Changing the Game in Adjuster Licensing (It’s not just about Texas anymore)
For the last decade, the independent adjusting industry has operated under the assumption that, all things being equal, the Texas adjuster license was the best adjuster license to get. Here at AdjusterPro, we have always maintained that your resident license is the most desirable, but that if you hailed from one of those 16 states (see below) that doesn’t license adjusters that Texas was indeed your best bet. We think that has changed.
As of July of last year, the Indiana Dept. of Insurance requires all independent adjusters operating within its borders to be licensed. The process is fairly straightforward – you take a 40 hour prelicensing course and a state approved exam and submit your application for licensure. Sounds a lot like Texas right? It is…until you hit the application process.
The Texas application process is not tremendously difficult but there are two issues to be aware of:
- It can take 2 months to process your application. That means that if you wanted to become an adjuster right away you are, even under the most fortunate circumstances, looking at over 2 months to actually have your license in hand. Throw in your prelicensing course requirement and it could be 3 months very easily from absolute start to finish.
- Texas requires fingerprinting and a criminal background check. This is an extra step in the application process that isn’t prohibitively difficult but does represent a hoop to jump through. For non-residents of Texas there has been some recent confusion as to how this is best done and, while we recommend manually completing a fingerprint card through your local law enforcement office, the procedure is still a bit clunky and uncertain. If you don’t do it just right, you can delay your application for weeks further.
Indiana, meanwhile, has radically streamlined the licensing process for residents and non-residents alike. On average, it takes 3 days for IDOI to process your application. That’s no misprint, 3 days! As in, you submit your application on Tuesday and you have a full, legal license to handle claims by Friday. That drastically changes the dynamic of getting into the game – rather than riding the bench for 3 months waiting for a license, you are able to start almost immediately. Moreover, there are no fingerprint requirements whatsoever at this time. The application is simple, straightforward and the turnaround time is unheard-of fast.
Non-residents and reciprocity with other states
For folks who live in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Tennessee, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, or Virginia – your home state doesn’t license adjusters. In the past it would have been strongly recommended you pursue a Texas adjuster license based upon perceived value within the industry and relative ease of licensure. But the ease of licensure found in Texas, primarily due to the 40 hour prelicensing course option (classroom or online), is available equally in Indiana now as in Texas. And, with Indiana’s streamlined application processing, you stand to get your IN license 2 months faster than you would a TX license! A two-month head start can be a HUGE advantage over other folks just getting started, especially with inclement weather right around the corner. Finally, Indiana allows non-residents living in states that do not license adjusters (see any of the 16 states above) to designate Indiana as their “home” license. This is critical because it unlocks the power of Indiana’s full menu of state reciprocity to those non-residents.
So, what about reciprocity? Everyone knows, or thinks they know, that Texas is the best state when it comes to license reciprocity. In fact, Indiana enjoys just as much reciprocity with other states as Texas does! Only New York, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alabama are not reciprocal.
Now, the Texas license, apart from what it can do for you elsewhere, is itself is quite valuable – Texas is a BIG state (everything is bigger there, evens the claims right?) and the industry as a whole has a lot of Texas companies and loyalties. So, if you wanted, you could get your Indiana license and then turn around and reciprocally obtain your Texas license – no further coursework, exams, etc. Meanwhile, as your waiting for Tx license to get back you could be reciprocally applying for 10+ other states based off the merits of your IN license. And that’s all on day 5 or 15 rather than day 60 or 90.
Indiana’s new laws and, more importantly, their streamlined and surprisingly non-bureacratic approach to the application process have simply changed the name of the game in independent adjuster licensing. Indiana represents a smoother, dramatically shorter, and equally practical licensing option for IN residents and those folks living in non-licensing states. Still not sure? We’re an equal opportunity licensor! AdjusterPro offers Texas, Florida, Georgia and Indiana prelicensing so give us a call today at (214) 329-9030 to determine the best path for you.