected Insurance Adjuster School is going to have a whole network of partners and firms they can help you connect with.  But even after you are on a Roster, some firms may want you to go through additional training or carrier specific certification through them prior to deployment.  And, this typically cannot be done in the immediate aftermath of the storm as the firm is expending all available resources on deployment – not training last-minute personnel.

Summary – Now is the Time!

Beginning your career transition into independent insurance adjusting well before storm season arrives will dramatically improve your odds of deployment and your success while deployed.  Get licensed and trained now and let us help you get to know the industry so you are “Storm Ready” when the next catastrophe hits.

If you would like to learn more about how you can start your career as an Independent Insurance Adjuster the right way just click the link to get in touch with us.  We are an accredited Insurance Adjuster School that offers comprehensive adjuster training from writing claims and Xactimate to product identification and “customer service”.


Visit our website at www.vas-trained.com

By Guy Grand


Many of our students come to us with questions about how they will get paid once they start working in the industry.  I’ve written about the relationships our Trained Adjusters develop with our partner Independent Adjuster Firms in this article titled “Who Do Independent Adjusters Work For?”.  But below you will find an excerpt from our free ebook “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making it Your Career” where I have written about fee schedules and how we actually get paid to do the work we do.  The following should give you a little insight into the matter.


Independent adjusters are paid in a few different ways but almost always they split the fee bill with the IA Firm. This means we split the money made from handling the claim with the IA firm. The adjuster usually makes between 50% and 70% of the amount the IA firm bills to the insurance company for the claim.

Fee Schedules

During catastrophes, adjusters are usually paid according to a fee schedule basis. Fee schedules vary widely between insurance companies and IA firms. IA firms contract with, and agree to, a fee schedule which they ultimately pass along to the field adjusters.

During hurricane Sandy I worked for one IA firm but no less than 5 carriers. Some fee schedules paid really well and some not so much. I have never looked at the multiple fee schedules and worried about who is paying more and who is paying less. The bottom line is what I make on the storm.

I have always figured my income from door to door. I start the clock when I leave my driveway and stop it when I get back to my driveway. I add up all my income and divide it by the number of days I was gone. That gives me my gross daily pay. Some adjusters only figure their daily income beginning with their first inspection day. That number looks better on a daily basis, but hey, I want to know how much I made total, including driving back and forth across the country.

Below you will find an actual example of a fee schedule from one carrier (remember this money is split between the adjuster and the IA firm). On hurricane Sandy I was paid 65% of the fee schedule.

Fees Also Include:

  • Inspection & Estimate (unless noted otherwise)
  • Full cost of agreed repair or replacement (including depreciation or betterment)
  • Telephone, faxes, and all other adjuster out of pocket expenses (except T&E billing)
  • 4 photographs included in fee- $1.00 thereafter to $20.00 maximum charge for Personal Lines and $50.00 maximum for Commercial Lines.
  • Mileage; first 50 miles included – $1.50 per mile fee applies thereafter.

There are also other ways an independent adjuster is paid: 

  • Time and Expense (T&E): On large losses, or on complex claims, we are sometimes paid on a “time and expense” basis. We keep track of the time spent in all parts of the claims process and submit our hours and our expenses to the IA firm. The hourly rate varies depending on the company, usually between $65 and $95 per hour worked.
  • Daily Rate: This is common for those who work in the office reviewing files (inside adjusters) and for the later stages of a catastrophe deployment. It is usually a set dollar amount per day to complete a defined amount of work.

(See the Ebook for the complete tables and fee schedule Charts.)

If you would like to read more about how Independent Insurance Adjusters are paid or find out what it is really like working as a Catastrophic Insurance Ajuster (CAT Adjuster) Click the link below to download the ebook “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making it Your Career”.

When you are ready to speak with someone about our advanced Insurance Adjuster Training just complete this Discovery Survey to tell us more about how we can help you.


By Guy Grand


At first, it can be a little confusing to answer the question, “Who do I work for when I become and Independent Adjuster?”  Here is a little bit of perspective on it that we hope will clear things up for you.

This is an excerpt from our free eBook titled “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making it Your Career” where I have written about working as an Independent Adjuster.

“Ultimately, we are bound by the rules and regulations of the insurance company that hires our employers. However, we aren’t paid directly by the insurance company nor are we usually supervised directly by the insurance company. As Independant Adjusters we work for separate third party companies called third party administrators (TPAs) or Independent Adjusting firms (IA Firms).
IA Firms are contracted by the insurance companies to hire, supervise, and ultimately administer the rules and regulations of the insurance company. They are therefore our employers.  To understand the role of IA firms it helps to understand why they are necessary to our industry. Insurance companies hire staff adjusters to handle their daily claim volume although some companies have national CAT teams as well. These staff adjusters take care of the day to day claims such as a water heater leaking or a small kitchen fire, etc. Insurance companies hire just enough staff adjusters to cover these types of losses.
However, during a large storm event those staff adjusters simply cannot handle the volume of claims that come in. With the spike in claim volume from a catastrophe, comes the need for independent adjusters to help close those claims. This business model makes sense as the insurance companies keep their day to day operational costs low and during large events they have the support to handle the overflow.
IA’s work the same type of claims as the staff adjusters; however, they are only in one location until the volume is reduced so that the staff adjusters can handle them. It is for this reason that IA firms and independent adjusters are an integral part of the claims handling process, especially during a major storm event. This niche is what makes becoming an independent adjuster such an awesome opportunity for someone who doesn’t have a college degree or someone looking for a second career after the military or anyone looking for a new career.”

