If you are considering industry resources for education, one of the most common outlets for this is an organization known as The Institutes. The Institutes is an organization with the goal to provide targeted training tools to industry professionals. They provide a series of insurance-related designations, such as Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Claims (AIC). They offer continuing education classes that are organized according to different state requirements. They can also step into any insurance organization and offer customized solutions for a company’s staff. In addition to all this, they offer leadership education. This is conducted through management and executive education sessions at accredited colleges. The Institutes provides insurance research through the Insurance Research Council. This is supported by leading property-casualty organizations across the entire globe. Finally, The Institutes offers something called The Institutes Community. This online community puts more than 250,000 insurance professionals in a network together. There, they can openly discuss industry challenges and solutions.
For those who have little to no insurance-related experience, the Insurance Fundamentals course is a good place to start. These courses cover insurance essentials, such as the background and history of insurance. The courses also cover the basic mechanism of how insurance works. For people interested in claims, these courses cover catastrophe claims and an introduction to claims.
A slightly more advanced approach is to explore the AIC designation. The AIC program is divided into four optional study tracks. A student can undertake the multi-line adjuster track for a broad approach. The multi-line track teaches about property, liability, auto, and workers compensation claims. The student could also focus only on auto claims or only on property claims. A liability track is also offered for those who simply want to handle liability claims. Finally, a workers compensation track is available for those who want to handle only those type of claims. For those who wish to become a property adjuster, the multi-line adjuster track and property track are the two best choices.
If a claims professional grows in their career aspirations and seeks a management-level job, there is another option. The AIC with an “M” designation for management is recommended. This is also divided into four tracks and is geared toward the management of claims professionals. It deals with the technical aspects of handling claims on a different level.
For the AIC designation, an ethics component is required. This is in addition to the claims handling modules. The ethics portion is important not only to the AIC program but is also an essential component of the CPCU program. The ethics curriculum covers guidelines for insurance professionals and a code of professional conduct. The goal of this course is to ensure that insurance professionals are working toward the best interests of its customers. The course is also designed to help insurance professionals to avoid bad faith claims handling. The Institutes recognizes that the insurance industry is an important component of the worldwide economy. The industry depends on the professionalism and ethical treatment of customers throughout the world.
Another education option is the property claims curriculum at Vale National Training Center. This three-week program covers estimating and coverage issues in depth. It also teaches safety when inspecting properties and roofs. This program prepares students to be able to handle claims right after they complete the course.
Some courses offered at Vale require an employer sponsorship of a candidate student. However, for other courses, students can participate without a company affiliation. This is most common when students intend to become an independent adjuster. Vale National has two main education campuses, one in Tyler, Texas and the other in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The cost for courses of this type can be several thousand dollars. When coupled with the cost for lodging and food during the time that the course is held, this can be a costly endeavor for a non-sponsored student. However, when you consider the lifetime career that can be obtained as an insurance property claims adjuster, the cost may be worth it.
The dedication of three full weeks of time and the cost of several thousand dollars may be too much of a commitment for some people. If that is the case for you, Vale also offers short seminars and courses. These include online study in a self-study format. This allows students to get significant training at a lower cost with more convenience.
A third option if you cannot afford to take the time or pay the tuition fees is to collaborate with a group of similarly minded people. Groups of people can be found online through organizations like The Institutes or LinkedIn. Those who are able to pool their resources can sometimes obtain a group discount.
Yet another option is to contact your employer to see if they would be willing to at least share some of the expense with you. Not all employers are willing to foot the bill for their employees to obtain this training. However, if you were able to contribute some, your employer might appreciate the initiative and be willing to split the cost with you.
When it comes to industry sources for claims education, there are many resources available. Students should try to blend their industry education with their college curriculum. This will make them a well-rounded and sought-after candidate for an insurance claims position.