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Last Post 01/31/2008 9:18 AM by  StormSupport
Associate in claims
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topjob1
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01/27/2008 1:31 AM

    I am considering obtaining the AIC designation.  Has anybody been through the program?  Is it worth getting the designation as an independant?  Also if this is a worth while program are there are recommeded study materials?  Thanks for your input.

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    host
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    01/27/2008 8:38 AM

    Here is some informaton on the course from the AICPCU.org website.

    "Claim professionals handle a wide variety of claims, including property, auto, workers compensation, and bodily injury claims. Earning the AIC designation can improve your technical claim handling abilities as well as your communication and negotiation skills. You can take the standard multiline approach, which covers personal lines as well as commercial lines property and liability, or you can choose among four specialty paths if one of them would better suit your career needs."

    You may already have this information since you are looking into it. Follow this link http://www.aicpcu.org/flyers/aic.htm for information on study materials that can be found at the bottom of the page.

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    Tom Toll
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    01/27/2008 11:01 AM

    The AIC courses are invaluable to an independent adjuster. I took them many, many years ago (stone age) through NAIIA. You will not regret taking the time to get your designations. It will take some time, but time is all we have here on earth. If you wish to be a truly professional adjuster, got for it.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    sbeau4014
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    01/27/2008 12:10 PM
    I also took it about 15-20 yrs ago and would recommend it to any adjuster being IA or staff. It is probably the best overall course of study for claims adjusting (more so then CPCU in that it is geared strictly for claims handling) and a lot better value for the dollar then the SCLA program, which is also geared mainly for claims handling. As far as the recommended study materials there are recommended/required study books for each section of the program (was 4 sections I think when I did it) and getting those and learning that material is all you need. Those books will be items used throughout your career in claim handling and training others if you ever do that.iline Each section of the course may also be good for 15 hrs CE credit in whatever state you have a license in. And also completion of the course may entitle a person to an adjustment in their license in the state such as how Texas was when I finished mine. I converted my license from multiline to all lines (licensed for any type of claim there is out there vs property, liability,w/c) at no cost, just sent in my certificate. Same goes for CPCU completion.
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    topjob1
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    01/27/2008 12:48 PM
    Thank you Steve, Tom, and Roy. It sounds like it is definately worth pusuing the AIC.

    Tom,
    How long on average does it take to study for each exam? As you know things are slow so time is not much of an issue.
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    kds008
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    01/27/2008 9:36 PM

    Hi Mark,

    I don't know if you are already an experienced adjuster or not so I will just give you some general information from my experience with the AIC program.

    I started and completed the AIC designation in 2006.  I thought it was a very worthwhile expenditure of time and money.

    You asked how much study time is needed to pass the exams.  I would guess this would vary greatly based on one's reading speed, comprehension, experience and background.  When I was studying for the AIC I had only been working as an adjuster for about six months but I had spent months the previous year training for adjusting.  I had also been an insurance agent for 20 years prior to starting in adjusting so the policy part was mostly familiar territory.  I would guess that I averaged maybe 14-20 hours per course studying.  If one had no prior insurance and/or adjusting training, I would think it may take somewhat more.  It would have for me anyway.  The exams are not what I would call "easy."  You have to know the material. 

    It is my understanding that there are group classes available in the larger cities for AICPCU course study and that there are companies that offer study kits like flash cards and so forth for the AICPCU courses.  I think there are study CD's available too.  If you Google "AIC designation" all kinds of things come up.  I used the standard textbooks that came with the courses and did not use the workbooks that were provided.  I would read the textbook twice and the second time I would highlight things I knew would require additional memorization.  Then I would go back and spend more time studying those highlighted items.  I only had to complete 3 courses to get the designation because I had another insurance industry designation that waived one of the courses.

    When you say "Is it worth getting the designation as an independent?" do you mean "Does it help you get work?"  That is a tough question from my perspective because my husband and I work together.  We started in adjusting at the same time in late 2005.  He had about the same number of years of construction experience as I had insurance experience.  In the past two very lean years we have been very fortunate.  We have been able to work daily claims on and off for 4 different vendors and we also worked one wind cat in 2007 in the Midwest for a 5th vendor.  It hasn't been steady, full time work but we can honestly say we have 2+ years of experience now without ever having worked a hurricane except as unpaid assistants for Hurricane Wilma.  When the vendors looked at our resume I don't know if my AIC designation swayed them our way or not but I'm sure it  didn't hurt.  They had a large pool of newer adjusters to choose from and we got work.  It may have nothing to do with designations and may just be that we sent out the most resumes!

