How To Become An Insurance Adjuster: The Ultimate Guide
1. Introduction: What Is An Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster is an important part of the insurance claims process. They are responsible for investigating and evaluating insurance claims to determine the validity of the claim and the extent of the insurer’s liability. The insurance adjuster must be objective and impartial when evaluating claims, and must be able to communicate effectively with both the policyholder and the insurer. If you’re interested in becoming an insurance adjuster, then this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the job, from the education and training requirements to the day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
2. The Basic Qualifications
The insurance classes covered by insurance adjusters vary by jurisdiction, but typically include property, casualty and liability insurance. Generally, insurance adjusters must meet the following qualifications:
– At least 18 years of age
– Completion of a high school diploma or GED equivalent
– Licensing or registration (Depending on the jurisdiction, a pre-licensing course may be required to obtain a license)
– Good communication, analytical and problem solving skills
– Ability to stay organized and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
– Legal knowledge of insurance regulations and claims procedures
– Sound understanding of the insurance industry
In addition, some jurisdictions require additional qualifications, such as a minimum 3-year work experience in the insurance field, college credits in finance or insurance, and/or passing a credit and background check.
3. The License
It is important for an insurance adjuster to obtain the necessary licensure or registration to legally practice in their jurisdiction. The specific licensing requirements vary, but typically require an applicant to meet the following organization-specific requirements:
– Completion of an approved pre-licensing course
– Satisfy all statutory licensing requirements
– Passing the relevant exam with a satisfactory score
– Payment of all licensing fees
– Submission of any necessary applications and/or forms
– Submission of any necessary background checks
Different jurisdictions may have different requirements. It is important to check with the local insurance department and/or any other relevant agency to ensure that the correct paperwork and license requirements have been met.
4. The Exam
The next step for an insurance adjuster is to pass the necessary exams for their jurisdiction. Prospective adjusters must pass at least one exam, unless they meet their jurisdiction’s certain exemptions for adjusters. The specific exams vary by jurisdiction. Some states such as Louisiana and Texas have their own adjuster license exams, while other states like Pennsylvania require an applicant to take an exam from a qualified testing agency.
No matter the jurisdiction, ensuring one is properly prepared for the exam is essential. Preparation courses and practice tests are available which help prospective adjusters prepare. Additionally, there are books and online resources to help bolster one’s knowledge in the necessary subject matter. Taking practice tests is a great way to get familiar with the format of the exam and can help alleviate nerves on the day of the test.
Once an adjuster successfully passes their exam, they will the license and they can begin working as a licensed insurance adjuster.
5. Continuing Education
Continuing education is an important recommended step for aspiring insurance adjusters. Just like any professional, continuing education keeps adjusters updated on the changing nature of the industry, and any changes to state law or regulations.
In most jurisdictions, adjusters must complete continuing education courses to keep their license active. However, in some jurisdictions, those who hold licenses to handle more specialized cases may need to complete more than the minimum required amount.
In order to make things easier, many adjusters opt to join an organization offering insurance adjuster continuing education classes. These classes are conducted online, which gives adjusters the opportunity to complete their required courses at their own pace.
By staying up to date with their continuing education, insurance adjusters can remain licensed and can also better serve their clients.
6. The Designation
Once an aspiring insurance adjuster has obtained their license, they can move on to a Designation. A Designation is an extra qualification that insurance adjusters can earn to have an edge in the job market.
A Designation proves an adjuster’s competency and dedication to the industry. It helps employers identify individuals who have taken the time to hone strong technical knowledge and skills. It also gives employers assurance that adjusters understand the regulations of the specific jurisdiction they are working in.
There are a number of Designations available to insurance adjusters, such as the Associate in Claims (AIC), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) Designations. Each Designation makes use of specific examinations, seminars, and classes to ensure that adjusters have a thorough understanding of their subject matter.
By obtaining a Designation and keeping their license current, insurance adjusters can ensure they remain competitive in the job market and increase their chances of finding employment that meets their desired salary and career goals.
7. The Career
Once an aspiring insurance adjuster has obtained their license and Designation, they can begin looking for career opportunities.
Insurance adjusters can find employment with many different types of employers. These may include insurance companies, independent adjusting firms, and government entities.
At larger insurance companies, adjusters can find employment doing a variety of tasks related to customer or policyholder servicing. At independent adjusting firms, adjusters work as independent contractors. Typically, these adjusters are hired to do claim investigations for various types of claims filed by individuals or businesses.
Insurance adjusters may also find employment with government entities. The most likely opportunity would be to work as a public adjuster. A public adjuster is responsible for representing private policyholders in claim negotiations with insurers. They are also involved in the assessment of damages, negotiations with the insurer and other necessary tasks.
In conclusion, an insurance adjuster is a valuable asset to any organization. With the right qualifications, knowledge, and experience, insurance adjusters can find exciting and rewarding employment in a number of industries.
8. The work
Working as an adjuster involves many different aspects of the insurance industry.
