Which Claim Adjusters Make Most Money?
Yes, today’s topic is “MONEY TALK”. It‘s one of the most important things we should put into consideration when making any career choices.
Whether you want to work as a company adjuster, an independent adjuster, or a public adjuster, it’s wise to be aware of the financial route of each role you can put yourself into.
In this article, I’m going to break it down:
- The differences between adjuster positions
- The potential income that you could make in each of these positions
Are you ready to find out?
I will let you know now.
Key Differences Between the Types of Adjusters
First of all, let’s make sure we understand the three main types of adjusters.
All three are certified and licensed by the state that you live in. But they have separate licenses.
If you want to go from a company adjuster to a public adjuster, or if you want to go from a company adjuster to an independent adjuster, you have to switch over your license and possibly take a different test.
What is a Company Adjuster?
The first one is a company adjuster. It is also called salaried adjuster, in-house adjuster, inside examiner, or desk adjuster.
They are the ones who work for large insurance companies on a nine-to-five basis.
I was a company adjuster for one year at State Farm back in 2008. That was a typical insurance adjuster’s job, including settling claims, negotiating, and making coverage decisions.
I didn’t get any commission or bonuses, only a salary. It wasn’t bad for me, but maybe you can make it better.
We will get back to how much you can actually get paid as a company adjuster. But first, let us move on to understand other types of adjusters.
What is an Independent Adjuster?
Independent Adjusters are also known as field adjusters.
They are hired by an insurance company on a claim-by-claim basis.
As the eyes and the ears of an insurance claim, they are going out there where damages happen, taking photos of the loss, gathering the documentation on-site, and putting an estimate together.
Compared to company adjusters, an Independent adjuster can make a lot more money, and it’s a little bit different in the pay structure.
We will go into more detail about that soon.
What is a Public Adjuster?
The last one is a public adjuster, which I proudly do.
Completely independent from the insurance company, we do not work for the insurer, we work for a homeowner and building owner.
In short, we work for every policyholder.
The pay structure is strictly percentage-based. We get paid a percentage of what the insurance company pays the policyholder to build back their property.
The question is how much we can actually get, right?
As you wish, I’m going to give you all figures about the company and independent adjusters.
Also, I’m going to share my personal experience of what a public adjuster can make because that’s what I do, day in – day out.
How much I got paid as a company adjuster?
As a salaried adjuster, I was making $42K a year at State Farm and I was ecstatic about that. I was 22 years old and I got $42K a year plus retirement, plus health insurance, and so on.
Those nice little benefits for a comfortable job like that were not bad at all.
That was back in 2008, I’m sure you can get a lot more now.
According to Adjuster Pro, $38K to $70K a year is a reasonable salary for an entry-level adjuster. For staff adjusters, the average is about $40K.
There should be a raise every year. If you get promoted to a leadership position, you surely get more money for that as well.
Six-figure income for an independent adjuster?
Yes, it should not be too hard.
What I’m saying is all I know from being in the business for 14 years and speaking to independent adjusters on a daily basis.
According to Adjuster Pro, an independent adjuster can make a lot more than $100K in a good year. This means they’re pretty much making six figures or close to it when they’re starting out.
Here is the thing – it varies.
It’s not a structured salary. You are paid depending on how large a claim is and how many properties you inspect.
For example, you write a $100K estimate. Then a company adjuster decides that claim doesn’t need to be paid in full. It ends up getting paid $50K, not the initial $100K estimate.
However, the beauty about being an independent adjuster is: the more you work – the more you get paid.
The more you are available to go to inspections, the more you get paid.
If you’re working only in your local area, you should be able to make $100K.
Furthermore, when a catastrophe hits in a different state and you go out there, you can earn a lot more.
Adjuster Pro says during the peak of the 2017 hurricane season, independent adjusters were making $65K to $100K in one month.
Guys, do the math, that’s a lot of money!
To reach that comfort of a six-figure income, you really have to work your butt off.
You may have to do more than three or four inspections every day.
You may have to leave your home for weeks or months at a time.
You may have to be open to inspections whenever you get called to.
If you enjoy doing that and you can manage your schedule, that’s a good way to go.
Trust me, you are going to make $65K to $100K dollars per month. it’s awesome!
The public adjuster route
When it comes to public adjuster’s income, it is strictly commissioned.
In this case, you are representing a client – a policyholder.
You have to make sure you get coverage and that insurer actually pays so you can get a percentage of the claim.
The percentage could be different in the state you live. It varies usually between 10% and 20%.
In the beginning, your goal as a public adjuster is to sign as many claims as possible.
You have to go out there and try to find the work. You need to build relationships with contractors, roofers mitigations, plumbers, and so on.
That would be difficult at first. Once the claims start rolling in, you’ll develop a nice workflow.
It took me about five years to start making a steady six-figure income.
At the beginning of my career, it started slow. It was around $15K – $20K a year. Then it increased to $30K, $40K, $50K, … and gradually after about five years, I got well into the six-figure mark, not too far from a seven-figure.
When the first hurricane in my career hit, I was able to make over half a million dollars in one year.
I don’t think you can do that as an independent adjuster.
There are hurdles that we have to go through, but frankly, I love it. I think it’s one of the greatest jobs in the world, and I don’t know many others where I could make half a million dollars in one year.
There are public adjusters that make a lot more than even I do. You might want to speak with them as well.
As it’s a referral-based business, your public adjuster career takes time to build.
But once you get into relationships with contractors and many people know that you’re an adjuster, things become much easier.
If you put enough effort, you can get into the six-figure mark within three years or so.
It’s time to take full control of your claims. Of your business. Of your life.
A community can help you get there faster. It can offer support during these tough times. Inspiration. Guidance.
Together, we can get you to where you want to be.
What are you waiting for?