There are two types of claims adjusters, with two very different types of earnings potential. First there is the Staff Adjuster, which is a salaried employee. A staff adjuster works for a single insurance company and will only work the few counties the insurance company operates in. The work is fairly steady year round. You don’t have to be away from your friends and family. Best of all, you get to be at home at night. The other type is the Independent Adjuster. These adjusters are often deployed to other states for extended periods of time. They have to put up with countless challenges including adverse environmental conditions. The insurance companies know that to get someone to leave their friends and family for months at a time, and deal with the all the stress, they are going to have to offer a sizeable financial incentive. If you haven’t guessed already, the earnings potential of an independent claim adjusters is a lot more than a staff adjuster! And a perk of being an independent adjuster, is you typically only work 5 or 6 months of the year.
Staff adjusters earn between $30,000 & $60,000 while the independent adjusters can earn well over $100,000. Independent adjusters are paid on what they call a Fee-Schedule. This is a percentage of the total claim amount. There is an incentive to look for all the damage covered under the insured’s policy. While a staff adjuster is paid a salary and are thought of more highly by the insurance companies they work for if the settlements are as low as possible. An independent adjuster working a hurricane, will typically earn between $400 and $600 per claim, and will usually be able to work 4 claims a day. After Katrina, there were adjusters that were able to work 10 or more claims a day, because there was no damage to scope, all that was left was the foundation, and for those claims it didn’t take long to determine the loss as TOTAL! Despite the disparity in pay, there are more staff adjusters than independent adjusters.
Even if you already have an all lines license from your home state, having one with Texas gives you the reciprocity of over 30 states, and is a strong resume enhancement. If you are serious about the earnings potential and making this a career, wheather as an Independent or Staff adjuster, I firmly believe you need to get the Texas All Lines or Property & Casualty Adjuster license, plus you need to be certified in Xactimate and certified to work State Farm claims.
Whichever path is the better fit for you, becoming a Claims Adjuster is rewarding career. Especially when you consider you are not going to waste four years at a college racking up six figures of debt!
Finally: Consider this – in any given year, there are more than 25,000 local storm reports of severe hail, damaging winds and tornadoes!
To get started as an Insurance Adjuster, you need either the ALL LINES or PROPERTY & CASUALTY license.
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