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Claims Adjuster

Complying with State Adjuster License Requirements: A Guide for Residential Claims Adjusters


Compliance with state-specific licensing requirements is a critical aspect of the claims adjusting profession. In this article, we touch on what that usually involves – and how you can find any state’s particular stipulations.

First, Check if Your State Requires a Resident Adjuster License

Whether or not you need an insurance adjuster license depends on the state where you live.

  • We provide a link to each state’s licensing requirements at the end of this article.
  • If your state requires a license, you will need to obtain one to legally handle and close insurance claims.
  • If you live in a state that does NOT require a license, you can choose another state as your “designated home state” for gaining a license. (Although, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, there are a few states that will not grant nonresident licensure based upon a person having qualified and passed a license exam in the applicant’s home state. Instead, these states require the nonresident applicant to take an exam in the nonresident state, even though the person has taken and passed the license exam in their home state.)

Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Insurance Adjuster

A license gives you legal and official approval to work as an insurance claims adjuster.

Are you looking for employment? Insurance carriers generally require their employed adjusters to be licensed.

Or do you intend to work as an independent claims adjuster? Having a license will prove you have the proper knowledge and credibility to serve the needs of insurance carriers. 

How to Comply if You Need to Obtain a License

Prepare for and Pass Your State’s Licensing Exam

In order to do this, you must typically enroll in a preparatory course that can help you understand the information required to pass an insurance adjuster licensing exam. You may also need to apply for reciprocal licenses in the other states where you could be working as an independent adjuster. Also, be aware that some independent-adjusting firms may require you to have a license – regardless of the state in which you are located – because it signifies that you demonstrate appropriate knowledge of your profession.

When you are ready to obtain your first license:

  • Complete the pre-licensing prep course provided by your home state (or designated home state).
  • Pass the state’s required licensing exam.
  • Pass a background check, if required. This may involve fingerprinting.
  • Submit your license application along with your payment for the licensing fee. (Note: application instructions and requirements vary by state.)

Obtain Any Tools You Need to Ensure Compliance

 So what might that entail? Here are three examples:

  • Example #1:

Suppose your state requires detailed floor plans or damage estimations in claim reports from licensed adjusters. How are you going to make that happen? Well, the easiest and fastest way is to use a multi-function mobile floor plan app like magicplan! This type of app enables you to sketch properties quickly, insert your investigative notes and photos, and create and share detailed reports. Be sure to choose an app that will let you store and access your floor plans with cloud technology.

  • Example #2:

What if your state requires licensed adjusters to include damage-repair-cost estimations in claim reports? Again, using an app is your best option. For example, the magicplan app has a built-in estimating feature that allows you to rapidly estimate repair costs.

  • Example #3:

How will you handle claims if you are licensed (and work) in multiple states? Once again, the best answer is to use a good floor plan app – so you can be confident you’ll meet any state’s digital floor-plan requirements.

In addition to using a versatile, multi-purpose app, you’ll also want the following two tools to scope losses: (1) a mobile device equipped with a high-quality camera, and (2) a Bluetooth laser distance meter that syncs to your floor plan app for ultra-precise measurements.

Common Challenges When Trying to Obtain a License

It’s a Time Commitment: You have to commit to investing extra time to complete the compliance process, which could take two months or longer.

It Requires Patience: Once you comply with all of the requirements, you may have to wait a few extra weeks to receive your license – especially if you’re applying in a state that has a high volume of applicants.

Exceptions During Emergency Situations

A disastrous weather-related event can cause a state to require “emergency independent adjusters” who can handle catastrophe claims. For example, when the Hawaiian island of Maui suffered devastation from fast-spreading wildfires, the Hawaii insurance commissioner’s office posted the following declaration on its official website:

“Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) § 431:9-201(b), Insurance Commissioner Gordon I. Ito is issuing this declaration authorizing temporary assistance of nonresident independent adjusters due to fires across the State. The Insurance Commissioner has decided to allow nonresident independent adjusters to operate in the State temporarily to help handle the amount of work due to the fires. The Insurance Commissioner wants to ensure that adjusters and insurance companies can and will timely respond to property owners’ needs.”

Claims Adjuster License Requirements by State

Everything from pre-licensing education requirements to exams, applications and fees varies by state. 

If you want to learn how to become a licensed adjuster in your state, visit this interactive web page hosted by the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). You simply need to select information from a few drop-down menus:

  • What are you interested in? Select “first-time license” from the drop-down menu
  • State: Select the state of the license you are seeking
  • Residency: Select “I am a Resident” or “I am a Non-Resident” or “I am a Non-resident with No Home State”
  • Are you an insurance producer or adjuster? Select “adjuster”
  • Identify Licensee: Select “Individual”

NIPR will either provide information to help you, or will direct you to a state-managed website that you can explore.


Researching and meeting state adjuster license requirements is an indispensable endeavor for every claims adjuster. Obtaining a license (where required) is not merely a regulatory hurdle, but also a means to enhance your knowledge and professionalism – so you can pursue your career goals with confidence!



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