Adjuster Licenses

A point I make in the book is that adjusters are professionals, just as doctors and attorneys. Adjusters are required, in the majority of states, to have a license to adjust claims and must complete 24 hours of continuing education, including 3 hours of ethics, every 2 years. Insurance is overseen by each individual state, and this means there are different requirements for each state. Some states are reciprocal, meaning that once you have passed the requirements for one state, you are able to obtain an adjuster license for another state by simply filing out a form and paying the licensing fee. 

Other states, such as Alaska, California, and New York are not reciprocal and you must take each individual exam if you want to hold a multi-state license. 

Yet still others do not require adjusters to have a license, like Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. For those adjusters handling claims solely in that state, a license would not be needed, but if an adjuster in, say, Kansas, wanted to handle a claim in Oklahoma, that adjuster would need to have an out-of-state adjusters license. Unfortunately, as an adjuster in this state, you will have to jump through additional hoops of having a "Designated Home State" in order to obtain out-of-state licenses. 

As you can see it can be complex. 

This chart outlines the requirements for staff, independent, and public adjuster and if there is any reciprocity with Texas, which has a good report  with most states. Please be patient as we fill this chart out. 

You may also be interested in CLM's Universal Claims Certification (UCC) course. Find out more information here

This chart is current as of the date I wrote it, but adjusters should be familiar with their state’s rules. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the list. Because laws and regulations can change without notice, an attorney should be contacted if there are any questions regarding this chart. These materials are provided for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions because I am not an attorney.

Alabama 

Alabama does not license or recognize staff adjusters or public adjusters. Those operating as public adjusters in the state must be attorneys. Any non-resident individual choosing Alabama as their designated home state for the independent adjuster license must pass the appropriate Alabama adjuster exam and complete the fingerprinting requirements. See Alabama’s Department of Insurance licensing requirements here.

Alaska  

Alaska does not require staff adjusters or public adjusters to have a license. Staff adjusters must adjust claims on behalf of the insurer who is their employer. Independent adjusters adjust claims on behalf of an insurer that is not their employer. Alaska allows nonresident licenses as long as they are not a Designated Home State (DHS). If an adjuster has a DHS license, then that individual will need to pass the Alaska Adjusters exam. Once they have done so, they may list Alaska as their home state. The Alaska Division of Insurance may be reached here.

 

Arizona

Arizona does not license staff adjusters. Independent adjusters however are required to get a license. It is issued for individuals and business entities. Public adjusters who are hired to adjust, investigate or negotiate insurance claim settlements on behalf of the insured are also required to secure a license before practice. For more information about licensing requirements, see Arizona's Department of Insurance here.

 

Arkansas  

In Arkansas, staff adjusters or public adjusters are not permitted to have a license, only independent adjusters are required to have one.  The modified Arkansas Code 23-64-102(4) allows independent adjusters who are residents of states that do not license independent adjusters to designate a home state. Under certain circumstances, Arkansas will accept the designation of home state and allow a nonresident independent adjuster license without the Arkansas Adjuster Examination.  See more information about licensing requirements here.

California  

California does not require staff adjusters to secure a license. However, it is required both for independent and public adjusters.  For independent adjusters, a license can be both granted to individual and business entities. California residency is not required for public adjusters and a license can be provided to an individual, corporation, partnership, nonprofit corporation, unincorporated association, or limited liability company. California's licensing procedure does not allow reciprocity with other states. For further details, visit California’s Department of Insurance here.

Colorado

Colorado does not issue licenses to staff and independent adjusters. Colorado residents who want to become licensed independent adjusters may opt to obtain a nonresident designated home state (DHS) license from Florida. On the other hand, public adjusters are licensed in Colorado. They work as independent contractors and represent an insured on a fee basis in the settlement of claims. For licensing information, Colorado’s Division of Insurance can be contacted here

Connecticut

In Connecticut, all adjusters are required to have a license. Information on how to become an insurance adjuster can be found here. Only public adjusters licensed by the Connecticut Insurance Department are authorized to operate within the state.  This type of license can be issued to a person, partnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation that negotiates or adjusts on behalf of the insured the settlement of a first-party property claim.