    There are a lot of good training courses for adjusters and we have been to several but the AIC courses go further.  I think they give you a greater understanding of the principals of insurance that you can use to help educate the insureds you work with.  Most people will change from unreasonable to reasonable if you can explain why things are a certain way instead of just telling them "This is how it is."

    In addition to CE credits, you can earn college credit for AIC courses.

    Good luck if you decide to pursue the AIC.  I'm sure you won't regret it. 

    Kim

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    Tom Toll
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    01/28/2008 10:25 AM

    Mark, Kim pretty well nailed the question. I don't know your comprehension level, so a predication of how long it will take is literally impossible. Some ask how important these designations are and I am not really sure, but it does show a level of knowledge to the vendors and companies. I was taught by my Father to neven be mediocre and to pursue any project I undertook with absolute ferver and perfection. I have always been one that loves to learn as many new things as I can before I kick off, and I have stayed with that thought for many, many years.

    I know there were a lot of newbies hired during the Katrina event. This worked wonders for the vendors and companies for be able to see a multitude of people in a short period of time. It did, however, blow up in their faces, as many files were not worked correctly, thus many re-opens. Now some of the vendors and companies blame independent adjusters for not doing their jobs correctly, known as the blame game and not accepting responsibility for their decisions/actions. I don't blame a person who was thrown into a class for 3 or 4 days and expected to come out a true adjuster. One thing I like about working for Cunningham Lindsey as they try as hard as they can to make sure of the experience level and knowledge that an adjuster has, thus creating less problems for them and the companies they represent. Some vendors hire off the street, have this training program for 3 or 4 days and then let you go to work losses. This is not going to be a pretty sight at the mid to end of an event. Problems pop up and they don't have the experienced resources to straighten them out. The designations are certainly worth the time, money, and effort. Got for it.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    ranger
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    01/29/2008 8:41 PM
    Mark, I will state my opinion of the AIC designation. While I was a staff adjuster for Crum & Forster and Farmers Insurance Group it was very important to my career that I was persueing the professional designations. I have the Certificate in General Insurance from the IIA. I completed two parts of the AIC while I was with Farmers. I left them to go with an Independent Adjusting firm in Dallas. After becoming an Independent, I have not had any company that I handle claims for even mention the AIC, ARM or CPCU. For me it required a lot of study time to pass the parts of the AIC and my time can be better spent mastering Xactimate and becoming faster at processing claims. If I become a staff adjuster again I will complete the AIC and other designations to show the company I am serious about my career with them.
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    HuskerCat
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    01/29/2008 10:18 PM

    It's funny you should mention that, John.  When I started as a multi-line staffer several years ago, the company had me take all the courses on my own time as I was an isolated resident adjuster working out of my home about 1000 miles away from HQ.  After a few years, and leaving them, I've had 2 other staff positions prior to IA work.  In the course of interviews, no one has ever inquired about it.  Seemed all they were really interested in was how many years experience and good references as long as you were leaving on good terms from the prior job.  For a relatively newer adjuster, it likely carries more weight in their favor absent the other factors.  I do remember the tedious hours reading, and the information was valuable particularly since I too was a newbie at the time and pretty much learning on the run.  But now, years later, I'm not sure it makes one more valuable with or without it, compared to any other adjuster with x number of years under the belt.  Likely comes down to the one doing the hiring, and if he/she puts value on labels.

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    ranger
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    01/30/2008 11:16 AM
    When I was with Crum & Forster and I was not taking any IIA or CPCU courses I was told by a manager that I was not serious about my insurance career. If you got your CPCU while with Crum & Forster they would pay your way to where the CPCU certificates were being awarded. I knew one underwriter that took her final three CPCU courses as the CPCU awards were being held in Hawaii. While with Farmers Insurance Group the IIA and CPCU designations were hung on the office wall and were one of the qualifications for pay raises. I have worked Georges, Ivan, Katrina and Wilma for a large vendor and how fast and how accurate you work your assignments is what keeps you there. If I had th AIC, ARM and the CPCU designations and was slow working assignments I would be released within 6 weeks.
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    ALANJ
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    01/30/2008 4:38 PM
    Is there any colleges we can associate with as to set up a online course? My wife has decided to go back to school and half her classes are online. Looks to be a really cool way to learn and get credit for it.

    Alan J
    Adjuster / Lawyer
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    StormSupport
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    01/31/2008 9:18 AM

    Online Classes. A convenient way to study INS, AIC, or even CPCU with a real instructor. Have a look and see if it’s right for you.

    Do the right thing, ALWAYS
    ~Meg~
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