How to Become an Insurance Claims Adjuster in 5 Steps

Claims adjusters might work for an insurance company, or they might work as self-employed public adjusters and look out for the best interests of their customers. Read on for five steps you can follow if you'd like a career as an insurance claims adjuster. Review the degree options, work environment, licensure and continuing education for this career. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Insurance Claims Adjuster?

When an individual has items or property of value, he or she will often insure them so that they can receive payment in case of loss, theft or damage. Should any of those events occur, the individual files an insurance claim. A claims adjuster will step in and process the insurance claim that is submitted by the policyholder. For instance, a claims adjuster might handle a claim after a tornado damages a policyholder's home. Ultimately, he or she makes the decision as to whether or not a claim has merit and should be paid.

Step 1: Research the Career Responsibilities of an Insurance Claims Adjuster

A claims adjuster is responsible for reviewing insurance claims, interviewing customers and any witnesses, inspecting damage done to property and consulting official records, which could include police and medical reports. Sometimes you'd consult with lawyers, architects, physicians and construction workers for expert advice about an insurance claim. Claims adjusters carefully document the information they gather, and, based on their findings, they settle any claims they deem to be valid. In this role, you'd team up with witnesses and lawyers to help the insurance company defend its position against contested claims.

Step 2: Earn a Degree

You won't necessarily need a college degree to become an insurance claims adjuster. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the minimal educational requirement for claims adjusters is a high school diploma (www.bls.gov). However, acquiring a college degree in any discipline can help you to gain employment because employers tend to hire candidates who have degrees or industry experience. Consider the area you'd like to specialize in, and plan your curriculum accordingly.

If you'd like to work on financial loss claims, you should major in business. Take legal courses if you'd like to work on liability or worker's compensation cases. Medical courses would be helpful if you plan to specialize in life or medical claims. As an example, a 2-year business curriculum at a community college would include courses on marketing, business management, accounting, macroeconomics, computer applications and business law.

Step 3: Seek Employment

Although claims adjusters work mainly for casualty and property insurance companies, you'll also find opportunities with commercial insurance, disability insurance, medical insurance or health insurance companies. Job opportunities could also exist in the area of worker's compensation. In any one of these areas, you might begin your career as a trainee, working under the supervision of more experienced adjusters. As your skills and competence grows, you'll be given more responsibilities and autonomy.

Step 4: Become Licensed

Licensing requirements for claims adjusters vary by state. In some states, you'll have to fulfill specific educational requirements or successfully complete an examination. You may be able to work under your insurance company's license. Some community colleges offer short pre-licensing accredited claims adjuster courses. Upon successful completion of such a program, you may be granted a company adjuster or an independent adjuster license, so you wouldn't have to also take a state licensing examination. In some states, continuing education is required for license renewal.

Step 5: Take Continuing Education Courses

As a claims adjuster, you'll need to stay updated on information pertaining to government laws and new medical technology. This is because amendments or technological advances could affect a policy's coverage or the way claims are handled. Continuing education courses are an ideal way of remaining updated. You could enroll in a school program, take courses online or attend seminars for claims adjusters. Also, many companies provide the necessary training to help employees stay informed of changes in the industry.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • DeVry University

    DeVry University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at DeVry University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Arizona: Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix
    • California: Alhambra, Anaheim, Bakersfield, Colton, Daly City, Elk Grove, Fremont, Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Oxnard, Palmdale, Pomona, San Diego, San Jose, Sherman Oaks
    • Colorado: Colorado Springs, Greenwood Village, Westminster
    • Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Tampa
    • Georgia: Alpharetta, Atlanta, Decatur, Duluth, Stockbridge
    • Illinois: Addison, Chicago, Downers Grove, Elgin, Gurnee, Naperville, Tinley Park
    • Indiana: Indianapolis, Merrillville
    • Maryland: Bethesda
    • Michigan: Southfield
    • Minnesota: Edina
    • Missouri: Kansas City, Saint Louis
    • North Carolina: Charlotte, Morrisville
    • New Jersey: Cherry Hill, North Brunswick, Paramus
    • Nevada: Henderson
    • New York: New York, Rego Park
    • Ohio: Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Seven Hills
    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
    • Oregon: Portland
    • Pennsylvania: Fort Washington, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
    • Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville
    • Texas: Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, Irving, Richardson, San Antonio, Sugar Land
    • Utah: Sandy
    • Virginia: Arlington, Chesapeake, Manassas
    • Washington: Bellevue, Federal Way, Lynnwood
    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • ITT Technical Institute

    ITT Technical Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at ITT Technical Institute:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Alabama: Bessemer, Madison, Mobile
    • Arkansas: Little Rock
    • Arizona: Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson
    • California: Clovis, Concord, Corona, Culver City, Lathrop, Oakland, Orange, Oxnard, Rancho Cordova, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Dimas, Sylmar, Torrance
    • Colorado: Aurora, Westminster
    • Florida: Miami, Tallahassee
    • Georgia: Atlanta, Duluth, Kennesaw
    • Iowa: Clive
    • Idaho: Boise
    • Illinois: Oak Brook, Orland Park
    • Indiana: Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Newburgh, South Bend
    • Kansas: Wichita
    • Kentucky: Lexington, Louisville
    • Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Saint Rose
    • Maryland: Hanover
    • Michigan: Canton, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Southfield, Swartz Creek, Troy
    • Minnesota: Brooklyn Center, Eden Prairie
    • Missouri: Arnold, Earth City, Kansas City, Springfield
    • Mississippi: Madison
    • North Carolina: Charlotte, Durham
    • Nebraska: Omaha
    • Nevada: Henderson, North Las Vegas
    • Ohio: Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Hilliard, Maumee, Norwood, Strongsville, Warrensville Heights, Youngstown
    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
    • Oregon: Portland, Salem
    • Tennessee: Chattanooga, Cordova, Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville
    • Texas: Arlington, Austin, Desoto, Houston, Richardson, San Antonio, Waco, Webster
    • Utah: Murray
    • Virginia: Chantilly, Norfolk, Richmond, Salem, Springfield
    • Washington: Everett, Seattle, Spokane Valley
    • Wisconsin: Green Bay, Greenfield, Madison
    • West Virginia: Huntington
  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Penn Foster Career School

    Penn Foster Career School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster Career School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Medaille College

    Medaille College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Medaille College:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Brandman University

    Brandman University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brandman University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • California: Culver City, Fairfield, Hanford, Irvine, Menifee, Monterey, Ontario, Palm Desert, Palmdale, Riverside, Roseville, Salida, San Diego, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Victorville, Visalia, Walnut Creek, Yuba City
    • Washington: Lacey
  • University of the Rockies

    University of the Rockies responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of the Rockies:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

 More Schools