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Insurance Adjuster Licensing Articles
A career as an insurance adjuster involves understanding the specifics of insurance coverage and policies as well as investigating losses and damage. An insurance adjuster plays a critical role in determining a fair payout to provide benefits for the policyholder and protect the insurance company from fraudulent claims.
Insurance adjusters should be familiar with the insurance process, as well as be able to determine value and damage to insured property. All insurance professionals, including insurance adjusters, must comply with their state’s license requirements.
Follow our step-by-step guide to get your insurance adjusters license.
How Do I Get My Insurance Adjuster’s License?
Insurance licensing is regulated at the state level. Everything from pre-licensing education requirements to exam content varies by state. Becoming an insurance adjuster requires familiarity with your state’s requirements and process from education and exams to your final application.
For states that require an insurance adjuster license, you must complete the steps to apply for a resident license in your state. For states that do not offer an insurance adjuster license, you will be able to work as an insurance adjuster without a license in your state only.
If your state does not offer an insurance adjuster license, you can choose a Designated Home State (DHS) to pursue licensure. Two of the most popular states to designate as DHS are Texas and Florida. Simply complete the non-resident insurance adjuster license steps and application.
Many states require the following steps to become an insurance adjuster, but specific requirements can vary. Check with your specific state requirements to determine your path.
Step 1: Complete An Insurance Adjuster Training Course
Many states require that insurance adjusters show your education as an insurance adjuster as a prerequisite to applying. These education requirements can be met in a variety of ways. For example, to become a Resident All-lines Insurance Adjuster in Florida, you must complete one of the state-approved pre-licensing education courses or pass the state exam.
The following courses satisfy the insurance adjuster professional knowledge requirement in Florida and mean that you are exempt from the state insurance adjuster licensing exam.
- Accredited Claims Adjuster designation from an Accredited State Postsecondary Institution
- Certified Claims Adjuster designation from AE21 Incorporated
- Certified Adjuster designation from All Lines Training
- Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation from American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters
- Professional Property Insurance Adjuster designation from HurriClaim Training Academy
- Associate in Claims designation from Insurance Institute of America
- Professional Claims Adjuster designation from Professional Career Institute
- Claims Adjuster Certified Professional designation from WebCE, Inc.
- Universal Claims Certification from Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
- A postsecondary insurance degree with at least 18 semester hours of college credit in property, casualty, health, and commercial insurance
- A currently license Property and Casualty insurance agent
- Letter of Clearance indicating an all-lines insurance adjuster license from another state (at least 1 year) within 90 days of becoming a Florida resident
Many states include a similar list of approved professional licenses and certifications that will satisfy the insurance adjuster licensing education requirement. If you meet one of these requirements, you will often be able to skip the insurance adjuster license exam step and proceed right to your state’s application.
Step 2: Pass the Insurance Adjuster License Exam
If you do not have a certification or background in insurance, you will still be able to pursue your insurance adjuster license by showing your knowledge on a state insurance adjuster license exam. A pre-license education course is the best way to prepare for the state insurance adjuster exam.
Each state that offers an insurance adjuster license includes an exam content outline to help applicants prepare. The insurance adjuster’s exam content outline is the most comprehensive list of testable material available and is reviewed in exam preparation courses. Learn more about your state’s insurance adjuster exam by reviewing your state’s requirements.
You will need to understand and apply the following information on the state insurance adjuster exam:
- Property and liability insurance concepts, contracts, law, and adjusting practices
- Casualty and liability insurance (automobile, umbrella policies, homeowners, farm liability, boiler and machinery, crime and surety, workers compensation, and other commercial casualty insurance)
- Fire and allied lines (dwellings, homeowners, commercial property, flood, business owners, inland marine insurance, ocean marine insurance, and aviation insurance)
- Motor vehicle physical damage and mechanical breakdown
- Health insurance
- State-specific laws and regulations that apply to insurance adjusters
A pre-license education course will help you learn the ins and outs of being a claims adjuster and the insurance industry.