 

Delaware

Insurance adjusters are licensed in Delaware. Whether it’s a staff, independent, or public license, the licensee is granted authority to investigate and negotiate the settlement of claims on behalf of the insured in 1 or more of the following lines of insurance: 1) property insurance 2) casualty insurance 3) fidelity and surety insurance 4) automobile insurance 5) marine and transportation insurance 6) adjuster multi-peril crop insurance 7) adjuster workers' compensation.  Delaware’s Department of Insurance licensing procedure is found here.

District of Columbia 

The District of Columbia does not grant a license to independent adjusters or staff adjusters. However, public adjusters are required to secure a license before adjusting claims on behalf of their clients.  To get more details on public adjuster licensing, visit the District of Columbia’s Department of Insurance here

Florida

Florida issues licenses to qualified staff, independent, and public adjusters as stipulated in the 2011 Florida Statutes. An "independent adjuster" means a person licensed as an all-lines adjuster employed by an independent adjusting firm and who undertakes on behalf of an insurer to assess the amount of any claim, loss, or damage payable under an insurance contract.  A "public adjuster" on the other hand is any person, except a duly licensed attorney at law who negotiates for or effects the settlement of a claim contract or who advertises for employment as an adjuster of such claims.  Please see here Florida's Department of Financial Services licensing requirements for adjusters.

Georgia 

Staff adjusters in Georgia are not licensed but are registered by the insurance company.  On the other hand, independent and public adjusters need licenses before adjusting insurance claims. New York is not reciprocal with any state and to become a licensed adjuster, an applicant must take a state exam. Georgia’s Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire can be reached here for further information on licensing requirements.

Hawaii

Staff adjusters are not licensed in Hawaii.  Only independent and public adjusters need to secure a license before they can engage in adjusting settlement claims. Also, there is no reciprocity for adjusters. All residents and nonresidents are required to successfully pass the Hawaii insurance licensing exam. See Hawaii's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs licensing requirements here.

Idaho

Staff or company adjusters are not licensed in Idaho. The state Department of Insurance licenses independent adjusters categorized as general lines adjusters, worker’s compensation adjusters, and crop/hail adjusters. Idaho also grants licenses to public adjusters and are available to individuals, agencies, residents, and non-residents. It also grants reciprocal licensing privileges to anyone holding a license from their home state, or if their home state does not require a license, from any other designated home state. For further details on adjusters licensing requirements, check out Idaho's Department of Insurance here.

 

Illinois

Illinois does not license staff adjusters or independent adjusters.  However, public adjusters are required to have a license in Illinois. To get more details on public adjuster licensing, please visit Illinois' Department of Insurance here.

Indiana

Independent and public adjusters are required to have a license in Indiana but staff adjusters are not.  Independent adjusters' licenses are granted to either an individual or business entity.  For public adjusters, the statute stipulates that no individual or corporation shall perform adjustment of claims unless the person holds a certificate of authority to act as such public adjuster. Indiana is reciprocal with all states that license adjusters except California, Hawaii, and New York. For detailed information regarding licensing requirements, explore Indiana's Department of Insurance website here.

Iowa

Iowa does not offer licenses to staff and independent adjusters and does not require a license to practice insurance claims adjusting within the state.  However, public adjusters need to have a license before assisting claims.  A resident individual applying for a public adjuster license under this chapter shall pass a written examination unless exempt pursuant to rule 55.7(82GA, HF499). For information on how to obtain a license or authority, check out Iowa’s Division of Insurance here. 

 

Kansas

Kansas does not license staff or independent adjusters. However, public adjusters are obliged to have a license in Kansas.  According to Kansas Insurance Department, public adjusters are only allowed to adjust in a first-party claim and the claim must be associated with a commercial lines policy. To get more details on public adjuster licensing, please visit their website here.

