How much do the claims adjusters make?

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Adjusters enjoy a significant position in the insurance industry since the insurers and the policyholders are equally dependent on them. They are responsible for the investigation during the claims handling procedure. They inspect the actual situation after a policyholder files a claim and determine the appropriate settlement amount to be paid by the insurance company for the losses or the damages. Although it's a lucrative career option, it's difficult to figure out the exact earning of an insurance adjuster since it depends on several factors.

How the insurance adjusters work?

The income of an insurance adjuster depends on how he works. According to the mode of the work, insurance adjusters are classified into:
  1. Staff adjusters - Staff adjusters work as salaried employees of an insurance company. Their average annual salary starts from $26,000 and can range as high as $80,000 or even more.
  2. Independent adjusters - The independent adjusters work as contractors for the adjusting firms. They don't work as salaried employees, and don't have any fixed working hours. The more effort they put into their work, the more can be their income.
  3. Public adjusters - They work as separate entities on behalf of the policyholder or the insured.
Area name Employment Annual mean wage
National $2,63,810 $61,110
According to BLS data

Factors influencing an insurance adjuster's income

Several factors influence the income of insurance adjusters as mentioned below:
  1. Location - Adjusters can earn more if they work in the metropolitan areas, due to the increased amount of risk factor. Auto accidents are more frequent in busy parts of the town. California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida are the chief states which offer the highest scope for employment in this occupation. The top paying states for the insurance adjusters are Distrit of Columbia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Connecticut and Alaska.
  2. Frequency of the accidents - Accidents or mishaps are unpredictable. Independent adjusters handling the disaster related claims usually face very tough competition in their career. Their income can soar when disasters happen and lots of insurance claims pour in. However at other times, they may have to struggle a lot.
  3. Number of claims closed - Personal efforts also matter a lot when it comes to increasing the income for an insurance adjuster. The pay of an independent or public adjuster depends on the number of settled claims per day. Thus, the more the number of closed claims for an adjuster, the more will be his income.
  4. Type of claims handled – Whether it be a property claim or for worker's compensation, the type of claims handled by an insurance adjuster influences his earning. Adjusters handling the auto claims or multi-million dollar commercial properties have more scope for earning. Independent adjusters handling catastrophe claims might earn a lot for a few months and then run dry when there is scarcity of claims or when the claim amount is less.
  5. Experience - Senior adjusters can earn more due to their knowledge and experience about the insurance industry, than the amateur claim adjusters.
  6. Company or insurer - The income of a claims adjuster is also influenced by the insurance company or the insurer he works for. Insurers and hiring firms usually have their own set of pay structure according to which the adjusters get paid.

Who can become an insurance adjuster?

  • Anyone can work as an insurance adjuster, if he has got the license and is above 18 years of age.
  • Educational background doesn't relay matter for a claim adjuster. However, insurers usually prefer individuals with a sound educational background, and a college degree.
  • Individuals willing to handle worker's compensation or liability claims should preferably have legal knowledge.
  • Convictions or felonies may count against an individual applying for his adjuster license.
  • Experience is usually not asked for when you go out to get an adjuster's license. However, reputed insurers usually don't appoint fresher as adjusters. Individuals with around two years of experience in the related insurance adjusting field are preferred.

How to become an adjuster?

To be an insurance adjuster, you need to have the license from your state since it lends you professional credibility in the industry.
  1. Contact your State Department of Insurance to know the licensing laws in that particular state.
  2. Find out whether the state recognizes licensure from other state. It's advisable to obtain a license from the home state initially. Adjuster license from Texas or Florida offers a wider range of operation since it's accepted in other states as well. Thus, it's advisable to get those licenses subsequently. If the home state doesn't license claim adjusters, the Texas or Florida license will act as the replacement 'home' license.
  3. Before you sit for the licensing exam, you need to study for the state exam. You can take a pre-licensing course or an exam study program.
  4. Depending on the state laws, you might need to pay a fee for licensing and finger-printing. Some states may even ask for pre-licensing experience.
  5. After you pass the exam, you need to apply for the license. For that you may need to choose the line of insurance you would like your license to cover, like property, casualty, commercial, auto, all lines etc.
  6. Thereafter, you need to seek employment with an insurer. Reputed insurance companies usually don't appoint inexperienced adjusters. You need to work with a local firm that hires claim adjusters in the initial period. You can even try to find job openings for independent adjusters in the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters (NAIIA) directory.
You can update your professional portfolio gradually by undergoing other training courses like the Property Technical Certification (PTC), Xactimate 27 training, Adjusting 101 etc. Advanced certifications and experience will bring in increased pay and better opportunities.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:16 pm   Post subject: How much do the claims adjusters make?  

