5 Steps to Become an Insurance Adjuster
Ready to begin your insurance adjuster career, but uncertain how to start? Follow AdjusterPro's 5 step guide and begin your insurance claims adjuster career today!
Step 1: Verify that claims adjusting is right for you
One of the last ‘hidden gem’ careers in America, insurance adjusting is a stable industry, easily entered by new adjusters, with excellent earning potential, but it is not for everybody:
- Insurance adjusters are in high demand in any economy since claims remain steady regardless of economic factors.
- The industry is rapidly evolving, and employers are struggling to fill the vacuum of a generation of adjusters who are retiring out of the industry.
- Skills and qualifications necessary to become an adjuster are relatively easily learned and acquired compared to comperable careers.
- Adjusting is tough work that requires discipline and a good work ethic, but annual earnings in excess of $100,000 are realistic for independent claims adjusters.
- Staff adjusters, hired directly by insurance adjusting firms, earn salaries ranging from $25,000 to $80,000 or more depending on their experience and ability.
Want to take a deeper look at the industry to help determine if adjusting is for you? Watch this video presentation on "Is Adjusting for Me?"
Step 2: Choose the type of adjuster you will be
Most insurance adjusters choose between two career paths, electing to become either a staff adjuster or an independent adjuster.
- Staff adjusters work as year-round employees, typically full-time, for insurance adjusting companies.
- Independent adjusters are contractors who handle claims for one or more adjusting firms, handling "daily claims" or catastrophe claims.
- Catastrophe adjusters travel to heavily-hit areas as needed.
- Both types of adjusters — staff employees and independent contractors — may handle both regular ‘daily claims’ that happen on a normal basis, as well as catastrophe claims from weather events and manmade disasters.
There are many, many more directions you can take with your claims career. For a more complete understanding of the different type of adjusting, watch this video about career paths in adjusting.
Step 3: Get your adjuster license
- Find out if your home state issues adjuster licenses by typing the name of your state here and clicking Find State:
- Get your home state insurance adjuster license if you live in a licensing state.
- If your state does not issue licenses, choose Texas or Indiana and get their designated home state license.
- For either of these options, choose an online or classroom course for your licensing. After learning the material in the course, you’ll be able to easily pass the final exam and receive a certificate.
- Submit your course certificate and required forms to the state department of insurance, or take the state exam (depending on your state’s requirements; we will show you how in class).
- Once your state issues your adjuster license, apply for reciprocal licenses in the states you are most likely to want to work in; the gulf coast and Eastern states are often favored by employers due to the high volume of claims. Employers will give their recommendations to you.
Step 4: Learn the most essential skills for adjusters
An insurance adjuster license is only the starting point in a new career. Software training, practical adjusting course and hands-on training are next.
- Proficiency in the industry-standard claims writing software, Xactimate, is critical for success in this career field. It is the top software used by adjusting firms. Every person who takes a licensing class or exam prep course for property insurance adjusting should take a course to learn how to use Xactimate.
- Knowing what to do when you hit the ground is also essential. There is more to adjusting than just software. Tons of great classes abound, including classes given by employers and classes like our "Acing Your First Deployment".
Step 5: Land your first insurance adjusting job
Whether you are looking for employment in a staff adjusting position or prefer to remain independent and handle claims on a contractual basis, treat your job search as a job in itself and you will not be disappointed.
- Contact the HR (human resource) departments at major adjusting firms (see our list here) to inquire about openings and their hiring process.
- Create a resume that is specifically taylored to the industry with an understanding of what employers want.
- Get on the rosters of the employers you want with a strategic and intentional campaign.
- Follow up on your resumes, job applications and personal contacts with excellence.
- Keep your licenses current and be prepared to deploy during a catastrophe if necessary.
We have created an entire 6-part video series based on our proven strategy of getting into and succeeding in the claims business.