Kentucky

Kentucky requires a license for staff, independent, and public adjusters. Independent adjuster investigates and settles property and casualty claims solely on behalf of the insurers. Kentucky allows reciprocal licensing privileges to anyone holding a license by examination in another state. Licensing process crafted by the Kentucky Department of Insurance can be found here.

 

Louisiana

Louisiana requires staff, independent, and public adjusters to have a license.  A public adjuster license is issued to a resident and non-resident individual or business entity who assists insureds in first-party claims in a manner that avoids the unauthorized practice of law.  The state also provides reciprocal licensing privileges to anyone holding a license from their home state. For more details, the Louisiana Department of Insurance can be reached here.

Maine

Staff adjusters in Maine are not required to have a license.  However, independent and public adjusters need to secure a license and are mandated to comply with certain specific standards under the Maine Insurance Code. The state also grants reciprocal licensing privileges to anyone holding a license from another state. For more details, Maine’s Bureau of Insurance website can be found here.

Maryland

Staff adjusters and or independent adjusters are not required to have a license. However, public adjusters are obliged to have one. Maryland only licenses public adjusters to adjust claims for losses or damages of the insured's real property except for motor vehicle insurance claims. Nonresident licenses are issued on a reciprocal basis if the nonresident is licensed as a public adjuster in their home state.  See Maryland's Insurance Administration here for more information about public adjuster licensing.

Massachusetts 

Staff adjusters and independent adjusters in Massachusetts can legally adjust claims within the state without a license.  However, public adjusters are required to have a license before they can engage in adjusting insurance claims. Explore the Massachusetts Division of Insurance here to get more details on public adjuster licensing.

Michigan

A staff adjuster (company adjuster) who is a salaried employee of an insurance company does not need to be licensed by the State of Michigan. However, independent and or public adjusters are obliged to have a license before they can start adjusting claims. An independent adjuster is allowed by license to contract with and represent insurance companies to adjust fire and other hazards, crop, and/or workers' compensation losses. While public adjusters are allowed by license to contract with and represent the insured who have suffered losses covered by insurance for fire and other hazards.  Adjusters for the insured may not adjust worker’s compensation losses. For further details, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services can be found here.

 

Minnesota  

In Minnesota,  staff adjusters can perform adjusting jobs without a license, however; independent or public adjusters must secure a license with their line of authority.  The state provides licensure to non-resident applicants holding their resident adjuster license or, if coming from a state with no licensing requirements, a license from another state. Detailed information about licensing for insurance adjusters operating in Minnesota can be found in the state's Department of Commerce website here.

 

Mississippi

A staff or company adjuster is not required to have a license in Mississippi, but independent and public adjusters are obliged to have one before they are allowed to legally adjust settlement claims.  The state also grants reciprocal licensing privileges to non-residents who hold a license by examination from their home state. Explore Mississippi's Insurance Department here to know more about how to secure an adjusting license. 

Missouri  

Missouri does not license staff adjusters or independent adjusters. However, public adjusters are required to have a license before they can work on settlement claims within the state. To get more details on how to secure a public adjuster license, please visit Missouri's Department of Commerce here.

Montana

In Montana, staff adjusters can work on settlement claims even without a license. Independent and public adjusters though are required to have one before they can legally perform adjusting duties. The state provides reciprocal licensing privileges to non-residents holding an adjuster's license in their home state and even those whose home state does not issue a license.  Montana’s Insurance Department can be reached here for more information about adjusters licensing requirements.

Nebraska  

Nebraska does not issue licenses to staff adjusters or independent adjusters. Only public adjusters are required to have a license before they can work on settlement claims.  The state issues both individual and business entity public adjuster licenses. Those who are applying for a non-resident public adjuster license should be licensed as a public adjuster in their home state and should pay the required fees. For more public adjuster license information, please explore Nebraska's Department of Insurance here.