Adjusters must investigate claims, assess damages, and prepare detailed reports analyzing the facts and issues of a claim. They must also use sound practices and knowledgeable judgments while negotiating settlement decisions in compliance with insurance policies and state laws.
It can be a challenging job. Adjusters must handle difficult claims and maintain continuous communication with claimants, witnesses, and other parties involved in the claim.
Adjusters are also expected to attend various seminars to remain updated on the latest insurance laws. They must also maintain knowledge on a variety of topics related to the insurance industry and adjuster’s responsibilities.
In the end, adjusters must successfully handle claim investigations and make accurate decisions to determine claims payments. This requires excellent research abilities, strong communication skills, and keen problem-solving skills. While being an adjuster can involve a large workload, it also offers job security and career advancement potential.
9. The Salary
The salary scale for an insurance adjuster is quite broad. As an entry-level adjuster, you could expect to make a base salary ranging from $40,000 – $60,000 per year. As you gain more experience and reach a supervisor or adjuster manager level, you could make up to $100,000 per year.
The hourly rate for an adjuster is typically around $30. Of course, an adjuster’s salary will likely vary depending on location, experience, insurance company, and other factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook for insurance adjusters will grow at a rate of 5% over the next decade.
A career as an insurance adjuster offers job security, excellent pay, and the potential to advance quickly. With the right skills, knowledge, and a strong dedication to customer service, insurance adjusters can move up quickly in the industry.
Perks of Becoming an Insurance Adjuster
When considering a career as an insurance adjuster, it’s important to know the job benefits and perks outside of salary. Insurance adjusters have some exclusive benefits:
1. Paid travel – Insurance adjusters frequently travel to visit clients to assess damage, inspect policy locations and review claims. Most companies provide travel reimbursements for meals and lodging.
2. Continuing education – Insurance adjusters are expected to stay up to date with the latest changes to the insurance industry. Many companies offer continuing education in the form of conferences, classes and even online seminars.
3. Flexible schedules – Adjusters typically have flexible schedules and can be their own boss. This allows adjusters more freedom to pursue their own interests in addition to making extra money.
These perks are just the beginning of the benefits you can enjoy as an insurance adjuster. With the right dedication and skill set, you could easily move up the ranks in the industry and enjoy all the benefits that come with a successful career.
11. Step One: Determine If You Meet The Basic Qualifications
Before pursuing a career as an insurance adjuster, there are certain qualifications and skills you must have. Here are the basic qualifications to consider:
– High school diploma – You must have a high school diploma and or equivalent qualification.
– Construction experience – Having a background in construction, especially residential, is a great asset for an insurance adjuster. This can help you to identify signs of damage or problems that may not be noticed by the untrained eye.
– Technical knowledge – You should have a general knowledge of building codes, construction practices and insurance terminology so you can easily assess damage and recommend suitable repairs for a variety of situations.
– Good communicator – Insurance adjusters must be able to communicate well with people in a variety of contexts. They also need to be able to interpret insurance policies and explain them to policyholders.
– Detail-oriented – Paying attention to details is essential since adjusters need to be able to spot discrepancies, determine if a damage claim is valid or if fraud may be involved.
– Computer skills – Proficiency with word processing and spreadsheet software is necessary. More and more companies are going digital and require an adjuster to be able to use electronic devices to complete their tasks.
12. Step Two: Obtain A License
The next step in becoming an insurance adjuster is to obtain a license in your state. Each state requires differed qualifications, but they usually are similar across the US. The qualifications may include:
– Age – You must be 18 years or older.
– Completion of pre-licensing courses – You need to take and pass an approved pre-licensing course or online training course for insurance adjusters.
– Successfully complete state exam – After passing pre-licensing courses, you must take and pass a state examination. You may qualify for the exam if you have prior experience in the claims handling process.
– Background check – Finally a criminal background check will not disqualify you from getting your license, but a history of any fraud or theft can rule you out.
Once you have fulfilled the state requirements, you must apply for the license with the state office that regulates insurance adjusters. After meeting the basic qualifications, it should take three to six weeks before you receive your license and become an insurance adjuster.
13. Step Three: Pass The Insurance Adjuster Exam
Having the license for an insurance adjuster requires passing the insurance adjuster exam. This is a General Knowledge exam that tests the applicant’s knowledge in a variety of topics. It may include topics such as adjusting procedures, valuation of losses, automobile liability, coverage and claims, policy terms, and more.
The exam is usually conducted at a testing facility of the state insurance department and is designed to assess an applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the topics covered. The questions on the exam can range from basic to more advanced, depending on the type of insurance adjuster the applicant is seeking to become.
In order to prepare for the exam, the applicant should review the state’s regulations and licensing requirements for insurance adjusters. It is also beneficial for the applicant to become knowledgeable about the insurance claims process, gain experience in the field, and review any other relevant regulations or standards from the industry.
The exam is typically composed of multiple-choice questions, and each state may have its own format, scoring system, and rules. It is important for the applicant to check their state’s regulations before registering for the exam to ensure that they understand the requirements and format.