Should I Become a Private or Public Insurance Adjuster?

Getting your insurance adjuster’s license is the first step on the path to a great career. There are two main employment options for insurance adjusters, and they will take you in vastly different directions. Staff and independent insurance adjusters work on behalf of the insurance agency. Meanwhile, public adjusters work for homeowners. The tasks you perform in both positions are similar. However, there are key differences to understand when choosing which position you want to pursue.

Independent Insurance Adjusters

Natural disasters, catastrophes, or even small accidents happen daily. Houses, buildings, and vehicles are damaged frequently as a result. Insurance companies deal with a high volume of claims and most times, they don’t have enough staff adjusters to investigate. This is especially true during storm season. Contracting independent insurance adjusters to work on individual claims is cost-effective, compared to hiring more full-time employees. As an independent adjuster, you will be representing the insurance company and evaluating the damages that occur. You provide third-party objectivity, and there is greater perceived fairness when you are evaluating since you don’t directly work for that insurance company.

Private adjusters are usually 1099 independent contractors, as opposed to working on a salary. They can control the amount of work they want to take on, which also impacts how much they make. These adjusters are paid and supervised by an Independent Adjusting Firm, rather than the insurance company they work on behalf of.

Public Insurance Adjusters

Public adjusters work on behalf and are paid directly by the policyholder, also known as the homeowner. These adjusters work for the “public.” They are, however, still considered independent adjusters because they don’t work for a single policyholder. Homeowners can contract public adjusters for individual claims. The policyholder can continue to hire that contractor in the future, if they were pleased with how the public adjuster handled their claim.

Public adjusters perform many duties. They serve as the “attorney” of the policyholder and help them receive the best settlement. Public adjusters negotiate with the insurance company’s staff or the independent adjusters that are individually hired. Since the public adjusters understand the technicalities of claims and insurances, they can provide a better fight for the policyholders. The public adjusters assess the work that is done by the independent adjusters to make sure that everything is done correctly and no corners are cut. In summary, policyholders hire public adjusters to help document, file the claim, and assist them through the entire process. They usually make 10% of the final claim settlement agreement and either work on their own or for a Public Adjusting Firm.

What’s the Main Difference?

In order to become a public insurance adjuster, you must pass additional requirements. The barrier to entry is slightly higher than for an independent insurance adjuster. You must take and pass a licensing exam, secure a surety bond that can range up to $10,000, pass a strict background check, and may even need to fulfill an apprenticeship for a year. Financially, there are more benefits to becoming an independent insurance adjuster. You don’t need to secure a bond and you can start working as soon as you get your license. 

Most training programs don’t cover public adjusting, so it might be a good idea to start off as an independent adjuster and learn the ropes to gain experience. Then, you can pursue the public adjusting route in the future.

Get Started with 2021 Training

Both insurance adjusting positions perform necessary jobs. There will always be opportunities for work in either path you decide to take. 2021 Training recommends starting off as an independent insurance adjuster, so you can begin to build your insurance background and a strong foundation. And if you decide to become a public adjuster, the transition will be much smoother. 2021 Training offers all the necessary tools and education to start you off on the right foot. Give us a call, so you can get started today!