Since no specific license is available for insurance adjusters in Wisconsin, you’ll need to choose another state as your “designated home state” (DHS) in order to get licensed.
This is preferable for a number of reasons, not least because it can bring greater job opportunities and allow you to handle claims across a number of different states.
We recommend getting a DHS license in Florida. This is because a Florida DHS adjuster license has great reciprocity, the quickest application process, and a relatively short insurance adjuster exam.
How to Get Your Insurance Adjuster License in Wisconsin
Wisconsin does not license insurance adjusters and does not require Wisconsin residents to hold an insurance license in order to operate legally within the state.
Having said that, getting a license from a different state — known as a DHS license — is often recommended because no Wisconsin insurance license is offered for claims adjusters.
What’s more, operating without a license can handicap you significantly in the long run and will undoubtedly limit your employment opportunities.
Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License
There are several states that offer what is called a Designated Home State license. Having said that, it is important to note that Florida, Texas, and Indiana are the most popular.
Essentially, this is a type of license that allows people that live in a non-adjuster licensing state — such as Wisconsin or Colorado — the opportunity to “designate” a different state (e.g., Florida, Indiana, etc.) as their “home state.”
This allows them to apply for and obtain a Florida insurance adjuster license as if they were an in-state resident of Florida.
This is beneficial for several reasons:
- Employment – Many potential employers of claims adjusters will look specifically for applicants who are already licensed. Even if they aren’t specifically looking for licensed individuals, they are likely to prefer these over non-licensed applicants (due to the geographical flexibility advantage)
- Catastrophe (CAT) or Traveling Adjusters – If a non-licensed adjuster wishes to work on CAT claims, there is a good chance that they will need to travel across state lines. To operate in a state other than your home state, you will need to have a reciprocal license in that state. This means that applying for a reciprocity license can only be done if you hold an equivalent license in your own state (such as a DHS license)
The bottom line is this: if you wish to work in insurance claims, you should have a license to do so, and in Wisconsin, the only way to do that is to get a designated home state license.
StateRequirement recommends getting a Florida DHS Adjuster License. This is because it has an exceptionally fast application process, short exam structure, and high reciprocity.
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What Kind of Insurance Adjuster Will You Be?
There are four main types of insurance adjusters: staff adjusters, independent adjusters, catastrophe adjusters, and public adjusters.
Each of these positions accomplishes essentially the same task: assess the damage to property brought about by some event and make an evaluation of what monetary value the insurance claim should carry.
The big difference between these different types of insurance adjusters is who pays them and, in the case of the public adjuster, who they are advocating for. Staff, independent, and catastrophe adjusters do not require a license in Wisconsin, whereas public adjusters do.
- Staff Adjuster – Works directly for one insurance company in order to investigate, evaluate, and potentially settle claims
- Licensed Independent Adjuster – Works for a third-party company, often called an Independent Adjusting Firm, which has been contracted by insurance carriers to help settle their claims
- Catastrophe (CAT) Adjuster – Can be an independent or staff adjuster who travels to an area that has been largely affected by an event (usually severe weather) and performs claims adjuster services en masse
- Inside Adjuster – Inside adjusters, sometimes referred to as “desk” or “remote” adjusters, handle claims from an office. They are the policyholder’s main point of contact and the appropriate company official who applies each policy’s terms and standards to the claim
- Public Adjuster – This is an independent, licensed insurance adjuster that customers choose to hire in order to settle insurance claims. Public adjusters are not hired by insurance companies
Wisconsin Public Adjuster License
If you want to become a public adjuster in Wisconsin, you will be legally required to get licensed.
This entails undertaking a pre-licensing education online course, and passing the Wisconsin Public Adjuster Examination via PSI Exams upon course completion — which is made up of 35 scorable questions with a one-hour time limit. The exam fee is $50.
You must also submit to a fingerprint-based background check via Fieldprint. The fingerprinting fee is $36.
Once you complete the above requirements, you can apply for your license online via NIPR. The license application fee is $50.
Keep in mind that — in accordance with s. 629.082, Wis. Stat., you will be required to include a $20,000 surety bond when filing your NIPR application. You must use an OCI Bond Template to meet your bond requirement.
Note: This can also be submitted via mail, although this will likely significantly delay your application.
Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Contact Information
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
125 S. Webster St.
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-3585
Wisconsin Insurance Adjuster License FAQ
How do I get my adjuster license in Wisconsin?
You’ll have to obtain your adjuster license outside of the state as no domestic Wisconsin adjuster license is available. The easiest way of doing this is applying for a DHS (designated home state) license in Florida or Texas. To read more about why Florida is an excellent option for this, see our Florida DHS adjuster license article.
Does Wisconsin require an adjuster license?
No. Insurance adjusters in Wisconsin don’t need to be licensed in order to work. However, being licensed can make it significantly easier to find work as it can provide you with far greater employment options. To find out why, make sure to check out our Wisconsin Insurance Adjuster License article for more information.
What are the benefits of a DHS license in Wisconsin?
In states like Wisconsin, which do not license adjusters, DHS licensing is particularly important. Not only does it ensure insurance adjusters are legally compliant across many states, it also lends them professional credibility and the potential for more claims adjusting work. Texas is a popular choice due to the high reciprocity of its license. To find out more, check out our article on the Texas DHS adjuster license.
How much do licensed insurance adjusters make in Wisconsin?
The average salaries for insurance adjusters in Wisconsin typically fall within the $47,605—$58,384 range. However, this figure can vary greatly according to the adjuster’s experience and the types of insurance policy they specialize in adjusting. This topic is explored in much greater depth in our How Much Does an Insurance Adjuster Make article.
Which states are the best for DHS licenses?
We strongly recommend going with either Florida or Texas for your DHS license. Both of these licenses are highly reciprocal, which means that you’ll meet regulations in a number of others states with either of them. To find out more about some of other reciprocal benefits, make sure to read our article on Adjuster License Reciprocity.