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The Public Adjuster Hero—Being a Great Public Adjuster Serving the Policyholder Is Hard


One scene from “A League of Their Own” is a powerful and motivational one for public insurance adjusters. I referenced it in my speech at the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) meeting yesterday in beautiful Newport Beach, California. This scene occurs when one of the star players, Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis), decides to quit the team right before the World Series game. Her coach, Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), tries to convince her not to quit and delivers the famous line:

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

The meaning behind this quote is that true greatness and achievement require hard work, dedication, and overcoming challenges. If something were easy, it wouldn’t be as valuable or rewarding. The “hard” part—the struggles, obstacles, and sacrifices—is what makes the eventual success so meaningful and gratifying.

Dugan is essentially telling Dottie that she shouldn’t quit just because baseball has become difficult. The fact that it’s hard is precisely what makes playing at that level special and worthwhile. Giving up when faced with adversity robs one of the opportunity to achieve true greatness.

The quote resonates because it applies not just to baseball but to any endeavor in life that requires perseverance and grit to succeed. Whether it’s a career, a relationship, or a personal goal, the challenges and “hard” parts are what make the journey meaningful and the achievement rewarding. Overcoming difficulties builds character and makes successes feel earned. The scene certainly applies to those public adjusters striving to better themselves by raising their standards of professionalism and ethics while focusing on serving the policyholder.

In this pivotal scene, Dugan motivates Dottie to embrace the struggle and not be deterred by the hard parts because that’s what will make her potential victory all the more fantastic and satisfying. It’s an inspirational message about the value of perseverance.

In Public Adjusters Need To Raise The Bar For Admission If They Want To Be Seen As Professionals, I wrote:

Public adjusters assume a significant role when they choose to represent policyholders. This profession demands a high level of expertise and knowledge due to its multifaceted nature. In my presentation on ethics to public adjusters titled “Would You Hire You?” I emphasize the necessity of mastering over a dozen specialized fields. This breadth of knowledge is crucial for public adjusters to truly excel in their work. The essence of a genuine profession lies in its exclusivity and standards; it’s not a field that should be accessible to individuals lacking the requisite education and experience.

By adhering to elevated standards, public adjusters not only safeguard the interests of the public and policyholders but also secure their own professional livelihood. The integrity and quality of work in public adjusting are directly proportional to the respect and trust it garners from related industries. A high caliber of practice within this field creates a robust defense against potential criticisms and challenges from the insurance sector and legal professionals.

It is hard to become a great public adjuster. It takes years of passionate and dedicated work to gain the experience and knowledge needed to properly represent a policyholder at the highest levels of the profession.

At times during yesterday’s speech, I felt like I was preaching to the choir. If you want to see the most fit males on the planet, show up at the men’s 10k Olympic finals. If you want to be among the very best public adjusters, show up at the annual NAPIA conference. I might catch some grief from other public adjuster organizations for stating this truth, and all public adjusters should participate in the regional associations. But, for those wanting to be the best and learn from the best, there is not a close second to the level of depth and experience that NAPIA offers.

Amy Bach of United Policyholders was in the audience as I gave my presentation. She agreed with me when I said that policyholders desperately need heroes to help them navigate and overcome the toil of the insurance claim process. The only way to be a true hero to the policyholder and not some fake pretender is for public adjusters to embrace “the hard.”

Thought For The Day

The only way you can truly control how you are seen is by being honest all the time.
—Tom Hanks