In order to be a claims adjuster, you must meet the state licensing requirements. Licensing covers many aspects of claim adjustment, but there are additional certifications that claims adjusters can obtain to expand the scope of their business. Determining what certifications and licenses to seek is a matter of personal preference, and reflects the area in which you live as well as the type of claims you want to process.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Certification
The National Flood Insurance Program is run by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Authority. It offers flood damage adjuster certification in five types of damage. These certifications are residential, mobile home, small commercial, large commercial and condominiums. An adjuster can obtain any or all of these certifications by completing a workshop, submitting an application, and demonstrating that they have worked in that area of insurance adjusting for the required period of time.
California Earthquake Accreditation
You can become certified with the California Earthquake Authority to be a claims adjusters for earthquake damage. This certification is offered following completion of an approved training course. The training course is fairly short, usually consisting of a single day workshop. Topics covered in the course include California guidelines for fair claims settlement practices as well as how to inspect for earthquake damage. There are four kinds of earthquake policies -- homeowners, renters, condominium and mobile home. The certification is then valid for three years.
Most states require licensing for insurance adjusters. The specific licensing requirements vary by state, but generally include a pre-exam course that can be completed online or in person as well as an exam. If your state does not require a license, it is recommended you get a license from a state that does, to demonstrate knowledge and competence. Any state that offers licensing to nonresidents will work, but Texas is preferred because its exam covers a wide variety of weather-related issues.
In addition to a general insurance adjuster license, which covers property and casualty damage, there are specialized licenses you can obtain to expand the kinds of claims you are qualified to handle. Emergency adjuster licenses are issued for specific emergency situations only, requiring you to apply each time there is a natural disaster or other emergency situation. You can also obtain a license to work as an adjuster for workers' compensation, handling those claims. You can obtain these licenses from another state if they aren't offered by your home state.