Which licenses do you need?
Naturally, independent adjusting firms and insurance carriers prefer licensed adjusters who have more training and can correctly and efficiently close claims while maintaining a relationship with the insured. The more licenses you have, the greater your chances of getting work and sometimes extra licenses can help replace a lack of experience.
Let’s face it though. All those licenses add up and that can get expensive and time consuming. You’ll want to be selective about the states where you want to work.
Now, because some states require a license in order to legally adjust claims, and others do not, you might be asking “where do I start?” We’ve got you covered.
Start simple and get your resident state license first.
If your resident state has a process for becoming licensed as an adjuster, you need to go through that process first. Your home state license will be the most beneficial in terms of reciprocal privileges.
If you don’t live in a licensing state, you can get a designated home state licenses (DHS) from Alabama, Florida, Indiana or Texas. This will allow you to be deployed during catastrophe events where the local state license or a reciprocal state license is required.
Reciprocal states have similar licensing standards so a DHS license will allow you to work in other states as well. Indiana requires a 40 hour licensing course, passing an exam and submitting an application fee of $40 to get the adjuster license. Reciprocal licenses in other states cost between $55-$175. You can find state by state licensing requirements here.
Once you’re comfortable with deployments as a lifestyle, you may decide to expand your territory beyond your home state.
There are a number of issues, including reciprocity with other states and legal abilities to handle claims (click here for state-by-state reciprocity guide). The good news is though, through reciprocal licensing privileges, you can use your license to obtain most other states’ licenses without having to take those states’ exams or pre-licensing courses.
Our team researched and polled some of our top performing adjusters about which states are best for business and which states have the most weather events for deployments so you can pursue those additional licenses wisely and not waste your time or money.
Top 10 States
1. Texas - Has a large number of events per year, large number of urban areas to minimize travel time, and is the second largest state in America. There is an additional process if you want to work coastal counties.
2. Florida - Is an active area for hurricane season. The approval process can be lengthy (fingerprints, applying, self appointing). Licensing costs are $50 for application, $42 for exam, $46 for fingerprinting, $60 for appointment.
3. Indiana - Great for Home State designation if you don’t want Texas or Florida as your DHS.
4. New York - No reciprocity so not many adjusters pursue the license which leaves a shortage. Adjusters who hold this license are extremely valuable. Expect deployments to NY frequently as independent adjusting firms learn of this qualification. Testing is required for this license.
5. Minnesota - Has an active storm season 3 out of 4 seasons. You may have to take a proctored test to be approved.
6. Oklahoma - This one is a very active area for tornado and hail. Does have complex regulations concerning reciprocity.
7. Georgia - Is active early in the spring almost every year, highly populated areas mean more claims.
8. Kentucky - Has hail storms almost every year. Has multiple urban areas and lots of claims.
9. Michigan - Is highly active in the winter season. Has big urban areas throughout state.
10. Louisiana/Pennsylvania - Tied. The coastal state won due to high hurricane traffic in the recent historical data but Pennsylvania won because of its winter season. If you are not working in Michigan in winter, Pennsylvania is a good choice.
That being said, if you happen to want to work for certain IA firms, network and get to know someone working for the firm. Most will provide you a list of state licenses that are important to them, based on the insurance companies they serve.
You can find a list of which states don’t require licensing here.
No matter what state you work, Schedule It can help you simplify your workflow by helping you map, route, contact, schedule, and create notes for your insured, all in one place.
Be safe out there!