How to Become an Insurance Adjuster in 5 Steps — AdjusterPro®
Today I’m going to show you exactly how to become an insurance claims adjuster.
It’s really quite simple. especially when compared to the cost and time it takes to earn a college or technical degree. you can also complete most of the requirements in your own time online.
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In fact, you could be on your way to an exciting new career as a claims adjuster in just a few short weeks.
Let’s take the first step.
(did I mention it’s simple?)
Step 1: Verify that the insurance claims adjustment is right for you
One of America’s newest “hidden gem” careers, insurance adjusting is a stable industry with excellent earning potential, but it’s not for everyone:
- Required Hard and Soft Skills: The hard skills and qualifications needed to become an adjuster are relatively simple; be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, be a bona fide resident of your state, etc. but it is the soft qualities that distinguish the great fitters; self-discipline, an excellent work ethic, and excellent communication skills.
- Challenging but rewarding: Loss adjusting is a challenging but truly rewarding career. the pay is certainly good and helping people get back on their feet after a loss is a deeply satisfying line of work.
- Always in Demand: Insurance adjusters are in demand in any economy as claims remain stable regardless of economic factors. When it comes to insurance adjuster salaries, annual earnings above $100,000 are realistic for independent claims adjusters, while staff adjusters who work directly for insurance companies earn salaries ranging from $45,000 to and $80,000 or more.
- The Challenge and Opportunity of Catastrophes:In catastrophic situations (for example, after Hurricane Harvey or Irma), the sheer volume of claims causes a massive increase in demand for adjusters . During these peaks, a good adjuster can earn more in a few months than he or she would normally earn in an entire year. but you need to be up and running in no time and ready to work in an extremely challenging environment.
- The future is bright: The industry is evolving rapidly, and employers are struggling to fill the void of a generation of adjusters retiring from the industry.
- Personnel adjusters: work as year-round employees, usually full-time, for an insurance company.
- Independent Insurance Adjusters: are contractors who work for one or more insurance adjusting companies. IA firms generally have a multitude of insurance companies as clients and the independent adjuster may handle claims for any one of those insurers, often multiple at once.
- Catastrophe adjusters: can be staff or freelance, and will travel to hardest-hit areas as needed.
- in-house or desk adjusters: handle claims from an office or call center. they may have field adjusters or contractors perform the inspection and then use the results to estimate and settle the claim.
- If your home state issues adjuster licenses: If you live in a licensed state, you must first obtain a license from your home state. our courses will fully prepare you to pass your state’s licensing exam. and in some cases, we can even issue the exam or exemption from the state exam. To see what type and course are required for your state of residence, visit our Adjuster Licensing Courses page.
- If your state does not license insurance adjusters: Even if you live in an unlicensed state, obtaining a license is vital to your success as an adjuster. Because while you may not need a license to work in your state, you will need one to work claims anywhere else. In fact, most independent appraisal companies require you to be licensed before you apply, regardless of your or their location. We recommend obtaining a Florida Designated Home State (or DHS) license. Our florida certified adjuster course satisfies all the requirements to obtain your florida dhs license. If you’d like to learn more about the dhs license and why it’s so important to your success, visit our dhs blog article on when you need an adjuster.
- The Application Process:Application instructions and requirements vary by state, but you will need to formally submit your application and pay your fees after you pass the state exam (or equivalent). Each AdjusterPro course includes step-by-step instructions for getting licensed in your state. or you can see the full instructions by visiting the adjusterpro blog and typing your status in the blog’s search bar.
- apply for reciprocal licenses:once you receive your adjuster license, you will want to apply for reciprocal licenses in the states where you are most likely to work. The Gulf Coast and Eastern states are often favored by employers due to the high volume of claims. For most states, you will only need to complete one application and pay your fees to receive a reciprocal license, there is no need to take a test for each state license!
- Contact AI Firms:Contact the human resources (HR) departments of major fitting firms to inquire about openings and their hiring process.
- Prepare your resume right: Create a resume that is tailored specifically to the claims industry with an understanding of what employers want. adjusterpro students receive a copy of our resume guide and some sample templates after completing the course.
- Expand your knowledge:Consider purchasing the Total Adjuster Package. This discounted package includes your license course, Xactima training, and the Adjuster’s Success Method. we share our proven strategy of entering and succeeding in the claims business.
- roster up: get on the rosters of the employers you want with a strategic and intentional campaign. But don’t limit yourself to the 2 or 3 largest companies! Increasingly, carriers are extending their contracts to medium and even small companies to meet demand.
- Then Follow Up:Follow up your resumes, job applications, and personal contacts diligently.
- net, net, net: join local and national industry associations and insurance job boards and net, net, net.
- Stay in compliance and say “yes!”:Keep your licenses current and in good standing. be prepared to deploy quickly, especially during disaster season. When companies call to fill a position, they usually have a deadline to be on site. they won’t wait an extra day or two to fit your timeline, so it’s best to always be ready. if you get a chance… take it.
step 2: choose the type of insurance adjuster you will be
Most insurance adjusters choose between two career paths, choosing to become a staff adjuster or an independent insurance adjuster.
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Both types of adjusters (staff employees and independent contractors) can handle both the regular “everyday claims” that occur as a matter of course, as well as catastrophic claims from weather events and man-made disasters.
There are many, many more directions you can take with your claims career. As they gain experience, many adjusters will specialize in a certain type of job or claim, such as cat, auto, workers’ compensation, or marine.
Step 3: Get your insurance adjuster license
this is where adjusterpro comes in! no matter where you live, we have the training to help you get your adjuster’s license.
To get started, you’ll need to know if your home state licenses insurance adjusters. (most do!) however colorado, kansas, nebraska, south dakota, north dakota, missouri, iowa, illinois, wisconsin, tennessee, ohio, virginia, maryland, pennsylvania, new jersey, and massachusetts do not license to adjusters.
step 4: learn the most essential skills
an insurance adjuster license is just the starting point of your new career. software training is the next step… but good fitters never stop adding to their resume and skill set.
Proficiency in the industry standard claim writing software, xactimate, is critical to success in this career field. it is the best software used by adjusting firms and frankly, you will not be able to successfully close claims until you learn it. our xactimate tactical training teaches you everything you need to know to start working in the field. and is one of the highest rated training courses in the industry.
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state farm certification:
Carrier certifications are often required to process claims for a specific insurance company. We recommend getting your state farm certification as soon as possible, as they are a bit more difficult to obtain than most operator certifications. once you’ve been hired, your employer will recommend additional training as needed.
adjuster success method:
This new, one-of-a-kind training course was developed to give newly licensed adjusters an inside look at the claims industry and help them develop a systematic approach to starting their career as a claims adjuster. In The Adjuster’s Success Method, veteran adjusters share best practices for getting hired, what tools you’ll need to get the job done, and show you how to successfully close your first few claims.
“xactimate proficiency is the most important technical skill a new adjuster must acquire.”
Step 5: Get your first insurance adjusting job
Whether you’re seeking employment as a personal adjuster or prefer to remain independent and handle claims on a contractual basis,treat your job search like a job in itself,and you won’t be disappointed.
Whether you’re just starting to consider a potential career as an adjuster or have specific licensing and compliance questions, we’re here to help.