7 Habits of Highly Effective Public Adjusters


If you’re familiar with Steven Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, then you know the bestselling author presents a holistic approach to applying powerful lessons for personal change and growth. The great thing about Covey’s book is that it’s designed for different scenarios and multiple audiences – all with the same goal in mind: to solve problems – and we know that public insurance adjusters are in the business of solving problems.

In this blog, we’ll dive deep into each habit and break down effective ways that you can apply these principles to your daily life. Let’s jump in!

1. Be Proactive

This is your chance to market, build relationships, and set up your intentions. You’re not wasting precious time blaming the job, the clients, the weather, or the endless paperwork.  Instead, you’re responsive and actionable. The proactive public adjuster plans their perfect day and makes it happen. But what if you don’t know what your perfect day looks like?  That’s okay! Being proactive means planning and structuring your day, week, or month – whatever suits you. Ask yourself questions like, “What would an ideal day or week look like? Am I doing my part to drum up new business? How can I improve my communication skills?”  Answering these questions is a great first step to being proactive and setting yourself up for future success.

Hot Tip: Make a bulleted list of goals (or KPIs) that you think to identify the perfect day in the life of a public adjuster – then make it happen!

2. Begin with the End in Mind

Plan for the perfect result at the end, and then work your way backward. Think of this as reverse engineering. It’s okay to prepare every claim as though you’re going through litigation, but the end doesn’t have to be so dreadful. Your clients have already experienced their own version of the “worst-case scenario.”  Your job is to mitigate those feelings of dread and show them that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Not only do you want them to get paid, but you want to see their property restored.

Hot Tip: Start each claim by specifically identifying the perfect ending for each client. What result do you want to produce for your client?  If you don’t know what a successful ending looks like, you’ll never get there.

3. Put First Things First

If you’re a public adjuster who says “yes” to everything, then keep reading.  Putting first things first means having your priorities in check, which sometimes requires you to say “no.” Prioritize your talents first. There will be tasks that people ask you to perform that are outside your expertise or not a top priority. Exercise your powers of delegation and focus on what will get the job done efficiently and successfully. Sometimes public adjusters will put the cart before the horse and worry about things that happen later down the road. Instead, find a solution that helps you prioritize tasks – make the system work easily, quickly, and efficiently. More importantly, learn to say “no.”

Hot Tip: Check out ClaimWizard’s Workflow feature on their platform. This will help you work through the process and decipher what tasks should be performed first. Our tool helps you prioritize and run your business more efficiently.

4. Think Win-Win

It may sound a bit cliché, but applying a win-win attitude can reap some serious benefits – not just for you, but for your peers and clients too. Think “cooperative endeavor,” not competitive or combative. If you work with your clients and the insurance carriers in a cooperative way, it can be mutually beneficial and satisfactory for all parties involved.  We know that your job is to help policyholders get every penny they’re entitled to from insurance companies – but it’s how you go about it. Remember that carriers have a job to do too. They’re not the enemy. If you condition yourself to look at it as a partnership, then everybody wins.

Hot Tip: Remember that seeking win-win relationships is not about being nice. It’s about applying principles that seek to improve human interaction and collaboration. Try making a list of different ways you can seek mutually beneficial solutions.

5. Seek First to Understand, Then be Understood

Sometimes, people feel the need to lay down the law first to produce results on their terms, and in some cases, this is okay.  The lesson here is always to listen first.  You may not be in a situation where you need to speak first, especially if the other party already agrees with you. In the discovery/negotiation phase – always make “listening” your top priority because you might learn something you didn’t know before. Think of a poker game – it would be great to see the other player’s hand before showing yours. Practice this with your client as well. You don’t want to overstep and give your clients answers to questions they never had in the first place.

Hot Tip: Practice using empathetic listening skills with friends or co-workers. Try repeating what you hear back to the person you’re practicing with to ensure that there is no misunderstanding.

6. Synergize

We know it’s just another corporate buzzword, but when you break it down in terms of its benefits, it’s worth noting.  Creating synergy is like having that win-win attitude – you want to be collaborative and cooperative. The idea here is to work with your policyholders. If they’re not fully covered or in a position to reclaim what they lost, give them solutions they can work with. Maybe you can help them develop a creative solution that allows them to be happy with their restored property. If someone is underinsured, don’t look at this as a carrier problem, a public adjuster problem, or even a policyholder problem. It’s just a problem you can solve through a collaborative effort.

Hot Tip: If your policyholder is complaining because there’s not enough money to pay for their dream kitchen, don’t close the door yet!  By giving them alternative suggestions, you might be able to switch them from marble countertops to a more economical granite.

7. Sharpen the Saw

The saw is you, and your skills need sharpening. Much like being proactive, highly effective people are never complacent. Don’t assume that you know everything there is to know – because you don’t.  This is where upskilling becomes an advantage.  If you’re constantly learning, reading, growing, and networking – then you will evolve, and so will your business. This means staying informed about everything that affects your industry, i.e., policy changes, laws, litigation, etc.

Hot Tip: One way to stay informed is to check out the Property Insurance Coverage Blog from the Merlin Law Group. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Check out the live stream, 7 Habits of Effective Public Adjusters, hosted by Lynette Young.

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