Level Up Your Adjusting Career

Our CSO Joshua Cruce shares how to level up your adjusting career.


One of the best parts of my job is mentoring adjusters. I love seeing people enter the industry with the drive and desire to have a career having the opportunity to help them achieve their goals.

I am asked constantly, how can I be better? In most cases, the adjusters are oriented toward training, Xactimate skills, certifications, etc. My response, and what I found is the magic key to a great adjuster, is simple.


It’s that simple. Listen. Stop talking and listen.

Listen to the insured, listen to the contractor, listen to managers, listen to your gut.

The 80/20 rule

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, is a great rule of thumb for listening. We should spend 80% of our communication listening and 20% speaking.

An adjuster’s main objective is to investigate the claim. Investigation is, in its purest form, listening.

As an adjuster, I focused my energy during inspections by asking short, direct questions and allowing the insured to talk to their heart’s content. This helped to me understand what their goals were, how they felt, and what their true needs were.

Practice and patience

Following the 80/20 rule seems simplistic, but man, is it hard to do. I would honestly consider it a ‘super skill’.

Anyone who knows me knows I am always up for a good ramble. So, I have spent significant energy training to listen. It has to be intentional.

To practice this, I would not speak a word until I could ask a question or provide feedback in two sentences or less. This allowed me to think through all I have listened to, and form quality questions and observations.

This practice has made me a better leader, a stronger client partner, and a generally more tolerable human being.


Nice lady lived alone in a one-story cottage. She was about 70-80 years old. EF-1 tornado hit near her home, damaging her roof, siding and allowed water to enter two rooms. I could have inspected and scoped this in my sleep.

But instead of leaning on what I knew during my inspection, I leaned on my practice of listening. I asked her directly, what is your biggest concern? You would assume it would be the roof or the water on her ceiling, but it wasn’t.

She walked me back into her kitchen to a beautiful bay window. She told me she starts each morning sipping tea and watching the sunrise from this bay window. She then lifted a pillow to show me a small, 2”x2” water stain from wind driven rain in the lower right-hand corner.

Out of the 30-40 thousand dollars’ worth of damage to her home, her primary concern was this tiny water stain. She wasn’t necessarily even concerned with the rest, she just wanted to watch the sunrise each morning without this unsightly stain.

Even if I had handled her claim perfectly, I would have missed this tiny issue and I would have failed her.

Without the intentional practice of listening, I would have never known about this stain. I would have failed her.

If you want to level up your adjusting career… listen.