Insurance Claims Adjuster Income: How Much does an Adjuster Make?

The subject of how much money an insurance claims adjuster makes per year is of considerable interest and speculation to those interested in a career in this field.

Many people have heard through the grapevine that there sits a money tree, blooming with Benjamins, waiting to be plucked by any newcomer who is added to work and really don’t have a bonus. It is possible that the person who fixed your roof or their brother or even their girlfriend is adjusting insurance claims.

Adapting is a dead-end or entry-level position, and there are rumors on the flip side of the financial spectrum: assertions that claims adjusters earn very little.

Both are misunderstandings and distant from the truth.

So…how much money does an insurance claims adjuster really make?

When analyzing the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Labor in May 2021, we may find a few clues regarding the overall salary/wage statistics for investigators, examiners, and claims adjusters. However, it is important to note that there is no clear answer when it comes to the salaries of claims adjusters, as it varies across different careers.

Average Adjuster Salary: $70,960

Average Adjuster Hourly Wage: $34.11

But this is where things become fascinating…And a little perplexing.

Who is on top and who is on the bottom? And why is there a big discrepancy like this? It seems that this is a pretty significant difference, similar to a category job for a single person. The adjusters who earned just over $41,000 per year are the lowest, while the top claims adjusters earned over $101,000 per year.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Different Types of Adjusters Make Different Money

This insurance carrier handles claims of various types and structures, affecting both the initial difference and the pay structure. The staff of this carrier consists of salaried adjusters who handle claims, as well as independent adjusters and independent contractors working for Adjusting Firms. These adjusters handle claims ranging from commercial properties to multi-million dollar worker’s compensation.

Entry-level salaries for staff adjusters typically average around 40k. The salary range for a career staff claim adjuster is between $40,000 and $70,000, which is considered a reasonable range. However, independent adjusters and staff adjusters may earn significantly less in some cases.

Independent adjusters are accountable for all of these. They do not receive certain benefits that staff adjusters do, such as insurance, time off, and company resources.

During the peak of the 2017 hurricane season, adjusters were earning between $65,000 and $100,000 within a month. Particularly when dealing with catastrophic claims, independent adjusters have the potential to earn significantly higher than $100,000 in a successful year. Conversely,

Independent adjusters, who are all independent contractors, have the option to choose when and where they work. This makes it especially tough to determine a traditional “salary” in the sense of the word, especially considering that some adjusters work crazy hours for several months while others may choose to take a few months off to spend time with family or travel. Then, they might opt for the opposite the next year and adjust their salaries accordingly. We know that adjusters work a standard of 40 hours a week, but it’s really difficult to calculate salaries because of the independent nature of the job. Additionally, it’s worth noting that independent adjusters also have the freedom to take more time off or split their time as they see fit.

While it can be challenging to pin down a standard annual salary for independent path adjusters, there is excellent potential here for those who choose to take on this role independently.

Additionally, personnel in the adjusting department can definitely enjoy a financially stable livelihood. Furthermore, the independent nature of adjusters’ work allows for a slightly more intriguing aspect to their industry, with goals that can fluctuate and evolve.

How to Become an Insurance Adjuster in 5 Steps

It’s amazing how quickly you can get started and settled into a new job. Adjusting to the insurance industry can be challenging, but it offers a rewarding career with minimal obstacles.

Go through the article.

How Claims are Paid

Not only does the type of adjuster you are affect your salary, but also the way claims are paid.

Faced a storm situation and acted as a representative for the insurance company, each with their own fee schedules. ‘Schedule fee’ is a payment system that is known for this. These independent catastrophe adjusters claim a percentage of the settlement amount for each claim they handle.

For example:.

An independent adjuster handling hurricane claims may receive a fee schedule that includes $500 for claims ranging from $3,000 to $5,000, $650 for claims ranging from $5,000 to $7,500, and $750 for claims ranging from $7,500 to $10,000.

The assessor will obtain roughly 60-70% of the charge, whereas the remaining 30-40% will be assigned to the adjusting firm they work for.

Hurricane adjusters can easily average a $10,000 settlement per claim, which would put between $400 and $500 in their pocket per claim.

Each day, a skilled adjuster should settle 7 claims, earning $400 per claim. Let’s calculate the math for each day, sometimes earning $1,000 or more. It is common for independent catastrophe adjusters to settle a lot of claims per day, sometimes up to 4 to 2 closing claims. A highly competent adjuster should handle a lot of claims per day, sometimes earning $1,000 or more.

Expertise and market need have the potential to alter these proportions, however, it is important to keep in mind. Skilled adjusters with extensive years of practice can demand more favorable payment plans. Adjusters may develop more profitable fee schedules to lure adjusters from rival companies when there is a sudden surge in demand following a string of disasters, as was the case in 2017, for employers.

Example of a Fee Schedule

Worth it, it makes the end of the tunnel light at the paycheck, but it can often be a lot of hard work. During catastrophes, adjusters are often deployed to hard-hit areas and it takes a lot of hours, sometimes 14 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for months. Unlike our fable tree money, an adjuster’s income can reach six figures.Output: Despite the challenging and demanding nature of the job, being an adjuster can be rewarding as it leads to a substantial paycheck. However, it often entails long working hours, typically 14 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for several months, especially when deployed to areas affected by catastrophes. Unlike the mythical tree that produces money, adjusters have the potential to earn a six-figure income.

So is Adjusting the Money Tree After All?

The main point is that it is possible.

The ability to earn a substantial amount of money during those periods is noteworthy. However, disasters, particularly disasters that require a large number of adjusters, are relatively infrequent.

During periods of decreased demand for independent adjusters, there might be a shortage of jobs and fierce rivalry for the limited number of claims that emerge.

If you take advantage of the opportunity during a budget catastrophe, you can set yourself up for real and lasting success by proving yourself valuable to your employer. There is a tremendous and exciting opportunity, which is very lucrative and real, but disasters are occurring more frequently and becoming stronger in the industry.

If you are interested in learning more about a career as a claims adjuster, we will discuss the job and how to get started, answer any questions you have, and expect to help you in our FREE Adjusting Claims Webinars.