For insurance adjuster pre-license education courses and exam prep, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3: Complete Your Insurance Adjuster License Application
Your state will require your personal and background information to process your insurance adjuster license application. You can apply for your insurance adjuster license through your state’s Department of Division of Insurance. Most use an online secure portal to keep your information safe.
Application fees range from $20 to over $200. You can expect to pay multiple fees to become fully licensed as an insurance adjuster.
- Application fee: Around $50
- License Identification: Around $5
- State Exam: Around $45
- State Appointment: Around $60
Some states, such as Texas, offer an emergency insurance adjuster license during disasters. If you apply as an emergency insurance adjuster, you must be sponsored by a licensed insurance adjuster or licensed insurance company in that state. Emergency insurance adjuster licenses are only valid for 90 days.
Many states also require fingerprints, which the applicant must pay for as part of their application. Fingerprinting fees are typically around $50 and are completed through a third party. Even if you have provided fingerprints previously in your state, you may be required to complete a new set as part of your insurance adjuster application.
Your state will review your application and notify you when your insurance adjuster license is processed and complete. Congratulations! You are officially a licensed insurance adjuster.
If you are a recently-separated military veteran (within 24 months of application), you may be able to have your application fees waived or reduced. Check with your state and submit documentation showing your honorable discharge.
Step 4: Apply For State Reciprocity
While not a requirement to be licensed as an insurance adjuster, having state reciprocity can greatly increase your ability to process claims in neighboring states or areas during a disaster. If you plan to work as a catastrophe insurance claims adjuster, you will likely need to pursue a license in multiple states.
Many states offer reciprocity with other states, knowing that insurance adjusters may need to handle claims in multiple states or areas. Reciprocity allows insurance adjusters licensed in one state to pursue licensure in another state without completing new requirements, such as training or continuing education.
If you plan to work as a Catastrophe adjuster, you may be required to travel to areas hit with natural disasters to work on insurance claims. Having reciprocity in these areas means that you will be licensed to work as soon as you are needed. States such as Texas and Florida that offer DHS licenses are areas commonly impacted by natural disasters, such as hurricanes.
Insurance adjuster state reciprocity can apply to licensing, continuing education, or both. It is important to learn your state’s requirements to see if you may be able to save time and fees while pursuing reciprocal licenses.
When applying for insurance jobs, having reciprocal licenses in other states can help your application stand out and make you a more appealing job candidate.
Insurance Adjuster Licensing FAQ
How Long Does it Take to Become an Insurance Adjuster?
If you live in a state that does not require insurance adjusters to hold a license, you will be able start working right away. But you will be limited to conducting business in that state, which can mean less work and earnings. If you want to maximize your professional opportunities as an insurance adjuster, you should pursue license as a non-resident in a Designated Home State. Insurance adjuster courses can range from a few weeks to a few months if you need to take and pass the state exam. Remember that preparation is important. Focused study using an insurance adjuster exam prep course can save you time and money by helping you pass your exam on the first attempt.
What Skills are Needed to be a Claim’s Adjuster?
Insurance claims adjusters must be able to confidently investigate insurance claims and complete paperwork. A lot of an insurance adjuster’s time is spent outside, examining property such as buildings or automobiles, to determine damage and estimated repair costs. You will also need to know basic math to calculate insurance claim payouts. If you plan to work as a catastrophe claims adjuster, you should be prepared to travel to areas hit by disasters in order to process claims. This career path can offer a lot of financial earnings but does require a flexible schedule and quick action.
How Much Do Insurance Adjusters Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators was $66,790. This was higher than the median salary for all occupations in May 2019, which was $39,810. The highest earners worked for the government, with a median salary of $73,470. This was followed by those working for direct insurance company carriers (other than life, heath, and medical carriers), earning a median annual salary of $66,690. If you want to work as a catastrophe claims adjuster in an area frequently affected by natural disasters, such as 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.
Do You Need a Degree to be an Insurance Adjuster?
You do not need a four-year degree to become licensed as an insurance adjuster. However, you will need to complete your education requirements or pass your state’s exam. One of the prerequisites that satisfies the education requirement for many states is completing a minimum number of semester hours of college level insurance-related coursework. If you are working on an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, consider taking courses that will work toward your state’s insurance adjuster license requirements.