Exposing 5 Myths Around Adjuster Licensing in the USA

At some point, when dealing with international business, insurance in the EU and US becomes a key aspect to manage. When an insurance claim is made, insurance adjusters play an important role by assessing the amount of loss and then calculating the required payout needed.

Insurance adjusters need to have an understanding of loss, policies and how to conduct a thorough and fair investigation. This article will expose the 5 most common myths around adjuster licensing in the USA. 

Obtaining an Insurance Adjuster License is quick and easy

Firstly, it has to be noted that not all states require insurance adjusters to hold a license. In states where licenses are not needed, insurance adjusters are able to start working immediately. In those states, insurance adjusters will be limited to conducting their business in that state alone, which may limit their client reach.

To maximise their client base and income, insurance adjusters in a state which does not require a license should pursue obtaining an adjuster license in a Designated Home State as a non-resident.

The time it takes to obtain a license varies between states and the personal abilities of the aspiring license holders. The insurance adjuster courses may take a few weeks up to a few months to complete before being able to pass the state exam.

Insurance Adjuster’s have such an easy job

The job of an insurance adjuster is quite complex and requires an array of skills. Insurance adjusters have to be able to investigate insurance claims and complete important admin work such as paperwork.

Seeing that investing claims often requires the insurance adjuster to be in the field examining damage to items such as buildings or automobiles, insurance adjusters need to be prepared to have a flexible schedule and to travel and spend a lot of time outside of the office. Insurance adjusters also need to have a good, confident concept of basic maths seeing that they have to calculate insurance claim payouts.

All insurance adjusters do the same thing

There are actually four different types of insurance adjusters, namely Staff Adjusters, Independent Adjusters, Public Adjusters and Catastrophe Adjusters. Staff Adjusters are employed by an insurance company and they service claims for the company.

Independent Adjusters are not employed by an insurance company and may act as a third-party vendor that is contracted by an adjustment or claims administration firm. Insurance companies may also hire them if they experience unusually high claim numbers. Public Adjusters, who are licensed by their state, are hired privately directly from the policy holder.

The holders do so because public adjusters are known to work to achieve maximise potential compensation from the insurance company. Catastrophe Adjusters review damage and losses as the result of a severe amount of damage, often due to natural disasters. Catastrophe adjusters may work on behalf of an insurance company but could also work alongside contractors, government authorities and emergency workers.

Insurance Adjusters’ salary isn’t all that impressive

During May 2019, the median annual salary for all occupations was $39 810, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary for claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators, according to the bureau, was $66 790.

This estimate applies to insurance adjusters who work for direct insurance carrier companies. Insurance adjusters who work for the government have a median annual salary of $73 470. Insurance adjusters who work in the catastrophe claims field will likely have higher earnings potential due to the high demand for insurance adjusters in areas frequently affected by natural disasters.

To be an insurance adjuster, having a degree is necessary

Having a four-year degree to obtain an insurance adjuster license is not necessary. Many states do require aspiring license holders to complete specific education requirements. A common prerequisite that satisfies the education requirement for many states is having completed a specific number of hours of college level insurance-related coursework.

For those who are currently doing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, they should consider completing additional courses that would satisfy their state’s insurance adjuster license requirements.

The Takeaway

Pursuing a career in insurance adjusting can prove to be largely successful if the foundation is built correctly. Having the proper education and preparation for the exam will easily have an aspiring insurance adjuster obtain their license.

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