The insurance industry is growing, and with it, the prospects for people who are seeking potentially lucrative careers that don’t require much up-front cost. A career as an insurance adjuster is one insurance industry job that is well-worth considering.
The job doesn’t require a four-year degree, and the licensing process can be completed relatively quickly.
The actual compensation for an individual insurance adjuster can jump to over $100,000 per year…
So, what are the ins and outs of becoming an insurance adjuster? Here's what you need to know.
How Much Do Insurance Adjusters Make?
There is a wide range of potential income levels for insurance adjusters, and the earnings potential is what makes this line of work so attractive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean pay for an adjuster was a little over $61,000 per year in 2011, but the actual compensation for an individual insurance adjuster can range anywhere from $25,000 per year, to over $100,000.
What Does the Job Involve?
Basically, insurance adjusters are tasked with examining damage, and then estimating the amount of the loss. They must also take statements from the parties involved in the claim, analyze data related to the claim, and gather evidence related to the claims.
Additionally, adjusters are sometimes required to testify in court cases in which insurance claims are being contested.
Who Employs Insurance Adjusters?
There are two types of insurance adjusters. Those who are employed by the insurance company are called “company adjusters,” and “public adjusters” are those who work as independent contractors.
Public adjusters represent the interests of the policyholder, and are hired by the policyholder, as well. Company adjusters represent the insurance company.
Company adjusters typically have a more reliable, if less lucrative career. Independent adjusters have the potential to make quite a bit of money, especially in disaster situations where independent adjusters are called in, due to an unmanageable volume of claims.
However, independent adjusters are subject to fluctuations in the marketplace, as they are typically freelancers.
How Does One Become an Insurance Adjuster?
First things first: you’ll need to get licensed. While some states don’t actually require licensing to work as an insurance adjuster, you should still get licensed. Having a license will greatly increase your ability to find work. Being licensed increases your knowledge of the insurance industry, while also increasing your credibility in the field.
In order to get licensed, you’ll need to complete your state’s licensing exam. If your state is one that does not require licensing, consider getting licensed in Florida, Texas, or Indiana, as the certification programs in these states are widely respected.
To prepare, look into taking a pre-licensing course or exam study program, to prepare for your state’s licensing exam.
After your pre-licensing or state exam is complete, you’ll need to apply for the actual license. The turnaround time for the license varies by state, and can take up to two months in states that license a high volume of applicants (Texas, for example).
The courses do have costs associated with them, but they can typically be completed in less than a month, and are much less expensive and time-consuming than earning a four-year degree.
Don’t Rest on Your Laurels
Whether you’re an experienced adjuster or have just gotten your license, it is important to continue your education, in order to make your skills more marketable to employers and clients.
Do you run a successful freelance career as an insurance adjuster? How have you gone about continuing your education in the field? Leave us a comment below.