An insurance company hires an insurance adjuster to assess damage and contract for an insurance claim. In Illinois only public adjusters must be licensed. A public adjuster is licensed and registered with the state as an independent contractor or firm that can be hired as an unbiased third party to assess an insurance claim. This is beneficial to consumers who don’t want to depend on the insurance company’s adjusters. Most adjusters who become licensed public adjusters have worked for an insurance company as an unlicensed adjuster. To become an adjuster for a company, a high school diploma is usually required, but to become licensed you have to follow guidelines set forth by the State of Illinois agencies.
Review the Insurance License Candidate Handbook and prepare for the test. In Illinois, public adjusters are not required to take prelicensing classes, but it may be necessary to study to pass the exam. Most insurance adjusters receive on-the-job training working in the insurance industry. Practice tests are available on the Pearson Vue website.
Schedule and pay for the licensing exam. The State of Illinois uses Pearson Vue to administer the insurance licensing exam. To make reservations for the test, call Pearson Vue at 800-274-0402 during the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations can also be made on the Pearson Vue website. When you register, you must provide the following personal information: legal name, address, Social Security number, phone number and date of birth. You must pay for the examination at the time of reservation. As of 2010, the fee for the public adjuster examination is $73.
Take the test. When you go to the Pearson Vue test center, bring your reservation confirmation number. You must also bring two forms of identification: primary and secondary. Only government-issued photo identification cards are accepted as primary proof of identification. Secondary proof of identification includes a U.S. Social Security card, a debit or ATM card or another form from the primary list. Note that your Social Security card or debit card must be signed. Test-takers should arrive 30 minutes prior to the test start time. Upon completion of the test, you will receive a pass or fail report.
Submit your fees and get a surety bond. In Illinois, public adjusters are required to submit their rates and contract with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Department of Insurance. The filing should include two copies each of a letter of submission, contract and rate schedule. License applicants are also required to obtain a $5,000 surety bond. A surety bond can be issued by any bond company. Both requirements must be met before the license can be issued.
Apply for the Public Adjuster License. Complete the Public Adjuster License Application PA-1 form and pay a $100 fee to obtain your license. Along with the application, submit the Public Adjuster Firm Registration PA-2, which costs an additional $100, and the Public Adjuster’s Bond form that states you have a $5,000 surety bond. The forms can be found on the Illinois Department of Insurance website.
If you cannot attend your scheduled test at Pearson Vue, call to cancel or reschedule 2 days in advance so you can get a refund.