What Kind Of Insurance Adjuster Will You Be?
There are four main types of insurance adjusters: staff adjuster, independent adjuster, catastrophe adjuster, and public adjuster.
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 adjusters is who pays them, and in the case of the public adjuster, who they are advocating for. Staff, independent, and catastrophe adjusters all require the same type of license, while a public adjuster license is a little different in its specifications.
- Staff Adjuster – Works directly for an insurance company
- Independent Adjuster – Works for a third-party company who performs insurance adjuster work and is contracted by an insurance company
- Catastrophe (CAT) Adjuster – An independent adjuster who travels to an area that has been largely affected by an event (usually severe weather) and performs claims adjuster services en masse
- Public Adjuster – Is an advocate for the insurance customer, not the insurance company (requires a different type of license)
This article will cover a standard insurance claims adjuster license (sometimes known as an independent adjuster license), not a public adjuster license.
How To Get Your Insurance Adjuster License In Montana
Step 1. Adjuster Pre-Exam Education
Preparation for this exam is not something to take lightly, as the average pass rate of insurance exams nationwide is around 55% for first-time test-takers, and even less for any following attempts. We want you to pass your test the first time you take it.
Studying for this exam can take many different forms. The most common way to get prepared is to take an online study course. These courses are generally comprised of video and text with short knowledge quizzes to make sure you have a comprehensive understanding.
A slightly more minimal approach would be to purchase a state-specific study guide. These guides give you all of the facts that you need to pass the exam and maybe a bit less expensive than a course. They are, however, quite long and densely packed books, so be sure you are ready to tackle this task.
You should choose the method that fits best for you. Some people learn best out of a book, while others take in information better through video and short text. Remember, the goal is to pass your exam on the first attempt, so pick your best path forward and study hard.
Step 2. Montana Insurance Adjuster License Exam
The next step after completing all your coursework is to take and pass the Montana Insurance Adjuster License exams.
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.
Montana offers a Multi-Line Adjuster line and a Crop Adjuster line.
- The Multi-Line Adjuster license exam consists of eighty-eight (88) questions, and you have one hour and forty-five minutes (1:45) to complete it.
- The Crop Adjuster license exam consists of fifty (50) questions, and you have one hour (1:00) to complete it.
Note: The Crop Adjuster line is included in the Multi-Line Adjuster line.
An outline of included subjects for these exams can be found here: Pearson Vue Montana Insurance Examination Content Outlines.
Each attempt of the exam costs $59 and will be paid when you make your reservation.
A total score of 75% or more is required to pass this test. To explain the scoring of these exams, we will quote the Pearson Vue Montana Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook:
There are multiple versions of each of the licensing examinations. These versions are known as forms. Although all forms of an examination are developed based on the content outlines, the difficulty of the forms of an examination may vary slightly because different questions appear on each form. To ensure that no candidate is put at an unfair advantage or disadvantage due to the particular form of an examination that he or she is given, a statistical procedure known as equating is used to correct for differences in form difficulty.
The passing score of an examination was set by the Montana Department of Insurance (in conjunction with Pearson VUE) after a comprehensive study was completed for each examination. Raw scores are converted into scaled scores. To avoid misuse of score information, numeric scores are only reported to fail candidates. The scaled score that is reported to you is neither the number of questions you answered correctly nor the percentage of questions you answered correctly. With a passing score of 75, any score below 75 indicates how close the candidate came to passing, rather than the actual number or percentage of questions the candidates answered correctly.
When candidates complete the examination, they will receive a score report marked “pass” or “fail”. Candidates who pass the examination will receive a score report that includes information on how to apply for a license.
Candidates who fail the examination will receive a score report that includes a numeric score and diagnostic information relating to the general portion of the examination, as well as information about reexamination. Reservations for reexamination cannot be made at the test center, and candidates must wait 24 hours before making one.
Candidates who fail Part 1 of a Life, Accident, and Disability, Property and/or Casualty examination receive general diagnostic information relevant to each major area of the examination. Diagnostic information is intended to help failing candidates identify their areas of strength and weakness in order to prepare for future examinations. Candidates may use the content outlines in this handbook to interpret the diagnostic information on a failing score report
Examination results are confidential and are released only to the candidate and the state licensing agency. To protect the candidate’s privacy and to maintain the confidentiality of examination results, Pearson VUE does not give score information over the telephone.”
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 Montana Insurance page or by calling Pearson Vue at (800) 274-8906.
Step 3. Fingerprinting and Background Check
The State of Montana requires that all insurance license applications provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. If you have any prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. If you have specific questions regarding things that may come up on your background check you may call the Office of the Montana State Auditor at (406) 444-2040 or send them an email.
You will make your fingerprinting reservations through IdentoGO. Appointments can be made on their website or by phone at (866) 761-8069.
The fee for fingerprinting services is $54.
Step 4. Montana Insurance Adjuster License Application
Once you have completed your exams and fingerprinting, you are now ready to apply for your license.
The fee for an online application is $50.
Apply online with the Montana Insurance Adjuster License Application.
Step 5. 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 four (2-4) weeks. 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 the state 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.
Montana Department Of Insurance Contact Information
Office of the Montana State Auditor
840 Helena Avenue
Helena, Montana 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2040
Fax: (406) 444-3497
Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated in February 2021.
Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.
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