How Much Money Do Insurance Adjusters Make?
- December 20, 2022
- Posted by: April Hilbert
- Category: career planning Claims Adjuster Goals Insurance Adjuster success
Becoming an insurance adjuster can be a great way to start a new career. The job itself is relatively straightforward—investigating claims and helping insurance companies determine the level of payments for those claims.
When considering a career as an insurance adjuster, one of the most common questions is “how much money can I make?” The answer is not so simple; it varies depending on a variety of factors, including type of adjuster, experience level, location, and more.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, (in May 2021), the average annual salary for claims adjusters is $70,960 a year. However, this figure can vary greatly. The top 10% of claims adjusters earned over $101,000 per year while the lowest 10% of adjusters earned just over $41,000 annually. So why is there such a sizeable difference between these two groups? It largely has to do with whether you are a staff adjuster or an independent adjuster.
Staff adjusters are typically employed by an insurance company on a set salary, while independent adjusters are contracted out by insurance companies to handle specific claims. Independent adjusters receive payments per assignment rather than a salary or hourly rate. This difference alone can significantly affect one’s income potential in this field. While independent adjusters tend to have higher incomes, it comes with more risk since they are self-employed and must manage their own taxes and other expenses associated with their work (such as travel costs).
A staff adjuster works directly for an insurance company or works in-house in the legal department of a major corporation. They have regular working hours and often receive benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans or other perks in an employee compensation package. Besides base salaries, some employers offer bonuses or other incentives, such as stock options or performance-based pay increases.
An independent adjuster is typically contracted by several insurance companies at once to assess and process complex claims that could be worth more than one million dollars or involve multiple types of coverage (auto/home/business). They usually work on an on-call basis, getting called out whenever needed to assess high-value claims that are too complex for staff adjusters to handle efficiently and within budget. Independent adjusters can also offer relief during times when the company has a heavy caseload due to natural disasters like floods or hurricanes. Since they get paid per claim, the more claims an adjuster can close, the more money they can make.
Aside from the type of adjuster status, several other factors can influence potential earnings when it comes to being an insurance adjuster:
- Education – A bachelor’s degree in any field related to business or law may be advantageous for many positions within this career path; some employers may even require such a degree for certain roles.
- Experience – The more experience you have working as an insurance adjuster, the better your chances for higher pay will be when applying for new jobs or negotiating raises at current ones. Taking on additional certifications can further show employers you possess specialized knowledge beneficial to them and thus increase your value in their eyes.
- Location – Where you live matters too. Those living in cities might benefit from higher wages due to greater demand driven by a larger population density. Similarly, those located outside major city centers may find that their salaries lag behind those found within urban areas due to lower competition levels.
- Company Size/Financial Status – Working for larger organizations typically offers better pay than their smaller counterparts since larger companies can afford such benefits due to having greater capital reserves from which they draw upon -– so if possible aim towards finding employment at bigger firms where you can take full advantage of these potential rewards. Understanding how financially stable each organization is beforehand helps reduce any surprises down the line.
If you’re looking for a career that offers stability and potential for growth, becoming an insurance adjuster may be a great choice for you! With proper training and certification, you could potentially earn a good living as an insurance adjuster – so why not try it?
AE21 offers Online Adjuster Licensing Courses that get you on your way. Learn more about how to become an insurance adjuster in your state. Contact us today!