Every profession has some motto and a few secrets hidden in a special place. For physicians, the essence of the Hippocratic Oath is “Do no harm.” Their black box is likely a black bag with a stethoscope and other tools. For attorneys, the motto may be “Litigate the issue!” and the black box is a case for briefs. We adjusters also have a black box, but it’s most often in our head. Our tools are the policy, other contracts, a recorder, a camera, maybe a tape measure, a smart phone and a computer. It is what is in that black box that gives adjusters a basic understanding of what we do: it consists of six words and our motto is: “Never assume!”

Six words can adjust any type of claim: property, casualty, marine or life, and health insurance. Investigate, evaluate, and negotiate (or resolve) are the first three words. The next three are: Coverage, liability, and damages. These must be done in the proper order: Investigate the coverage first, and negotiate the damages last. The contents of this little black box will keep the adjuster out of trouble.

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