Requirements for Property Adjusters
Establishing a career as a property adjuster requires adequate planning, just like any other career. But, most professionals who enter the field of property adjusting have gotten there via a rather indirect route. It is important to understand some of the educational requirements you might need to enter the field of property claims adjusting.
Most job openings for property adjusters will need some sort of undergraduate degree. Yet, it is not always necessary to have a Bachelor’s Degree or even an Associate’s Degree to begin a career as a property insurance adjuster. This is because many skills from other businesses are transferable to the role of a property adjuster.
If you are a student, you might want to plan for a career as a property claims person right out of high school. The first recommendation for this type of plan would be to get a college degree in a field that relates to insurance. There are degree programs in insurance and risk management, but it is not necessary to have an insurance-related degree. A property adjuster will come across many professions and disciplines.
Here is a list of some of the professions you may encounter as a property adjuster:
- building trades
- forensics about the cause of loss and investigation of fires
- fraud investigations
- financial investigation
What degree or course of study can you think of that includes all of these aspects? You will probably not find one that is comprehensive enough to specialize in all aspects. In fact, the broader your field of study, the better off you may be as a property adjuster. A business education is a good bet for anyone seeking to start a career in the property adjusting business. Trade school background can be helpful to provide you with knowledge about construction methods.
Some undergraduate degrees you might consider before starting a career as a claims adjuster might be:
- Criminal justice
It can be difficult to pin down any one field of study that might apply to the property-adjusting field. Thus, most people who enter the property-adjusting field come from some other occupation. Employers often look for individuals who are intelligent and who know how to learn. When someone graduates from college, the diploma demonstrates an ability to learn. Liberal arts degrees play a predominant role in the number of professionals who become property adjusters.
Some adjusters choose not to get a Bachelor’s Degree and opt for an Associate’s Degree instead. Without a four-year degree, it will be more challenging for you to gain employment. Most insurance companies require candidates to have at least a four-year degree. But, if you have a two-year degree in some related field, you might be able to enter the insurance business successfully. Relevant two-year degrees include criminal justice, law or the legal field, accounting or business. It is best to get a four-year degree if you can get the credits to do so.
You do not have to construct your education with a degree that is not insurance based. You can also consider colleges that offer accredited degree programs in insurance related disciplines. You will not likely find a Bachelor’s Degree program that focuses on claims handling. But, you can get a four-year degree in a wide range of insurance disciplines. Insurance-based programs cover a wide range of topics. These include the basics of insurance, insurance investing, insurance accounting, insurance management, and marketing.
Cost is an important factor when you are obtaining an insurance-based education. Later chapters will focus on the salaries of property claims adjuster. If you graduate with over $100,000 in school loans, your choice of a career as a property adjuster may pose some financial challenges. High student loan debt should be avoided for any career. Borrowing for college should be approached with an eye on the future.
So, where do you find the degree programs that offer insurance-based curriculum? A good place to start is the list at the back of this book. There are several universities and colleges listed that offer insurance specific degree programs. You can also check out http://www.insuremypath.org. This is a website established by The Institutes, a premier educational facility that serves the insurance industry. The Institutes is currently working with many colleges to help develop curriculum for insurance professionals.
No matter what type of degree you get, you are not likely to get an education that will prepare you to handle insurance claims right t after you graduate. To get that type of education, you will have to defer to insurance specific industry schooling and self-study programs. The good news is that some colleges will accept these programs for college credits. If you can take these courses during your undergraduate studies, you may be able to get an insurance designation while you get a college degree.
You should remember that insurance related education requirements are always subject to change. This means that you need to be updated about new changes to the industry and new changes to laws that affect insurance coverage on a regular basis. When you sign up for a career in property adjusting, you are dedicating yourself to a career-long learning activity. If you would like to learn new things, then a career as a property adjuster could be perfect for you. Learning is not just required to maintain your competency; it may also be required as a compliance or licensing issue. Most states require that insurance property adjusters be licensed. In some states, these licenses depend on continuing education requirements. This means you must file evidence of your continuing insurance education every year or two. This could change based on your state’s insurance department requirements.