There are many ways a new adjuster can learn how to work in the field. After being licensed, they can be deployed right away and learn by being thrown straight into the storm (quite literally); they can take extra training courses to learn the steps; or they can shadow an experienced adjuster by riding along with the experienced adjuster while they run claims. All of these can help the new adjuster learn the ins and the outs of adjusting.
What is a ride-along?
The shadowing experience for a new adjuster is called a ride-along. It is defined by The Adjuster Guy, Alan Olson, as an opportunity for a new or inexperienced adjuster to spend time with—what hopefully is—a well seasoned, experienced adjuster to learn trends, traits, and processes.
By shadowing an experienced adjuster, a new adjuster can gain experience and understanding that they would not get trying to figure it out on their own or trying to watch a YouTube video.
What do the firms offer?
Membership programs can be offered by certain large independent adjusting firms throughout the year. Because of these programs, new adjusters can go to a storm site and ride along with another adjuster in order to get familiar with that specific carrier or to get general practice as an adjuster.
In order for a new adjuster to get a ride-along, the new adjuster must contact the firm and ask if there are mentorship availabilities. The ability of a new adjuster to do a ride-along depends heavily on whether the IA firms offer any type of membership program, the storm, claim volume, and the time of year.
In addition, most ride alongs can cost money or expenses while doing the ride-along. However, there are times when a firm will pay an adjuster to ride along with one of their experienced adjusters.
If a new adjuster lands on that opportunity, they should never turn it down because they don’t come around very often.
How to acquire a ride-along opportunity
There are multiple ways to network in the adjusting industry. Keep in contact with those who licensed you, get on social media, reach out to adjusters you know, ask for firm contacts, etc.
2. Going to conventions
All throughout the year, there are adjuster conventions held around the United States. These conventions offer networking experiences, firm contacts, tips and tricks, classes, and a lot of good advice and essential information for new adjusters.
3. Going to different classes
In addition to the conventions, different classes are offered throughout the year for adjusters to enhance their knowledge. These classes can include Rope and Harness licensing, Xactanalysis training, Continuing Education, Steep and Tall training, etc.
Find the classes that interest you and start learning and networking.
4. Acquaint yourself with other adjusters who are working
When you attend a conference or class, meet new people. Find those who are working in the field and get their contact information. Form relationships with adjusters who are already working in the industry.
5. Get on social media platforms
By joining the different social media platforms, you can let people know where you are at. You can also ask if there is anyone willing to allow a new adjuster to shadow or ride along. Sometimes the new adjuster will have to offer to pay for the experience.
However, do be aware of certain social media platforms, because some can be less productive than others.
As with every relationship, handle these relationships with care and respect. If an adjuster overuses their relationships or if they don’t respect boundaries or disregard professionalism, it could harm them more than the lack of contacts.
Being able to get a ride-along could mean the difference between working and not working. If an adjuster is able to acquire it, there are many benefits.
Benefits of a ride-along
If the new adjuster performs well during the ride-along, the experienced adjuster may be able to offer them connections and contacts. These connections could be for someone who could help get the new adjuster started in the industry or even offer a few of their own claims.
2. Learning Experience
During a ride-along, the new adjuster should learn the processes, familiarize themselves with software, understand the urgency, and what their obligations are to the policyholder.
3. Potential for Work
If the new adjuster performs well during a ride-along, it’s estimated that 7 out of 10 adjusters that get the opportunity to do consistent ride-alongs will be able to network enough through that ride-along to kick start their career—even if they are paying for it.
Ride alongs are not necessary to work as an independent adjuster. However, someone who has had the ability to do ride-alongs looks better to firms than someone who has never been on a roof or completed a claim.
One day of a ride-along is 200 times more experience than a guy that has a license but has been sitting for three months and hasn’t done anything at all. If an adjuster has the ability, they should go on multiple ride alongs.
If you are an adjuster looking for a ride-along, The Adjuster Guy now offers ride-alongs and consultations. Go to our website, look up “Consulting,” and contact us for available times for shadowing or one-on-one consultations. If you are not in our area, we will try to find an adjuster—who’s connected and trusted by The Adjuster Guy—near you who will offer ride-alongs.