What are the requirements for working as an insurance claims adjuster?
There are no strict educational pre-requisites for becoming an insurance claims adjuster. While a college degree is not necessary for most independent adjusters, you will probably need to obtain a claims adjuster license. Even if your home state does not require a license, American Adjuster Academy recommends you consider obtaining a Texas or Florida insurance adjuster license. These licenses are relatively easy to obtain (may be done 100% online), have excellent nationwide reciprocity, and will lend credibility to your resume. Although not required, formal training in Xactimate 27, the most widely used loss estimating program for residential properties, will also serve to further legitimize your professional portfolio.
What is the difference between an independent and staff adjuster?
Staff adjusters work directly for insurance companies as year-round salaried employees. Average entry salary for a staff adjuster ranges from $26,000 to $34,000 with a seasoned adjuster capable of pulling in $70,000 or more. Independent adjusters operate as independent contractors, typically contracting with adjusting firms. Adjusting firms in turn contract with insurance companies who require claims support beyond the capabilities of their staff adjusters. As independent contractors, IAs work for periods sufficient to complete the job and are not salaried. Instead, IA’s are pad on a per clam basis or occasionally on a per diem basis. After a major catastrophic event such as an earthquake or hurricane, independent adjusters may be putting in 70 to 90 hours per week. This work is highly lucrative, with many adjusters making $500 to $1,500 a day. Annual income can easily surpass six figures.
Which state should I get my insurance adjuster license in?
If your home state requires an adjuster license, American Adjuster Academy urges you to strongly consider obtaining your home state’s license first. this will ultimately ensure the highest level of reciprocity across the country. If your state’s claims license is reciprocal with Texas and Florida, we recommend obtaining those licenses as the next step. If your home state does not license adjusters, consider obtaining either the Texas or Florida license as your replacement “home” license.
How much do insurance adjusters get paid?
If you work as an independent adjuster, how much you get paid will depend largely on how much and how efficiently you can work. An independent adjuster will typically be paid on a per claim basis with the amount paid being a relative percentage of the settlement amount. This is known as a fee schedule. An independent adjuster can expect, if working hurricane claims, to make an average of $400 per claim settled. As an independent contractor, an independent adjuster determines their own schedule, but an industrious and efficient insurance adjuster should be able to “close” between 3 and 5 claims per day. Thus, a good claims adjuster can easily top $1,000 a day while working catastrophe claims. Several months of hard work can quickly yield a six-figure income. A staff adjuster is a salaried employee. Average starting salary ranges from $28,000 to $34,000. Experienced, senior-level staff adjusters can see their salary rise to the mid $70,000 range.
Aside from obtaining a license, should I pursue additional adjuster training?
Almost every newly licensed adjuster would benefit from additional claims training. While holding a license gives you the legal credential to handle a claim, it doesn’t give you practical expertise in the artful science of actually adjusting a property or casualty claim. And while you may have 20 years experience in residential construction, how are your computer skills? Unfortunately, knowing how to send the occasional email and look up the weather isn’t enough. Insurance adjusters use sophisticated estimating software, and your time and money will be very well spent in improving upon basic computer proficiency. Take advantage of our Xactimate classroom courses.
If I get an adjuster license and find the right training, am I guaranteed a job?
There is always a demand for good staff adjusters with insurance companies hiring on a fairly regular and predictable basis. The demand for independent adjusters is less predictable, however, and depends largely upon the frequency, severity, and location of catastrophic events. Beware of adjusting firms or adjuster schools that promise a job if you take their training or pay them money – such promises are very difficult to keep and paint a misleading picture of the adjuster employment landscape. As with any job pursuit, a highly persistent and pro-active approach is the surest method to finding the right opportunity.
Do you offer discounts for military, college graduates, or senior citizens?
Yes. American Adjuster Academy offers a 10% discount to all three on any of our courses. (55 and older for Senior discount) If you would like to take advantage of this discount, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of qualifying status. Upon receipt of your information, you will be provided with a discount code to use at checkout on our website. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office.