South Dakota doesn’t have an adjuster licensing requirement and does not offer its own adjuster license. In most employment situations, however, you will still be required to have a license. The solution is a DHS (designated home state) adjuster license.
A DHS license simply acts as your home state’s license if it were offered. This allows you to perform work outside of your home state and puts your application for hire on top over your competition who doesn’t have a license!
Read on to learn more about designated home state adjuster licenses, and why we recommend you get yours from Texas.
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)
How to Get Your Insurance Adjuster License in South Dakota
The State of South Dakota does not offer a Resident Insurance Adjuster License and does not require a license to practice insurance claims adjusting within the state.
This doesn’t, however, mean that your work is done.
South Dakota may not offer or require a license for you to transact claims adjusting work, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still get a license.
Two questions may arise after that last statement: how do I get a license if they don’t offer one, and why do I need one if they don’t require it?
Designated Home State Insurance Adjuster License
There are three states (Texas, Florida, and Indiana) that offer what is called a Designated Home State license. Essentially, what this type of license does is offer people that live in a non-licensing state, like South Dakota, the opportunity to “designate” Texas (or one of the other two) as their “home state”. This allows them to apply and obtain a Texas Insurance Adjuster License as if they were an in-state resident of Texas.
There are at least two very compelling reasons why a person would choose to get a designated home state license:
- Employment – Many potential employers of claims adjusters will look specifically for applicants who are already licensed. In fact, even if they aren’t specifically looking for licensed individuals, picking between a licensed applicant and an unlicensed applicant with all else being equal makes the choice pretty simple.
- Catastrophe (CAT) or Travelling Adjusters – If an adjuster wishes to work on CAT claims there is a good chance they will need to travel across state lines to reach the location where the job is. To operate in states other than your home state, you will need to have an adjuster license in the state you are traveling to. Applying for a non-resident license requires that you have a resident license in your home state, but if your state doesn’t offer a license, then you will need a designated home state license.
The bottom line is this: if you wish to work in insurance claims, you should have a license to do so, and in South Dakota, only way to do that is to get a designated home state license.
StateRequirement recommends Texas as the state where you should get your designated home state 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.
South Dakota Department of Insurance Contact Information
Division of Insurance
124 S. Euclid Avenue 2nd Floor
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3513
Fax: (605) 773-5369
South Dakota Insurance Adjuster License FAQ
How long does it take to become an insurance adjuster in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, the process of 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 South Dakota.
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 South Dakota 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 South Dakota insurance adjuster license requirements.