If you’re working towards becoming an insurance adjuster, you will come across the practice of reciprocity throughout the licensing process.
The specific requirements and process for obtaining a reciprocal license may vary by state, so you should familiarize yourself with the regulations of each state in which you plan to operate as an adjuster.
In this guide, we tackle adjuster license reciprocity as well as DHS licenses and the common steps on how to get a reciprocal license.
What is Adjuster License Reciprocity?
Adjuster license reciprocity means that licensed adjusters can operate in other states without having to go through the whole licensing process again. If an adjuster is licensed in one state, they can be granted a license in another state without having to meet all the state-specific requirements.
Note that not all states have reciprocity agreements, such as California, Hawaii, and New York, which require that all adjusters take their own particular adjuster exam or pre-licensing course.
Some states may require additional testing or training before granting a license. Even if a state has reciprocity agreements in place, there may be differences in the specific requirements or regulations for adjusters, so adjusters must familiarize themselves with the specific regulations of each state in which they operate.
Adjuster License Reciprocity Guide
Each state has its own specific requirements and regulations regarding adjuster licensing and reciprocity. Most states provide adjuster licensing and offer favorable reciprocity agreements with other states. This means that it’ll be easier for you to obtain licenses in multiple states.
However, some states do not offer licensing so your best bet is to apply for a Designated Home State (DHS) license (which we’ll tackle in a bit) so your license can be reciprocal to other states.
Note that there are three states that do not provide reciprocal licenses. These states are California, Hawaii, and New York. So this means that just because a state offers adjuster licensing, it doesn’t mean that they have reciprocal license agreements with other states.
For more information on the licensing requirements in your state, visit our Adjuster Licensing page.
How to Get an Adjuster Reciprocal License
If you are beginning your insurance adjuster career, be sure to check the state’s licensing rules and procedures when it comes to obtaining reciprocal licenses.
The criteria for reciprocity can vary between states, but typically include factors such as the adjuster’s home state being licensed, having a clean record, and meeting the other state’s licensing requirements in terms of education and experience.
Step 1: Meet Eligibility Requirements
Before applying for a reciprocal license, you should verify that you meet the eligibility requirements for the state in which you want to obtain a license.
These requirements may include having an active license in your home state, completing any required pre-licensing or continuing education courses, and passing any required exams.
Recommended Insurance Adjuster Course
For insurance adjuster pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 2: Pass the Licensing Exam
Some states may require you to pass an exam before granting a reciprocal license. These exams may cover state-specific insurance regulations or adjuster-specific knowledge.
The difficulty level of an insurance adjuster exam can vary depending on factors such as the specific exam you are taking, your prior knowledge of the insurance industry, and your study habits.
Insurance adjuster exams can be challenging because they cover a wide range of topics related to insurance policies, claims handling, and applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, some exams may include technical questions that require a strong understanding of insurance terms and concepts.
To prepare for an insurance adjuster exam, it’s important to thoroughly study the materials provided and practice answering sample questions. Many states require pre-licensing education and licensing providers may offer exam prep courses to help candidates prepare.
Read our study guide and tips on How to Pass the Insurance Adjuster Exam for more information.
Step 3: Submit Your Application
Once you have verified your eligibility, you will need to submit an application for a reciprocal license. This application may be submitted through the NIPR or directly to the state Insurance Department.
You will need to pay any applicable fees associated with obtaining a reciprocal license. These fees may vary by state.
In addition, you may be required to provide documentation to support your application, such as proof of your current license and any required pre-licensing or continuing education courses.
Step 4: Fingerprinting and Background Check
Most states require that insurance license applications include fingerprints prior to licensing. By providing your fingerprints, you will initiate a background check.
If you have specific questions regarding things that may come up on your background check, you may call the Department of Insurance (or similar department) in the state where you decide to conduct business.
Step 5: Application Review
After submitting your application and completing any required steps, you will need to wait for your application to be reviewed and approved.
This process may take several weeks or more, depending on your state’s processing rules.
Getting an Adjuster License in a State Without Reciprocity
There are three states that do not grant reciprocal licenses: California, Hawaii, and New York. If you want to become an adjuster in a state without reciprocity, you will need to follow the state’s specific requirements to obtain a license.
A non-reciprocal state doesn’t mean it’s a non-licensing state.
Non-reciprocal states are states in which an insurance adjuster licensed in another state may not be able to practice without obtaining a separate license. This means that if you’re licensed in one state but want to work on claims in a non-reciprocal state, you may need to obtain a separate license in that state.
Non-licensing states do not provide insurance adjuster licensing. If you live in a non-licensing state, you should apply for a Designated Home State License (DHS) license instead.
What is a Designated Home State License?
Getting a Designated Home State License (DHS) license allows an adjuster to operate in their home state and certain other states that recognize the DHS license. The DHS license is issued by the adjuster’s home state and is valid only in states that have entered into a reciprocal agreement with the home state.
To obtain a DHS license, an insurance adjuster must meet the licensing requirements of their home state and apply for the DHSL. The adjuster must also pass the licensing exam for any state where they wish to work under the DHS license.
Not all states offer DHS licenses, and the requirements and qualifications for obtaining one can vary by state. There are only three states that offer DHS licenses, including Florida, Indiana, and Texas.
A DHS license can provide an insurance adjuster with greater flexibility to work in multiple states, but it requires meeting specific licensing requirements and passing exams in the state where you intend to work.
Getting DHS licenses allow you to work in multiple states as long as that state has a reciprocal agreement with their designated home state. This can lead to more job opportunities for you and will likely help you advance your career in the insurance industry.
Adjuster License Reciprocity FAQ
How does adjuster license reciprocity work?
Adjuster license reciprocity refers to the process by which an individual licensed as an insurance adjuster in one state can obtain a license in another state without having to take additional exams or complete additional education requirements.
Can I have an adjuster license in two or more states?
Yes. It’s possible for an individual to hold an adjuster license in two or more states. Many insurance adjusters work in multiple states and may hold licenses in each state where they conduct business. Each state has its own requirements for maintaining an adjuster license, such as continuing education and license renewal fees. Adjusters must stay up-to-date on the requirements for each state in which they hold a license and ensure that they are in compliance with those requirements. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has developed the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), which provides a centralized platform for the submission and processing of insurance licenses and appointments. The NIPR also allows for license reciprocity between states, making it easier for adjusters to operate in multiple states.
Which state offers the best adjuster license reciprocity?
Texas is often considered to have one of the most favorable adjuster license reciprocity programs, as it has agreements with a large number of other states that allow adjusters to easily obtain a Texas license if they are licensed in one of the reciprocal states. Texas offers a DHS license, which can make it easier for adjusters to work in multiple states without having to obtain a license in each individual state. Other states with favorable adjuster license reciprocity programs include Florida, which has reciprocity agreements with a number of other states, and Indiana, which allows for a simplified process for adjusters who hold a license in another state.
What if my home state doesn’t do reciprocal licenses?
If your home state does not have a reciprocal agreement with other states for adjuster licensing, it means that you cannot simply apply for an adjuster license in another state and begin working there. Instead, you will need to follow the licensing requirements specific to the state in which you wish to work. If you plan to work in multiple states, it may be helpful to research the licensing requirements of each state you wish to work in and plan accordingly.