where do loss adjusters work?
There are a few types of insurance adjusters by function.
Personnel adjusters work as full-time, year-round employees for an insurance company. They earn a salary and receive benefits. These days, most personal adjusters work in auto insurance, but every line needs personal adjusters to handle their day-to-day claims.
There are also independent adjusters. These are usually not true freelancers, but rather employees of an independent appraiser firm (IA) operating as a third-party administrator (TPA). however, independent adjusters do not earn a salary. they are paid more as freelancers, depending on expenses, volume of claims, and type.
This makes sense because insurance companies often call IA companies for catastrophic claims, like natural disasters, when case volume is higher than staff adjusters can handle. this means that the amount of work and the income stream can be floods and famines: long days and lots of money in difficult conditions, followed by time off and little income between disasters.
Finally, there are the public insurance adjusters. Public adjusters work for policyholders rather than insurers, with the goal of getting that person or company the highest possible settlement. Public adjusters typically earn a percentage of the settlement amount, typically 5-15%.
according to the us bureau of labor services, the median annual salary for insurance adjusters is $70,650/year, but there is a lot of variation. the top 10% earn more than $100k while the bottom 10% earn less than $40k.
The typical salary range for staff adjusters is $40-70,000. independent and public adjusters explain the wide gap between the best and worst paid. those types of adjuster jobs are high risk, high (or low) reward.
how to become a claims adjuster
The process for becoming a claims adjuster depends on where you live and the type of work you want to do, but the general path is like this.
comply with the minimum education of the insurance adjuster
To become an entry-level insurance claims adjuster, you must earn your high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a ged.
Some employers or specialties may prefer candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. That’s one reason to get an idea of what type of adjuster you hope to become before you start your journey. Do some research on what will be expected of your specialty, if you have your heart set on one.
full training for loss adjusters
State licensing requirements vary, so you’ll need to check the laws in your home state. Even if your state doesn’t require a license, you’ll probably need to apply for one elsewhere; more on this later.
Usually the first step in becoming an insurance adjuster in any state is insurance adjuster training. You will need to complete state-specific pre-licensing education, which typically takes 40 hours. In most cases, you’ll take the education and exam specific to a particular line of insurance, but some states have an “all lines” license that allows you to process claims of any type. Since it covers more ground, courses on all lines require more time.
Some states have specific requirements for pre-licensing courses, including minimum hours and approved providers. Most of these allow you to complete insurance adjuster training in a classroom setting or online, but some only require a classroom setting. in either case, make sure you sign up with a course provider that is approved by the relevant state agency.
In states that only require an exam and not coursework, prelicensing courses are still a good idea so you’ll be ready to pass the exam on the first try.
pass your state’s insurance adjuster licensing exam
Most states require you to pass an exam that covers the same topics as pre-licensing courses. it’s a good idea to find out how often these tests are offered in your home state so you can schedule your courses appropriately.
Also, your state may have other requirements or restrictions that you must meet before you qualify.
apply for your adjuster license and any reciprocal licenses
After you pass the state exam and meet all requirements, you will need to prepare a license application and submit the required fees. Most states require that you be fingerprinted and submit to a background check.
Once your first state license is approved, you’ll probably want to apply for reciprocal licenses in other states where you’d like to work. the average adjuster is licensed in 10-12 states. the multi-state license is especially critical if you want to work as a catastrophic insurance adjuster.
Most employers favor people with licenses in the Gulf Coast or East Coast states because that’s where most of the claims occur. the “best statuses” vary a bit by specialty, so be sure to do your homework.
The good news is that reciprocal licenses are usually easy to obtain. You probably don’t need to take another test, just submit the application with proof of your state license and pay a fee. however, some states added additional rings.
insurance claims adjuster license by state
States either have their own insurance adjuster licensing process or they don’t. this affects where and how you get licensed.
Most states (34 of 50) issue their own licenses to claims adjusters.
Requirements vary, so check with the appropriate regulatory agency for the current requirements in your jurisdiction. States typically require pre-licensing courses and a state exam, a background check, an application, and processing fees. most states respect reciprocity with at least some other states.
some states are more difficult than others. new york and california are notorious for two rules. First, none of the states offer reciprocity (along with Hawaii), so if you want to process claims in those states, you must complete all of their requirements. Second, both New York and California (along with New Mexico) require adjusters to obtain bail.
These two hurdles combined mean that few non-residents have California or New York adjuster licenses, but if you put in the effort, they can be valuable.
there are 17 jurisdictions that do not issue their own license:
- the district of Colombia
- new jersey
- north dakota
- south dakota
- new hampshire
- new mexico
- north carolina
- rhode island
- south carolina
If you live in an unlicensed state, you still need to get a license. Since most adjusters work in multiple states and most states require a license, most adjuster positions, regardless of type, require you to be licensed.
Residents of any of the jurisdictions listed above may obtain a Nonresident Designated Home State (DHS) license. essentially, you just choose which state your “home” will be, and then apply from there.
what insurance adjuster course should i take?
If you are eligible for a non-resident dhs license, you may be wondering which is the “best” state to choose.
we recommend obtaining a texas adjuster’s license. It allows pre-licensing training online, and it’s a large, populous state along the Gulf Coast, which means it has a high volume of claims on its own.
also has reciprocal license agreements with 28 states, including:
Our online texas adjuster pre-licensing course has an approved final exam to replace the texas state exam. simply take the course and pass the final exam, then apply for your texas adjuster license. our ultimate success package even includes access to tutoring and test marking support if you don’t pass on your first try.
Start your new career as a claims adjuster today – sign up now!