Insurance Adjuster License
An insurance adjuster—also sometimes called a claims adjuster, claims specialist, or claims analyst—is a person who conducts investigations into claims filed against an insurance policy, whether it’s a personal injury claim or a property damage claim. The main role of the insurance adjuster is to carry out an investigation, which involves:
- Talking with the property owners
- Inspecting the damage
- Gathering information from any witnesses
- Reviewing police reports (if any)
- Gathering information about injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
Types of Adjusters
There are a few different types of adjusters, with some important distinctions between them.
- Staff adjusters (also called employee adjusters) work full-time for an insurance company or an insurance adjuster firm. Staff adjusters are generally salaried and often receive benefits like health and life insurance, continuing education training, and a retirement plan (such as a 401K).
- Independent adjusters are not employees of an insurance company. They work for themselves or for multiple insurance firms or third-party claims handling companies. Insurance companies will often use third-party claims handling companies, who in turn assign claims to independent adjusters.
- Public adjusters work on behalf of policyholders directly. They help appraise and negotiate claims for the insured person, not the insurance company. They are often called on by policyholders when a proposed settlement from an insurer is seen as insufficient. For example, a policyholder who owns a commercial property might call a public adjuster to assess fire damage to an apartment complex if he/she feels the insurance company provided an inadequate proposed settlement. Public adjusters help ensure that the policyholder gets appropriately compensated by the insurance company.
These are the 3 main types of field adjuster—meaning that these individuals work “in the field,” traveling to different locations to inspect property damage and document the results of accidents.
Steps to Becoming a Licensed Insurance Adjuster
Ready to start your career as a licensed insurance adjuster? Here are the steps you’ll need to complete to start working.
Step 1: Decide which type of adjuster you want to be.
Maybe you’re pursuing a position as a staff adjuster with a large insurance company. Or you plan to work as an independent adjuster for third-party claims handling companies. Maybe you’d rather serve as a desk adjuster, handling claims without ever leaving the office. Or, if your passion is advocating for everyday people, maybe you want to become a public adjuster. Your first step is deciding which area you want to specialize in.
Step 2: Research which types of adjuster licenses are available in your state.
Not all states require you to be licensed to adjust claims, but many do. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require you to be licensed, you should strongly consider getting something called a Designated Home State (DHS) license. This is a type of nonresident licensure that allows you to work as an adjuster anywhere in the country by designating another state as your “resident” home state under the DHS process.
So, if you live in a state that doesn’t require a license or doesn’t have a licensing process in place, you may be able to get a nonresident adjuster license by taking an exam for another state, such as Texas. We strongly recommend you contact the department of insurance in your state to find out what they require/offer.
Step 3: Complete a pre-licensing course.
You can’t (or at least shouldn’t) attempt to take your adjuster licensing exam without studying first. You must know the material to pass—there are no shortcuts.
Check your area for a pre-licensing class with good reviews that matches your learning style to prepare for your exam. America’s Professor (AP) currently offers pre-licensing courses in Georgia and Texas.
Our courses are designed to teach you everything you need to know to pass your adjuster exam, including our “better-than-live” video lectures, which incorporate real-world examples and entertaining stories to help you remember the information.
Paired with our comprehensive textbook, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to tackle your licensing exam. The majority of our students pass their exam on the first try—check out what our students have to say about AP’s Georgia adjuster and public adjuster course, and then register for a course in your state.
Step 4: Pass the licensing exam.
In states that require you to be licensed, you must take a licensing exam. Most states require a score of between 60 and 75% to pass, and there are generally two parts to exams: a national section and a state-specific section. You must have a passing score on both parts, as the two scores are not averaged together. AP courses will prepare you for both parts.
Check to see if we have an adjuster course in your state today!
Step 5: Enroll in additional training courses.
Xactimate claims estimate software is the industry standard. It’s used by insurance companies, third-party claims handlers, and independent adjusters across the country. Prospective claims adjusters need to know this software. Enrolling in a training course rather than trying to learn it on your own is best. We recommend searching online for a training course in your state.
Rope & Harness Training is a relatively new training program designed for claims adjusters who are exposed to heights in the course of their work (for example, a field adjuster who inspects the roof of a building after a hurricane). Rope & Harness courses are hands on—they train you on how to safely climb a roof using a rope and harness, and how to properly use all the required gear (carabiners, ascenders, etc.). Is this training really necessary? It is when you consider the facts. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that property adjusters have nearly 4 times the rate of injury as the average construction worker. That’s because OSHA requires certain protections for construction workers (like guardrails when working at heights) but not for adjusters.
Bottom line: Taking these courses can make you more desirable to companies, boosting your income potential.
Step 6: Start working.
Once you pass the exam and get fingerprinted (if required in your state), you can formally apply for your license. Once you receive your license in the mail and complete any additional courses (such as Xactimate and Rope & Harness training) you can start working!
Step 7: Maintain your license.
You must renew your license at specified intervals (usually every two years) and you may be required to complete continuing education periodically (usually every one or two years). Make sure to keep your physical address and email address current with the department of insurance in your state to ensure you receive important reminders about renewals and continuing education. Letting your license lapse can be a major headache—do everything you can to avoid it.
Check to see if we have an adjuster course in your state today!