Nevada

Nevada requires all insurance adjusters, whether staff, independent or public to obtain a license before they can practice adjusting within the state.  Non-residents wishing to act as adjusters must be licensed as “associate adjusters” which means an employee of an adjuster who, under the direct supervision of the adjuster, assists in the investigation and settlement of insurance losses on behalf of his or her employer.  See further information about the Department of Insurance adjuster licensing requirements here.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire grants licenses to staff, independent and public adjusters who settle property, casualty, or workers' compensation claims whether contracted by an insurer, a claims adjusting company, or a third-party administrator.  Likewise, the state provides reciprocal licensing privileges to anyone holding a license from their home state. Non-residents of New Hampshire who would like to be licensed in New Hampshire must have a license in their home state or 6 months of verifiable experience as an adjuster. For more particulars, visit New Hampshire's Insurance Department here.

New Jersey  

New Jersey does not require staff adjusters or independent adjusters to have a license.  However, public adjusters need to have a license before they can perform adjusting acts. Applicants for a public adjuster license should be guided by the application procedures specified in Bulletin 12-01. To get more details on public adjuster licensing requirements, please visit their website here.

New Mexico

New Mexico requires public, staff, and independent adjusters’ licenses before working on settlement claims. If an adjuster has a resident license in any other state, then he can obtain a New Mexico adjuster license reciprocally. If his home state does not license adjusters, the applicant needs to submit a letter from his insurance commissioner or a copy of his state's statutes. See more information on how to secure adjusting licenses here.

 

New York

Staff adjusters are not licensed in New York, only independent and public adjusters are required to obtain a license before working on a settlement claim.  New York is also not reciprocal with any state. To become a licensed adjuster, the applicant must take a state exam. For further information about licensing requirements, visit New York’s Department of Financial Services here.

North Carolina

Insurance adjusters whether staff, independent or public are licensed in North Carolina. The state allows reciprocal licensing privileges to any non-resident applicants who hold an adjuster license in any other state. If an adjuster applicant adopted another state as his home state for the purpose of obtaining a resident license then that state can count as the resident state. For licensing requirements, please visit North Carolina’s Department of Insurance here.

North Dakota

It appears that North Dakota does not license staff or independent adjusters. However, before public adjusters are able to practice adjusting, they are required to have a license. North Dakota issues both individual and business entity public adjuster licenses. To get more details on public adjuster licensing, please explore North Dakota's Insurance Department here.

 

Ohio

Ohio Department of Insurance does not regulate or license staff, and or independent adjusters. However, public insurance adjusters who are responsible for the adjustment, investigation, and securing of any contract for the adjustment of a loss, are required to have a license.  Those who are not required to have a license are attorneys-at-law admitted to practice in this state who adjust insurance losses in the course of the practice of their profession and who do not hold the attorney out by sign, advertisement, or otherwise offering such services to the general public. For more details on how to apply for a public insurance adjuster certificate of authority, check here. 

 

Oklahoma

Independent and staff adjusters are required to have a license in Oklahoma for the following lines of authority: property, casualty, crop & hail, crime & fidelity bonds, property (only) motor vehicle included, workers’ compensation, and multi-peril crop.  Likewise, a license is required for public adjusters in Oklahoma except for a licensed attorney who adjusts insurance losses from time to time, incidental to the practice of law, and who does not advertise or represent that he is an adjuster. Oklahoma's Insurance Department can be reached here for licensing requirements.

Oregon

Staff adjusters are not required to hold a license in Oregon.  License is only mandated for independent and public adjusters. Independent adjusters are required to have a license for general lines, health, and crop.  Oregon also recognizes a designated home state for non-resident adjusters. Please visit Oregon's Division of Financial Regulation here for more information about licensing requirements.

Pennsylvania 

Pennsylvania does not regulate or license staff and independent adjusters.  For Pennsylvania residents who want to become licensed independent adjusters, it is recommended to obtain a nonresident designated home state (DHS) license from Florida. Public insurance adjusters are required to have a license. Persons holding an active public adjuster license in their resident state can apply for a non-resident public adjuster license in PA under the reciprocity provisions stipulated in the public adjuster law. Pennsylvania Insurance Department can be reached here.

