Public adjusters are independent agents hired by individuals to assess claims. Company adjusters work for an insurance company. Training to become either type of insurance adjuster is often available through a college or university continuing education or professional studies department. Topics of study may include legal issues, the adjusting process and insurance forms. Some of these courses are part of self-study programs and can be completed online. Others last about a week, though courses may be scheduled for up to eight hours a day.
Some states require licensing for all insurance adjusters through a competency exam, while others require this only for public adjusters. State government departments of insurance are a good resource for information on the state's requirements for licensure. Many adjusters seek optional professional certifications as well.
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Training Programs in Insurance Adjusting
These programs are developed mainly to prepare candidates for a specific exam. Even though there are several specializations within the insurance industry, many of the educational programs cover the same or similar subjects. Some of these can include the following:
- Fundamentals of legal doctrines
- Principles of accounting and finance
- Personal and commercial insurance forms
- Introduction to the insurance adjustment process
- Basics of underwriting
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that job growth for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators from 2014-2024 was predicted to be about 3%, which is slower than the average for all jobs. The BLS reports that these professionals earned a mean yearly wage of $64,300 in May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Licensing requirements for insurance adjusters vary by state. Some individuals may need to sit for a licensing exam after completing training, while others who work for a licensed insurance company may not need to be licensed themselves. Voluntary certification is also available.
The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters administers the exams to become either a Certified Professional Public Adjuster (CPPA) or a Senior Professional Public Adjuster (SPPA). Introductory courses in insurance basics, first-party property claims, the claim function and many more are offered by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. They also administer exams for more advanced candidates, such as an Associate in Claims (AIC), Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Accredited Advisor in Insurance (API).
Licensed insurance claims adjusters need to take continuing education courses in order to stay current on federal and state laws, new medical procedures, prescription drugs and court decisions about claims handling. The state in which a claims adjuster is licensed will often require a specific amount of continuing education courses each year to renew his or her license.
Insurance adjuster training programs prepare students for licensure exams by providing coursework on underwriting, law and finance. Licensing requirements vary by state, though continuing education is typically necessary due to changing laws and procedures.