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How do I get a Public Adjuster License?

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  • Written By: L. Dunne
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Getting a public adjuster license in the United States has different requirements, depending on the state. As of 2010, only six of the 50 states in the United States did not have any requirements for public insurance adjusters. Public adjusters must hold licensure in each state in which they choose to practice. Non-residents can obtain licensure in another state only if both states allow it.

The most common requirement all states have for those wanting to obtain a public adjuster license is that the applicant must be at least 18 years old. The applicant also must pass a criminal background check to help determine that he is competent, trustworthy and responsible. Applicants must take and receive a passing score on a written public adjuster examination. All states also have an application and licensing fee, which is due prior to receiving licensure.

The public adjuster licensing examination comprises questions specific to adjusting first-party claims and includes some scenario-type questions. Most examinations are in multiple-choice format. A passing score is usually 80 percent or above, although this will vary by state. The test is also timed and given at a specified location with proof of identification mandatory for anyone taking the examination.

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Some states have other requirements to obtain a public adjuster license, such as a specified amount of prior experience adjusting first-party claims. Some require proof of employment or that the public adjuster will be supervised by a licensed adjuster with a wealth of experience. Still others require some type of specialized training.

Most states have renewal periods for the public adjuster license. Many licenses expire after two years, or on the even years; the state usually keeps track of this, and will send out notices. Some states have a grace period for those who miss the deadline, while others have statutes requiring those who do not renew their license prior to expiration to retake the public adjuster examination.

Some states will allow a licensed adjuster from another state to obtain a license without taking the examination. These states require proof of prior passing score on the home state's licensing examination, along with the application and license fee. Often, these states will do their own criminal background check prior to issuing the public adjuster license.

Aside from the renewal requirements, many states also have regulations regarding continuing education and fees charged to customers once an applicant has received a public adjuster license. Public adjusters must follow all laws set by the state in which they are licensed or the licensing can be revoked at any time. An arrest also can be made if a license holder is not complying with the state laws for public adjusters.

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