I recently shared a post titled “Public Adjusters Need To Raise The Bar For Admission If They Want To Be Seen As Professionals,” which sparked a lively and insightful discussion. I’m truly grateful for all the engaging responses and ideas that have been shared.

In essence, I echoed in the post a sentiment shared by Brian Goodman, the General Counsel of NAPIA, and Steve Badger in a presentation they made this week at the First Party Claims Conference: the need for public adjusters to elevate the standards for obtaining a license. This is a topic I’ve often brought up in my ethics speeches to various public adjusting associations. I have privately raised it with public adjusting leaders.

The focus of the post, Donice Krueger, who happens to be my better half and a Certified Public Accountant, raised an intriguing question. She wondered if policyholders are aware that hiring someone with a public adjuster’s license might sometimes mean entrusting their claims to someone who might not be fully competent for the task. To illustrate this point, Donice, without prior experience in public adjusting, studied for about 4 hours using a guidebook and successfully obtained a Texas public adjusting license.

This revelation led to various reactions, with some shifting the conversation to whether insurance company and independent adjusters should also have higher requirements. Others suggested that the focus should be on eliminating bad actors within the insurance industry. One interesting perspective was that some might see it as a viable business model to obtain a license with minimal competence and then delegate the actual work to others, essentially a “bait and switch” approach.

This brings us to a fundamental question for all public adjusters who care deeply about their profession: Do we want to allow the licensing of individuals who may not be fully competent to handle claims on behalf of policyholders?

I propose that the answer should be straightforward – either “yes” or “no.” It’s a matter of deciding whether we view public adjusting as a vital and respected profession that demands stringent entry standards or if we are content with a system that potentially allows unqualified individuals to represent policyholders.

I invite everyone in the public adjusting community to reflect on this and consider what steps we can take to ensure the profession is held in the high regard it deserves. Your thoughts and suggestions on this matter are not only welcome but essential for our collective growth and improvement—me included.

I suggest that those interested in this topic also take a few minutes to read The Professionalism and Ethics of a Property Insurance Adjuster.

Thought For The Day

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

Jim Rohn