Tropical Storm Isaac approaches US…Now is the time to refresh your Xactimate skills with newest sponsor www.TopAdjuster.com

August 23, 2012

ClaimSmentor welcomes our newest sponsor at www.topadjuster.com run by Chris Hatcher, AIC who provides an excellent opportunity to obtain your Xactimate Level I and II certifications online at a most reasonable cost.

To view more details about Chris’s claims background, you can view his Linkedin profile here. Make sure to notice the many recommendations on his profile from prior students. I did further research through Xactware who certifies instructors and verified Chris’s certification which you too can view here along with his excellent feedback score here.

As any followers of this blog or our ClaimSmentor forums knows, I have always believed in direct training through Xactware and rarely allow an individual training firm to be a sponsor at ClaimSmentor. I have made an exception with Chris Hatcher after watching him several years and first hand observing his professional skills and development with his program resulting in his association with the National Association of Catastrophe Adjusters and a featured speaker and trainer of Xactimate for the Windstorm Network.

Many independent adjusting firms are now requiring the independent adjuster obtain atleast their Level I and II certification on Xactimate usage to provide some comfort level that they are not deploying an adjuster who may be deploying with insufficient skills to be productive on assignment or an independent adjuster who believes they can “learn on the fly” on a catastrophe assignment. This is a development I am happy to see as the Level I, II, and III certification require the adjuster be tested on their Xactimate skills.

I receive numerous complaints annually about Xactimate training firms who have overcrowded classrooms, lack enough instructor help in the classroom, and little support help or material to use in the field when preparing their own estimates. Most Xactimate classes advertised online by most firms do not offer the actual certifications thus you still must pay a seperate fee to obtain your certifications through Xactware.

Top Adjuster is providing the actual certification Level I and Level II certifications so you are getting your training as well as your certification at a substantially lower cost. Definitely worth giving them a try for your certification needs.

Top Adjuster also offers field training classes for independent adjusting firms, insurance carriers, and for claim seminars so please contact Chris and Rachel Hatcher for further details at info@topadjuster.com . If you need Xactimate Sketch training as well you can ask Chris about their new training course on Xactimate Sketch usage.

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Xactimate Training Options through Xactware Why take it anywhere but directly from the source!

August 17, 2011

Let’s talk Xactimate training!

I continue to be annoyed each and everytime I see another outrageous charge for Xactimate training by many sources who have little under their belt besides a few months to a few years of catastrophe adjusting.

First and foremost, before you pay any fee to any organization you need to verify through Xactware whether or not they are even Xactware certified to vouch for their expertise in the Xactimate programs. It is simple to do so, here is a link at Xactware where you can find instructors and verify if they have certified with them to teach a course to assure you are learning from a true and TESTED expert in this field: View list here

The second most important reason to take your training from an Xactimate certified instructor is due to the fact only XACTWARE can actually certify you in your training by truly testing your skills to verify you are adept at using their software. They offer Level I,  Level II, and Level III online certification tests. I have seen variations in requirements by adjusting firms asking adjusters to obtain their Level I and Level II and sometimes Level III certification. Thus, even if you paid an outrageous price from a non certified vendor and haven’t taken the certification level testing, it is worthless from the standpoint of securing the required Xactware certification.

You will also note that Xactware lists Certified users on their website which you can view here . It is without a doubt if I owned an independent adjusting firm and searching for qualified adjusters, I’d definitely start with this list which even shows the adjuster state of residence as well- what a find for an independent firm looking for good daily property adjusters!

The contact I received that prompted this blog post was from one of my favorite claims associations. They were proposing offering of Xactimate training by a source offering the class for $5,500.00 to the group thus the cost per participant would be apparently divided among the participants. The name of the trainer was not revealed in the email received and they could or could not be Xactware certified but I have let the group know my thoughts which was the very reason for the existence of ClaimSmentor to prevent the training abuses I have witnessed in the independent field by, in some cases, very poor trainers and very worthless certificates for attendance being given to class attendees. As a claim manager and knowing the problems existing out there with many of the training firms, a certificate of attendance at training is worthless when it isn’t backed up by proper testing to make sure you can actually produce a professional estimate and claim file.

It is almost certain trainee adjusters are spending upwards towards $10,000 dollars attending claim conferences, seminars, insurance carrier certification workshops and in the majority of their cases they have yet to receive their first assignment. It is actually shocking. More on this subject later.

In the meantime, I cannot stress enough that you should take your Xactimate training directly from the source. It is more cost effective, it accomplishes the need to properly get certified to your own advantage, and with all of the new options they have available through webinars, online training, self study training, and opportunities to take field classes you obtain the proper workbooks so you’ll have them on the road with your first assignments, but also find step by step guidelines to reference as needed.

The most common complaints I hear constantly from adjusters taking Xactimate courses from numerous other sources include but not limited to the fact that the trainer to student ratio is very poor, that hours into the first day are wasted while instructors have to load Xactware on adjusters computers who didn’t follow instructions to do so before classes, and that they walked away with no training material whatsoever for future references which is greatly needed when it may be months between your class instruction and when you actually receive your first assignments.

Listen folks, do yourselves a favor and take this training seriously. It isn’t he with the cheapest class or the class most convenient to your home that matters. If your estimates are not professional and properly formatted, as an independent you will earn NOTHING as your files will continue to be rejected for corrections. Over the years of running ClaimSmentor, I’ve heard countless number of stories from trainee adjusters who couldn’t cut it in the field and were released and sent home due to poor estimatics, poor estimating skills, and many other reasons we discuss in our Fundamentals of Claims courses.

Do the right thing for your own career.Here is the list of all programs Xactware offers on webinars and Xactimate training….run don’t walk to register through Xactware for all of your Xactimate training needs. I just cannot stress this enough. You can prevent becoming a victim of poor training without certification and have all of the options to meet your individual learning styles such as instructor lead, self study, webinars, etc all the while saving on those costly traveling expenses to attend field classes.

We continue to thank Xactware for the ever continuing effort they make with great progess I’d say in the last year or two to making Xactimate training options even more user friendly for adjusters today than ever before!

To all of you Xactimate users who have obtained your Level I, Level II, and even your Level III certification- my hat’s off to you for taking the professional route to learning the software. I understand there is a fee for each level of testing which is outlined on the Xactware site but for what it can do for your career and opportunities as well as your own comfort level- BRAVO to you!