Become an Insurance Claims Adjuster

If you've already read the hype on adjuster school websites and you've heard even more hype from adjuster recruiters such as:

"Make $100,000 Cash In The First Year as a Public Adjuster!";
"Travel the Country and Make Great Money TODAY as an Insurance Adjuster!";
"Be Self-Employed and Make $15,000 per month as an Adjuster";

AND you're STILL HERE and willing to hear the TRUTH about becoming an insurance claims adjuster, KUDOS TO YOU!!!! 

The TRUTH is:

-- There are adjusters who travel to areas where there are catastrophic losses to property and adjusters who work at a desk in an office and never travel;

-- There are adjusters who work on behalf of insurance companies and adjusters who work on behalf of the policyholder;


-- There are adjusters working for themselves as independent contractors and adjusters who work as employees for insurance companies and third-party administrators;


-- There are adjusters who work many hours and make a good living and adjusters who work part-time to make supplemental income for their households. 

The first step in becoming a claims adjuster is to figure out the TYPE of adjuster job you would like to pursue and then obtain the correct adjuster license that will allow you to legally perform that job. This can be a bit confusing to those new to the insurance industry because different states title the same type of adjuster license with different names. In this article, we break down the broad types of insurance claims adjuster licenses issued in various states to help you ascertain the license you will want to obtain for the job you want!


So what types of claims adjuster jobs are possible for me?


The two types of adjusters that most people new to the insurance industry confuse are those working to adjust claims on behalf of insurance companies and those working to adjust claims on behalf of policyholders. "Public adjusters" work on behalf of policyholders and are always known as "public adjusters". Adjusters working on claims for insurance companies may be identified by many different titles depending on the state where the license was granted. Adjusters working to adjust claims on behalf of an insurance company may be known as:

** Independent Adjusters (IA) -- Those adjusters who work as independent contractors for Independent Adjusting Firms. These firms contract with IAs to work on claims for many different insurance companies who "outsource" their claims for adjustment. This type of adjuster is typically known as a "catastrophe" adjuster who travels to areas of the country where a tornado, a hurricane, flooding, etc. has occurred and there has been catastrophic damage to property. These adjusters are added to the "roster" of the adjusting firm to adjust claims received by the insurance company as a result of the catastrophe. Again, this type of adjuster works to adjust claims on behalf of the insurance company.

IAs working as "catastrophe adjusters" can already be licensed in the state where they are adjusting catastrophe claims or they may be approved as an "emergency adjuster". Each state will have their own laws regarding "emergency adjuster" licenses as to when they can be used, for how long they will remain valid, and reporting requirements. Typically, paperwork must be filed to indicate who will be responsible for the work of the emergency adjuster.

IAs may also be hired as "staff" or "field" adjusters by insurance companies and they work as "employee" adjusters. These adjusters are sent to the site of a policyholder's claim to scope the loss and adjust the claim, or to scope the loss and pass along the information to a "desk" adjuster to complete the claims adjustment. Some insurance companies may also hire IAs to work as independent contractors to scope the loss and pass the information onto their employee adjuster to complete.

"Specialty adjusters" also fall under the category of "independent adjusters". "Specialty adjusters" include those who adjust specific types of claims such as:
  -- Workers' compensation;
  -- Automobile liability;
  -- Automobile physical damage;
  -- Accident and health claims and others.

"Specialty adjusters" as with all independent adjuster licensees, work on behalf of the insurance company.

Some states offer adjuster licenses that cover only specialty types of loss claims and others require license candidates to obtain a full All Lines type of license in order to be permitted to adjust specialty type claims. For example, in order to adjust workers' compensation claims in California, an adjuster must hold a California Independent Adjuster license that covers all types of Property & Casualty policies. However, in Texas, if a license candidate would like to work as an adjuster for ONLY workers' compensation claims, that person would need to obtain only a Texas Workers Compensation Adjuster license.

** Public Adjusters (PA) -- Those adjusters who work under licensed public adjusters as apprentices or who are licensed as public adjusters and work with insurance policyholders to submit loss claims to the insurance company. PAs are permitted to assist insureds with submitting property loss claims only, not with liability (casualty) loss claims. 

Public adjusters typically work as sole proprietors or for public adjuster firms that solicit business after property losses. Because PAs must market themselves to policyholders who have recently experienced a loss and are emotionally vulnerable, most states have passed laws governing the conduct and ethics of public adjusters. Most states prohibit PAs from holding any interest (or they specify the permitted % of interest) in a repair company that is referred to make the repairs on any claim that same PA was involved with to prevent a conflict of interest. Additionally, most states prohibit a person holding both an Independent Adjuster license and a Public Adjuster license from acting on behalf of both the insurance company and the policyholder on the same claim

Before a public adjuster is permitted to start a business of their own or work alone as a public adjuster for a firm, they are usually held to a certain number of years of experience as dictated by state law. During the "apprentice" period of work, the public adjuster license candidate must work under a public adjuster who is already licensed and is willing to be responsible for the work of the apprentice.

For example, the state of Florida requires all public adjuster license candidates to first obtain an IAs license to work as a PA apprentice. After the PA apprentice period is completed, the license candidate must obtain a PA license to work as a public adjuster. Florida has also created statues governing the conduct and ethics of PAs licensed in the state. These laws prohibit times for solicitation of business, specify disclaimers and other items that must be included on the PA contract with the policyholder, specify unethical behaviors or practices that are prohibited, among other requirements of PAs in the state. 

For the reasons outlined above, it is important that adjuster license candidate's take a prelicensing or exam prep course for adjusters that includes state-specific laws and requirements. A generic course will not include all the information necessary to pass the state licensing exam.

We hope this article helps with your understanding of the different claims adjuster jobs and licenses you may be interested in holding! If you have further questions, please go to: ASK YOUR ADJUSTER QUESTIONS HERE! and select OPTION 1. We are happy to answer your questions without requiring you to provide your personally identifying information such as your name or email address. Additionally, we NEVER sell or otherwise provide ANY personally identifying information of any person who purchases our courses to any third party. 



Please Wait... processing