There are several important steps that must be completed in order to become an independent adjuster in the insurance industry. These professionals are instrumental in ensuring that consumers receive the proper amount of assistance from the responsible party's insurance company in the event of an injury or property damage, as well as when natural disaster strikes, in some cases. As a candidate for this type of job, you will need to choose what insurance specialty you want to work in, obtain the correct education, and take specialized classes in insurance adjusting. Many jurisdictions also require that you have an adjuster's license. As with many career options, the successful independent insurance adjuster will also be required to take continuing education courses to keep his or her license current.
Since there are so many different aspects of adjusting work available, in order to become an independent adjuster, you will first need to choose the area in which you want to work. As an independent contractor, you can choose personal injury, natural disaster, animal attack, or even professional negligence as your specialty. Once you have determined the insurance type, most career experts recommend obtaining a bachelor's degree in a related field, though a college education is not strictly required for this job. A degree related to your area of specialty could be helpful, however; if you are planning to go into building or natural disaster insurance claims, for example, a degree in engineering or construction would be useful. Alternately, many future insurance adjusters also choose to focus their educations on insurance law.
The next step to become an independent adjuster is to take the correct type of insurance adjusting classes and training. There are several ways to receive the training and experience necessary to strike out on your own as an independent insurance adjuster, including working with an insurance company in the adjusting department or working as an apprentice to a knowledgeable and experienced independent adjuster. If either of these is not possible or undesirable, there are some colleges and universities that offer insurance adjusting classes on campus or online.
In order to become an independent adjuster in some areas, you will need to obtain the correct licensing and certifications. The most common procedure involves sitting for an exam prepared by the local insurance community. Since there are no set education requirements for becoming an independent insurance adjuster, many states and regions use these exams to ensure the candidate is prepared and knowledgeable about his or her chosen field.
Once all of the requirements to become an independent adjuster have been met, it is important to keep up with the continuing education requirements set by the state or region that holds your license. In most cases, there are a certain number of credit hours that must be acquired in a specific amount of time in order to retain the professional license. These classes often focus on new insurance laws and procedures as well as professional business courses.