If you would like to read more about what it is like working as an Independent Insurance Adjuster, click the link below to download a free copy of our eBook “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making It Your Career”.

If you are ready to speak with someone who can help you get started on your Independent Insurance Adjuster Training our comprehensive package that includes mentoring, field tools, technology, software and most importantly...the reputation you will need to be successful in the field…is just around the corner.  Simply complete this “Discovery Survey” and someone from our team will be in touch with you right away.

By Guy Grand


So, you are thinking about becoming an adjuster but you are having a hard time figuring out how much it is really going to cost you to get into the industry?  You are not alone.  There are not many places out there that will tell you about ALL of the costs associated with trying to break into the industry.  Licenses, tests, certifications, travel, training, field tools, apprenticing…for many adjusters, it ends up being much more than they first thought when they signed up for that $350 “Adjuster Training” course.  Don’t get frustrated.  If you know what you are getting into it is well worth it, but don’t be fooled into thinking that one simple course is all you are going to need.

Here is a short excerpt from my book “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making it Your Career” where I write about my experience trying to break into the industry “on my own”.

“There are training facilities and schools all over the country that claim to “make you an adjuster”, most for under $1,000. Don’t buy it! The course might be under a thousand dollars but your travel, lodging, equipment, and continuing education will cost you much more than that no matter what they tell you.
Going to a five-day course to learn about adjusting and getting your state license is only the beginning. Without continually working with the software (Xactimate), practicing writing estimates, learning the proper ways to measure, photograph, and write reports you will forget how to write a claim by the time you get deployed. The repetition needed can only come from experience or by attending a full-service vocational school that will mentor you until you are comfortable with adjusting and on your first storm.
As I mentioned before, the total cost of my education into the insurance adjusting field was over $12,000 and that was back in 2003. My first storm deployment as a trainee was over five weeks and only paid my out-of-pocket expenses.
What if there was a state regulated post-secondary vocational school that bundled all the costs into one tuition price and what if they offered a loan program that was interest-only for the first 18 months. If that opportunity had been available to me back in 2002 would I have taken that deal? – ABSOLUTELY!
If I would have had the mentorship of industry veterans along the way, that would have been priceless. That opportunity wasn’t available to me back then, but it is available, through VAS — our fully licensed and state board certified vocational training center, to you now. As you read further through this book you will learn that there is a way to get into the adjusting business and to know exactly what your cost of entry is to get into this well-paying career.”


To read more from the book “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making it Your Career” just click the link below.



If you are ready to speak with someone who can help you better understand ALL the costs associated with becoming an Adjuster and where you can find a comprehensive package that includes the training, mentoring, field tools, technology, software and most importantly...the reputation you will need to be successful in the field…just complete this “Discovery Survey” and someone from our team will be in touch with you right away.

By Guy Grand


Have you been feeling like it is time for a career move?  Think you might just be getting bored or distracted at work…maybe the feeling will go away?  Here are the top 5 signs that should tell you it is time for you to switch gears and look for a new career.

If you are experiencing some of these top 5 signs you should get serious about moving on to a new career.  (And if you’re reading this, I’m confident that you want a career change. The question is, will you do it?)

1. You are chronically worn out, exhausted and depleted.

Are you constantly worn down, feeling debilitated and exhausted?  Most of us spend more waking hours working than doing anything else, and if you don’t like your work, it won’t like you back.  Work that is not appropriately aligned with who you are can easily break you down. It may be your specific job or toxic work environment that are breaking you down, but often it’s your entire career that needs a shift.

2. Your skills, responsibilities, and tasks are not you at all.

It can be a shocker for some folks to realize that they have become very good at work they hate.  Have you been wondering how you got so good at doing something you were never really all that excited about?  Just imagine how you would feel if you had spent all this time honing your skills in a career that you actually cared about and enjoyed.  Maybe it is time to make that move now.

3. You’ve come to the point where the pay no longer makes up for the boredom and emptiness you feel.

Most people who dislike like their work but are reluctant to change would say it’s their fear of walking away from the money that keeps them stuck.  But at some point, many are saying,  “I have this money, but I hate how I spend my life making it.”  If this sounds familiar, you are probably already hunting around for something better. “There has got to be more to life than this…right?”

4. Despite all the “right” choices you made in your career, the outcome feels very wrong.

So many professionals have made all the “right” choices and done everything that was expected of them, so when they wake up bored to death with their work, they’re shocked and confused. The thing to realize here is that the “right” choices usually had to do with pleasing others, stroking your ego or taking work or a promotion that fell in your lap, rather than asking yourself the tough questions like “Is this where I belong?”

5. You have the feeling that your talents and abilities could/should be used in a totally different (more impactful) way.

Have you been thinking, “I know I’m made for better things than this!”?  Maybe it is time to start listening to yourself.  You are not crazy.  There IS more to life than what you’re currently doing — no question.  If you have not found that career that matches your skill set or a career that you are passionate about, it is time to start looking.

There’s another way to live and work, even though you can’t see it yet.

Maybe it is time for better work!

If any of these 5 signs sound like something you have been experiencing lately, then you are likely in the market for a career move.  There are lots of different careers out there.  Don’t waste your life away doing something you are not satisfied with.  Maybe attend a Local Job Fair to see what is out there.  Or talk with someone in an industry you are curious about.

If you would like to hear more about a career as a Catastrophic Insurance Adjuster, get in touch with us and our outreach team can tell you more about this line of work.





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