 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island requires adjuster licenses for staff, independent, and public adjusters who settle property, casualty, or workers' compensation claims for insurers. Non-resident adjuster licenses are reciprocal with all states. Individual licenses are issued based on reciprocity of the licensee’s “DHS” (Designated Home State) and the type of adjuster license and “LOA” (Lines of Authority) held in the DHS. More details about Rhode Island's Department of Business Regulation licensing requirements can be found here.

South Carolina

Unless licensed, no staff adjuster, independent or public adjusters are allowed to work on settlement claims in South Carolina. The state also grants reciprocal licensing privileges to an applicant who holds an adjuster license by exam in their home state. For licensing requirements, visit South Carolina's Department of Insurance here.

 

South Dakota

South Dakota does not offer a resident insurance adjuster license and does not require a license to practice insurance claims adjusting within the state. South Dakota residents have the option to obtain a designated home state insurance adjuster license from states which offer this (Texas, Florida, and Indiana). South Dakota's Division of Insurance can be reached here.

 

Tennessee

Only public adjusters are required to have a license in Tennessee under the Public Adjuster Licensing Act of 2006 § 56-6-914. Staff adjusters and independent adjusters may work on settlement claims without a state-issued adjuster license. Explore Tennessee's Department of Commerce and Insurance here for more information about public licensing requirements.

Texas  

Texas requires licenses for staff adjusters, independent and public adjusters. This is in compliance with the statutes TX Ins Code § 4101 and TX Ins Code § 4102.056. Texas Department of Insurance which can be found here provides detailed information for adjuster licensing requirements.

Utah

Staff adjusters are not licensed in Utah. Only independent adjusters and public adjusters need a license before they can engage in adjusting settlement claims. Their license classifications include a) accident and health insurance, b) property and casualty insurance, c) crop insurance; and d) workers' compensation insurance. Utah also issues non-resident licenses to adjusters holding an adjuster's license in their home state on a reciprocal basis. Visit Utah's Insurance Department here for more licensing information. 

Vermont

In compliance with Vermont statute V.S.A. § 4803, staff adjusters, independent and public adjusters are required to have a license before they can work on settlement claims. The state also provides reciprocal licensing to any state that requires an examination in order to be licensed as an adjuster. See more information at Vermont's Department of Financial Regulation which can be found here.

Virginia

No other type of “adjuster”, including staff/company or independent adjusters, require licensure in Virginia at this time. Those who need a license are public adjusters who do not work for any insurance company, are not public employees and do not work on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Public adjusters work with insureds to assist in the preparation, presentation, and settlement of claims. Check out Virginia's State Corporate Commission here for public adjuster license requirements.

 

Washington  

Staff or company adjusters are not licensed in Washington. The state issues license to independent adjusters who represent the interests of the insurer. In the same manner, public adjusters who represent solely the financial interests of the insured named in the policy are also issued a license. Non-resident licenses are also granted to applicants who hold a resident license by examination in their home state, as long as that state in turn grants non-resident licenses to Washington residents. See Washington’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner found here for more details about adjuster licensing.

West Virginia 

Adjusters are licensed in West Virginia.  Staff adjusters and independent adjusters have three lines of authority - Property and Casualty, Crop and Workers’ Compensation while public adjusters only have one line of authority - Property and Casualty. West Virginia also issues non-resident licenses to applicants who hold a resident adjuster license in their home state, as long as that state is reciprocal with West Virginia. Check out West Virginia's Office of the Insurance Commissioner for more information here.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin does not license staff adjusters or independent adjusters. However public adjusters are required to have a license. A public adjuster who is not a resident of this state shall register with the commissioner prior to engaging in adjusting services in this state. To get more details on public adjuster licensing, please see here.

Wyoming

In Wyoming, adjusters are required to get a license after passing the state exams. The Wyoming Insurance Department does not differentiate staff adjusters and independent adjusters for licensing purposes. See more information on how to acquire an adjuster license here.  License is also required for insurance consultants which include public adjusters.