Adjusting to 6 Figures

Why Should You Become an Independent Claims Adjuster? 

A career path of an independent claims adjuster is one that has lots of benefits in the long-term

There are many professions in the world that promise to be rewarding and fulfilling.  Becoming and independent claims adjuster is one of them.  Though this might not be a profession you have heard of before, it does pay a substantial amount and is in high demand.  It is a serious decision to follow this career path, and worth considering if you are looking for a stable career where you can help others and where you are able to make your own decisions.  If you want to be in charge of your own day, travel, and set your own schedule, then this is the perfect opportunity, as an adjuster works independently in the field, and is responsible for his own work.  This article will provide a look at the role of an independent claims adjuster, the duties it entails, and what the benefits are to taking on this type of position.

An independent claims adjuster is defined as, “An adjuster who works independently of any company but hires their services out to insurance companies and other necessary organizations for the purpose of investigating, negotiating, and settling claims on behalf of the company.” An independent claims adjuster works the claims that come in from policy holders for payment on damages they have caused, or reimbursement for damages they did not cause.  Businesses, mainly insurance companies, are known for hiring claims adjusters as season employees, 1099, or W-2 employees.  When claims spike, the insurance companies reach out to bureaus or agencies of independent adjusters to handle the overflow in claims.  The independent claims adjuster works with the company, but typically not for them.  The benefit of this is that an independent adjuster who is licensed as such can work for anyone, as they are their own boss.  Claims adjusters who work solely for an organization are restricted from working only within the bounds of their hiring company; if they leave this employer, they must get a new license.  The licensing is done by the state the adjuster is in, and it ensures a professional level of excellence in the trade.  Every person who wishes to be an independent claims adjuster must become licensed unless state law indicates that it is not a requirement to be able to perform their job duties.  To find out if a license is required in your state, please click here.

The independent claims adjuster may decide to work for independent claims adjusterhimself, or he may choose to work for an agency or bureau for more perceived job stability.  Typically, if an adjuster is working for himself, he is also working for a smaller insurance company.  If an adjuster is working for an agency or bureau, larger insurance companies are outsourcing them.  A claims adjuster goes out to the scene of a property where an insured is filing a claim, or they meet with clients to resolve the claims.  An independent adjuster may spend his day on the phone talking to two people involved in a car accident, the police, and the body shops.  He may go out to a home that has been struck by hail damage to access the repairs or head out to meet with an injured person.  No day ever looks quite the same as the last.

As an independent claims adjuster you will have a flexible schedule at work therefore you control your time and you’re your own boss

The claims adjuster is an integral part in moving an insurance claim through the system.  An independent claims adjuster does a lot of paperwork, but also a lot of investigations.  As such, strong people skills (to interact with all sorts of clients and situations) are assets, as well as computer efficiency, and some knowledge of the construction and insurance fields.  If these tasks seem like something you would enjoy, then becoming an independent claims adjuster could be for you.

So, what does an independent claims adjuster do?  The independent claims adjuster works in the field assessing claims for an insurance company, and act as the liaison between the claimants, policy holders, and the insurance company.  The claims are diverse, ranging from property damage to personal injury.  They carry out detailed investigations to make judgments regarding the claim, inspecting any damage, reviewing police reports, speaking to witnesses, and talking to the people involved in the claim.  They will ask a lot of questions, and take recorded statements and pictures.  After they have gathered this and any additional information, they will determine the portion of the claim that the insurance company is liable for by determining how much fault the insured holds, and then the claim is paid out accordingly.  They will also act as a liaison between the insurance company and the tradespeople who will repair any damage in a property claim, or specialists if it is a personal injury claim.  It is important that the adjuster is thorough and knowledgeable as, if the adjuster makes the wrong decision, it can cost the insurance company a great deal in legal fees and, ultimately, their reputation.  This is why it is important that the adjusters meet certain professional qualifications and pass exams that license them to practice.

The benefits of being an independent claims adjuster are independent claims adjusternumerous.  If you prefer working in an office setting, you will have the ability to work independently throughout the day as an office claims adjuster who comes into the office, sits down and goes through his open claims.  He answers voicemails and e-mails to get claims caught up, and then he begins new claims.  It is repetitive work, though each case is different.  If you choose to work in an office, the average salary is around $50,000 per year.  Click here for more information about income potential!  Most adjuster positions with companies offer full benefits, and even 401K matching.

When you retire as an independent claims adjuster, you have the option to quadruple your retirement benefits and gain more

On the other hand, an independent claims adjuster must use their logic and critical thinking skills.  They must be content with unanswered questions.  They must be able to take recorded statements without assigning blame until a final decision has been made.  These positions have little sales involved, so many people favor the cut-and-dry nature of the work. For a professional who does not want to be tied to a desk all day, this career is a great option.  Not all adjusters leave the office, but you are sure to find many assignments that will allow you to travel and meet your clients.  Independent claims adjusters can make over $5,000 per day when operating with an elevated level of efficiency and claim volume.  If there is a catastrophe like a hurricane, the adjuster can work very hard closing claims during that time.  It is not unheard of a claims adjuster making as much money as an accomplished doctor, lawyer, or professor – a staggering statistic, but it happens!  A catastrophic claims adjuster and even those who work from home can earn over $250,000 per year, and they get to set their own hours!  Catastrophe adjusters (known as CAT adjusters) go out to areas that have been affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, or hail and typically handle a high volume of the same peril, allowing for a faster turnover of claims.  Travel for this type of position is infinite, and you can choose what catastrophes you want to service or specialize in.  You have maximum flexibility to work harder and faster.

Another great benefit of being a claims adjuster is that you are constantly learning.  The industry changes, but not at such a rapid pace that you cannot keep up with what it means to do your job properly.  An interesting blog dedicated to property and casualty insurance stated that the fastest growing criminal industry is kidnapping.  This criminal activity has earned offenders millions of dollars.  Now, a person can buy kidnap and ransom insurance.  This may be a great rider to have for a celebrity or for a person of the media travelling abroad.  If this type of knowledge interests you, there are plenty of options to dig deeper and learn more about this area of specialization.  As an adjuster, you can begin to take your career path up any route, including risk management positions.  The opportunities are endless for a creative mind that sees fault and blame as just a piece of the claims puzzle.

Now that you know what an Independent Claims Adjuster is, what they do, and what the benefits are, why would you not want to follow this career path?  You get to be your own boss, help people, earn huge amounts of money, travel, and have medical and dental coverage.  If you are serious about starting a career in claims adjusting, take a look at this article for a better understanding of what this role offers.  Like the link outlines, it’s much like being a police officer – both professions do require investigative skills, an administrative component, and making informed decisions.  If you have decided that you would like to pursue your dream of becoming an independent claims adjuster, we wish you luck on the journey ahead!

Jeremy Rettig

After discovering independent adjusting, Jeremy Rettig committed himself to becoming a student to the claims industry and a mentor to many. Now, Jeremy Rettig is a full-time claims mentor and trainer, and the founder of multiple insurance technology solutions.

3 comments

  • Jeremy, I love your blogs!! I’ve been your biggest fan for a while now. I started listening to you on Jason’s Podcast station “Adjuster Talk”. I too am an adjuster whose made over six figures in the last 365 days. Nonetheless, I want to know everything you know!

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