Whats training do you need and where do you get it in the st of ct? and the earnings the first year with a bachelors in accounting.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:48 pm   Post subject:   

There are many sites that can give you an idea as to what the occupation earns. I can say that many insurance companies don't pay much for adjuster trainees... people with no experience and whom they need to train. In those cases they might only pay around $35,000/year. Also, it depends on what the position requires. Many adjusters might only handle automobile claims. Other may only handle property claims. Some carriers write commercial policies and others only write personal lines policies. Other adjuster only handle injury claims. So pay can differ slightly based on what the adjuster will be doing.



Don't expect to be making a ton of money with no experience. Also, people either hate being an adjuster or like it. It's a _whole LOT_ of processing paperwork and a little bit of investigating. IMHO its the investigation that is interesting. You also need to be _very_ organized.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:53 pm   Post subject:   

What tcope said is true. I looked into this field some months ago with a certain big name auto insurance co. With no experience in the field and to be trainned the starting salary was in the low to mid $30,000s. You had to attend their trainning which depending on where you lived could be some distance from your home, then work in a certain area, also which could be some distance from your home, for a certain amount of time .

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:23 am   Post subject:   

It's my understanding that a lot of companies have a hiring freeze right now. If you are getting into this to make"big" money you might want to use that accounting degree in another field.



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:04 am   Post subject: how much does a claim adjuster make?  

I think the earning would also depend upon the type of adjusting career you would choose. Now, if you decide to become a public adjuster where you are required to chase the disasters and be your own manager, the payment would depend upon your negotiation skills.



Many public adjusters earn in percentage of the claim. Therefore, if you are a good negotiator and manage to get more from insurance company for the client, you would get more.



~Jeremy

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:28 am   Post subject:   

I think earning big money on the first year isn’t possible at any career, especially when you are inexperience. You value comes with your experience. More success stories you can add to your resume more would be your value.



Summer, any particular reason to look for an opening in the field of adjusting?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:54 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Now, if you decide to become a public adjuster where you are required to chase the disasters and be your own manager, the payment would depend upon your negotiation skills.
Thats an Independent Adjuster. They work for insurance companies. Public Adjusters are for hire by any non-insurance company.
tcope
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:01 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
If you are getting into this to make"big" money you might want to use that accounting degree in another field.
I couldn't agree with that statement any more!



OP, Tcope and I have been drawing 'adjuster' paychecks for a combined 40 years and neither one of us would consider ourselves rich (monetarialy)...(don't think so anyway...todd are you rich?)...you can make a good living...as T also mentioned, believe me this field is NOT for everyone...there is a lot of stress (the amount will depend on the company you work for but there will be stress Rolling Eyes )....but if you like your job, you get thru it....and continue....it takes a certain 'type' of person to handle the job....but rich.....na


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:25 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
the amount will depend on the company you work for but there will be stress
It's 6:04MST and I can't sleep. I went to bed at 1:20AM MST. Go figure.

Quote:
todd are you rich?
I just took a bath in $20 bills!



I don't think many people choose to be an adjuster... it's just a job opening that they applied for. Then it's umpteen years later and they don't know how to do anything else.
tcope
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:44 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I don't think many people choose to be an adjuster
That's the truth, don't remember when I was a little girl dreaming about growing up to be a claims adjuster... Rolling Eyes
Quote:
Then it's umpteen years later and they don't know how to do anything else.
Truer words were never spoken...(where did those years go? Shocked )


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:21 am   Post subject:   

Becoming an adjuster isn't something most people think about as careers or something you pursue in college. It's a lot like eating out with no place in mind. You don't leave the house feeling hungary and think about driving to Dennys. Dennys is a place you wind up at. Wink


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:25 am   Post subject:   

Yup, after a long day of handling claims I feel full and satisfied! Smile

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 12:40 am   Post subject: Claims adjuster  

Just about to have my first child and I am 32yrs old. I am looking to change careers and I am very much considering this field. After 2yrs in the field I would like to earn a min of 40 thousand. Do you think this is possible.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:22 am   Post subject:   

Which state are you from James? The pay would also depend upon the area you are residing, along with the other determining factors like- the company, type of employment, nature of claims that you would handle i.e. injury or property damage, your experience and so forth.



Do you have any previous experience in the field of insurance?

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:31 am   Post subject:   

James, first off you need to obtain the license to become the adjuster and for that you need to pass the state licensing test. Check out with your state's licensing requirements.

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