This is the continuation of my Saturday guest blog series. I like to share the stories of public adjusters and try to focus the topic of my blogs to current topics and issues public adjusters are facing in the field.

As I write this, I am preparing for the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) Summer Conference in Fort Lauderdale. I always look forward to conferences like FAPIA because I get a chance to hear my colleagues and public adjusters speak on topics directly affecting the industry. I get to meet new people and see old friends. I always learn something new and gain new perspective on what is happening in the legislature, in various courts, and in the field.

On Wednesday, the conference will be over and everyone who attended will be back to work—business as usual. Or, maybe not. After spending three days at a conference with “our side of the industry,” I am recharged. I am invigorated to advocate on behalf of the policyholders. The feeling is a little hard to explain, but after spending time surrounded with others who fight on the same side, it is kind of like a pep rally before the big game.

At education conferences, I try to learn more than the materials in the handouts, and take advantage of the opportunity to sit and discuss issues with those of you who are working the claims in the field. Sometimes this will happen during a random elevator ride or in line at breakfast. The discussions vary. Sometimes I hear in-depth testimonials of big wins and disappointing losses. I get more than the summary of the claim; I hear the passionate details of the claims. I have a better perspective into the actions of insurers and the situations of insureds. And after the conference has come to a close, these stories and comments that stick with me. When I am doing legal research or trying to formulate a good strategy for a mediation, I am more motivated to advocate for the policyholders. I work harder, push a little further.

Like most conferences in any industry, for the public adjusters who attend conferences, the competition is all around. In this economic climate, I can see how the room could be filled with hostility. However, in my experience, most public adjusters at educational conferences are friendly and treat each other with professionalism. I think this approach of working together as a more unified front or group makes sense and is very beneficial to each of you as an individual and for your business.

I think everyone should join voluntary associations and take advantage of continuing education events, no matter your occupation. So I encourage you to reach out to those who may be the competition. Join associations, make associations and learn from each other. We all have something to share and many things to learn. It is important to take these steps and keep an open mind.

As I explained in the beginning of this series in my post, Public Adjusting Case Stories, I think sharing information will help all of us. I think it is important to share resources, especially from others who are in the same line of work. The information is very valuable but not always easily accessible.