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A catastrophic event can wipe out a farmer's crop and profits for many years after the event. Crop insurance helps farmers rebound from destructive events and maintain some financial balance. Farmers can purchase crop insurance through a federal program called the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation or through private insurance companies. The path to becoming a crop insurance adjuster begins with a basic education in insurance claims adjustment.
Obtain a degree. Earning a bachelor's degree is not always necessary for insurance adjusters but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that employers like to hire college graduates. The BLS does not recommend a specific degree but points out that degrees in an area of interest, such as agriculture, is a good choice for the adjuster.
Work in the insurance industry. Adjusters without a college degree will need to gain training on the job. Large insurance companies often train adjusters in-house, providing a basic foundation and best practices for the employee to work from. Apprenticing with an independent adjuster can provide a hands-on education in insurance adjusting. Choose an insurance company that sells crop insurance for the opportunity to train in that area. Not all insurance companies sell crop insurance.
Enroll in a training program. Adjusters without a degree or work experience can learn the basics of insurance and claims adjustment through training programs taught by businesses such as Adjuster Training or AdjusterPro. Check with your state board of insurance to discover whether the board recommends a particular training program.
Enroll in the National Crop Insurance Services Crop Adjuster Proficiency Program. Successfully passing the CAPP results in a certification used by some states to qualify crop adjusters for a license. CAPP requires 60 hours of training, three proficiency exams and a continuing education requirement.
Apply for a license from your state government. Contact the state's Board of Insurance and inquire about licensing. Although some states do not have a specific license for crop adjusters, all insurance adjusters are required to be licensed no matter what type of insurance they work with. State requirements usually include an application, a fee, a surety bond, work experience or training as a claims adjuster and an exam. Licenses specifically for crop adjusters may require specific training and testing.
Keep current on state and federal crop regulations. Crop adjusters must be knowledgeable about pending changes and possible effects of current legislation. Keep current by visiting the USDA Risk Management Agency online or your state's Department of Agriculture. Regional offices of the USDA can also provide current information.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Edition 2010-11; Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners and Investigators
- Unites States Department of Agriculture: Risk Management Agency; Federal Crop Insurance Corporation FCIC
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners: National Crop Insurance Services; Crop Adjuster Proficiency Program