How To Become An Insurance Adjuster In Washington

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

    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 Washington


    Step 1. Adjuster Pre-Exam Education

    Before you can take the state exam, you must meet one of the prerequisites:

    • College Education
      • Associate in Claims (AIC)
      • American Education Institute (AEI) property program
    • Adjuster Trainee Program
      • Work under a  supervisor who is a resident licensed adjuster
      • Include all loss-adjustment activities and responsibilities
      • Six to nine (6-9) months in length, totaling at least 960 working hours

    Before you can begin an adjuster-trainee program, your supervising adjuster (employer) must fax (360-586-2019) or email the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner that you are beginning a training program with them, detailing your exact dates of employment. You must be a salaried employee during this training period.

    Your employer (supervising adjuster) must clearly document the details of your training, including:

    – The months your training was provided
    – The topics covered
    – The number of hours of training you received per topic

    If you have twelve consecutive months working as a full-time, salaried insurance company or managing general agent (MGA) adjuster, you are exempt from taking the state exam.

    For more information about the prerequisites and exemption, you may check the Washington Insurance Adjuster License page.


    Recommended Course

    For adjuster pre-licensing and study materials, StateRequirement recommends: Kaplan Education Company


    Step 2. Washington Insurance Adjuster License Exam

    The next step after completing your pre-examination requirement is to take and pass the Washington 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.

    Washington offers an Independent Adjuster line and a Crop Adjuster line.

    • The Independent Adjuster license exam consists of one hundred (100) questions, and you have two hours and fifteen minutes (2:15) to complete it.
    • The Crop Adjuster license exam consists of fifty (50) questions, and you have one hour (1:00) to complete it.

    An outline of included subjects for these exams can be found here:

    Each attempt of the exam costs $53 and will be paid when you make your reservation.

    A total score of 70% or more is required to pass this test. For more information on the scoring of the exam, we will quote the PSI Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner Candidate Information Bulletin

    Score Reporting

    You must get 70% correct to pass the examination. Your score will be given to you immediately following completion of the examination. The following summary describes the score reporting process:

    – If you pass, you will receive a successful score report.

    – If you do not pass, you will receive a diagnostic report indicating your strengths and weaknesses by examination type on the score report.”

    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.


    StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another.

    You may register to take your exams and find more information on the PSI Washington Insurance page or by calling PSI at (800) 733-9267.


    Step 3. Fingerprinting and Background Check

    The State of Washington 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 Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner at (360) 725-7144 or send them an email.

    You will process your fingerprints through IdentoGO. Appointments can be made on their website or by phone at (888) 771-5097.

    The fee for fingerprinting services is $49.25.


    Step 4. Washington 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 $55.

    Apply online with the Washington Insurance License Application.

    Be sure to upload your exam score report together with the proof of pre-exam experience or pre-exam education requirement on your online 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 fifteen (15) 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 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.

    Washington Department Of Insurance Contact Information

    Mailing Address:

    Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner
    P.O. Box 40257
    Olympia, Washington 98504

    Phone: (360) 725-7144

    Fax: (360) 586-2019

    Email: Contact Form


    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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