If your state doesn’t offer a resident insurance adjuster license, chances are that you will need to get your first license in another state. This is accomplished with a designated home state license.
In this article we will cover:
- What a designated home state (DHS) license is
- Why you may need to designated home state license
- How to get your designated home state license
Indiana is one of three states that offers a designated home state insurance adjuster license. We recommend people choose Texas to designate as their home state for their easy online system and friendly service if you ever need to reach the licensing department.
What is a Designated Home State (DHS) Adjuster License?
A designated home state (DHS) license is an insurance adjuster license offered specifically to allow people to become a licensed adjuster in states that don’t provide their own licensing.
Example: The state of Illinois does not offer or require any licensing to conduct insurance adjusting practices, so if people need to get their license for one reason or another, they would go to a state that offers a designated home state license, like Texas.
Essentially, this allows the applicant to act as though Texas is their “home state” (thus the name!) in licensing terms.
So does this mean that a person in ANY state can get a designated home state license?
Technically, yes. A person from any state can designate Texas as their home state. But, if you live in a state that requires its own adjuster license, then you should absolutely get that license first. This will allow you to conduct business in your own state without getting spending unnecessary time with licensing.
Remember: Insurance licenses do not cross state lines.
Why Do I Need A Designated Home State (DHS) Adjuster License?
If you live in a state that doesn’t require a license, it may seem like a waste to get an adjuster license. While you may be able to go without for a while, there will come a time when the benefits will outweigh the effort.
There are two main reasons why a person would need a designated home state license: non-resident licensing and career marketability.
Insurance adjusting is a unique business, as there are times when opportunities arise in other areas of the country and you must travel outside of your state to take advantage of these events. Especially for Catastrophe (CAT) adjusters.
This means that you will in most cases need to obtain a license in whatever state the situation is in. As mentioned earlier, insurance licenses only work in one state.
To get a license in a state that is not your home state, you will apply for a non-resident license in that state.
These states do, however, require that you have a license in your home state before you are able to attain their license, and since some states don’t offer an adjuster license, this is where designated home state licenses come in.
If you have a designated home state license then you will be able to apply for a non-resident license using Texas as your home state.
Problem solved! Some states will even waive the licensing exam to licensed applicants when applying for a non-resident license; all you will need to do is submit the application and pay the fee.
While it is true that some states don’t require that you have a license to practice insurance adjusting, you may come to a situation where a potential employer prefers a person carry a license.
Think about this: if you apply for a position at an adjusting firm with no real-world experience, and someone else without any experience applies for the same position, except they have a license, who do you think that position going to?
There are also situations when a company will eventually want you to be able to travel to impacted areas outside of your home state. Having a license will put you one step closer to being able to make that trip.
How to Get a Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License
Step 1. Designated Home State Adjuster Pre-License Education
The first step in getting an Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License is taking pre-license education courses. These are state required courses pertaining to claims adjusting, basic insurance information, state laws and mandates, and professional ethics. To fill the pre-license requirement, you must complete a certain amount of credit hours depending on the lines of authority (types of licenses) you wish to attain.
You must complete forty (40) hours of pre-license education for the Indiana Designated Home State Adjuster License.
You will receive a certificate upon completion of the courses. Keep these certificates, as you will need them when taking your exams.
Most applicants choose to take these courses online, as it fits their schedule better, but there may also be in-person courses available. You should choose which format in which to take your courses based on your preferred method of learning. The goal isn’t just to get the courses out of the way, it’s to prepare you to pass your license exam on the first attempt.
For Indiana DHS insurance adjuster pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 2. Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License Exam
The next step after completing your pre-licensing requirement is to take and pass the Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License exam.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching over you. For people who haven’t tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam. When you arrive at the exam location you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.
The Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster license exam consists of one hundred fifty (150) questions, and you have one hour (1:00) to complete it.
An outline of included subjects for this exam can be found here: Pearson VUE Indiana Insurance Examination Content Outlines.
Each attempt of the exam costs $69 and will be paid when you make your reservation. Testing must be completed within six (6) months of the Pre-Licensing Course Completion Date on the certificate.
A total score of 70% or more is required to pass this test. To explain the scoring of these exams, we will quote the Pearson VUE Indiana Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook:
The passing score of the exam is determined by the Indiana Department of Insurance. Through standardization and control, Pearson VUE ensures that no individual has an unfair advantage because of a particular examination format. Candidates need to achieve 70% to pass the IDOI exams.
Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn’t the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.
You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Pearson VUE Indiana Insurance page or by calling Pearson VUE at (866) 895-0496.
Step 3. Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License Application
Once you have completed your pre-licensing requirement and examination, the next step is applying for your license.
The fee for an application is $40.
Apply online with the Sircon – Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License Application or with the NIPR – Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License Application.
Step 4. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and have completed all the other requirements, your license application will be reviewed by the state. This process generally takes about two to three (2-3) business days. Depending on the results of your background check, the Department of Insurance may request more information or documentation.
After the review is complete, you will receive an email from PSI regarding the status of your license.
You’ve done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success! We’re proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.
Indiana Department of Insurance Contact Information
Indiana Department of Insurance
Attn: Agent Licensing
311 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Phone: (317) 232-2414
Fax: (317) 234-5882
Indiana Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License FAQ
How long does it take to get a designated home state insurance adjuster license in Indiana?
In Indiana, the process of designated home state insurance adjuster licensing can range from a few weeks to a few months (pre-exam education, pre-license exam, background checks, license application, and application review). Follow the steps above to get your insurance license in Indiana.
Do you need a license to become an insurance adjuster?
Yes. Earning an insurance adjuster license allows you to increase your income potential, add to your credibility, and qualify for advanced employment opportunities.
Is being an insurance adjuster difficult?
Being an insurance adjuster can be a highly rewarding role. In fact, insurance claims adjusters enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction, according to Payscale.
How much do insurance adjusters make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most recent median annual salary for claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators was $65,080. This was higher than the median salary for all occupations in May 2021, which was $45,760. The highest earners worked for the government, with a median salary of $81,890. If you want to work as a catastrophe (CAT) adjuster in areas frequently affected by natural disasters (like the Gulf Coast), you will likely have higher earnings potential and employment. For independent insurance adjusters that work on commission rather than salary, the high demand for claims adjusters in these areas can result in a lot of business.
What skills are needed to be an insurance adjuster?
Insurance claims adjusters typically investigate insurance claims and travel to locations to inspect property (such as automobiles, buildings, etc.), assess damage, and make notes on repairs and costs. Insurance adjusters deal with individuals in high-stress situations a lot so you must have a professional attitude at all times. Due to the nature of the job, insurance claims adjusters must have excellent communications skills, write clearly, be comfortable with math and basic computer software, and have a flexible schedule since they travel a lot to areas hit by disasters with irregular work hours. Insurance adjusters must have specific industry knowledge to interpret contracts, determine insurance claim payouts, and make recommendations for how the insurance company proceeds in resolving the claim.
Do you need a degree to be an insurance adjuster?
You don’t need a four-year degree to become licensed as an insurance adjuster. However, you will need to complete your education requirements or pass the Indiana insurance adjuster exam to be a licensed insurance adjuster. One of the prerequisites to fulfill your education requirements is to complete a minimum number of hours of college level insurance-related coursework. If you are working on an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you can take courses that will work toward the Indiana insurance adjuster license requirements.