Insurance Adjuster Licensing Information
Cal. Ins. Code Section 14021 reads, in part:
An insurance adjuster is a person other than a private investigator who, for any consideration whatsoever, engages in the business of making an investigation for the purpose of obtaining information in the course of adjusting or participating in the disposal of any claim in connection with a policy of insurance or engages in soliciting insurance adjustment business.
The person in charge of the business (owner, partner, officer, or an employed manager) must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum Age: 18 years
- Residency: Pursuant to Ins.Code Section 14029(a), the business of each licensee must be operated under the active direction, control, charge, or management of an appointed qualified manager. This can be the licensee (individual) or another person who has qualified to act as the licensee's manager by passing the California Insurance Adjuster license examination. The qualified manager is not required to be a resident of California, they must meet the oversight requirements pursuant to section 14029(a) above.
- Entity Types: Individual and Business Entity.
- Prelicensing Experience/Education: Individuals must have two years certified experience in insurance adjusting field, which equals to 4,000 hours of compensated time in the adjusting field.
- Continuing Education: Ins. Code section 14090.1 establishes a CE requirement of 24 hours, including 3 hours of ethics during each two year license term for a California resident independent insurance adjuster.
1. Take and pass an examination
Candidate Information Bulletin
The person in charge of the business (qualified manager) or the applicant for licensure must pass a qualifying license examination administered by the Department.
Study Material: The Insurance Adjuster (Independent) Examination Objectives were developed as a study guide to assist in the preparation for the examination.
2. Apply and pay fees.
- Individual - go to Sircon, NIPR, or form LIC 041-A.
- Business Entity - go to Sircon, NIPR, or form LIC 042-A.
3. Submit a Bond
A Bond of Insurance Adjuster, form LIC 31A-14, if applicable (see “Bond” note below),in the penal sum of $2,000 executed by a California admitted surety, and signed by the principal. If the applicant is a business entity,the business entity must be named as principal. The submission can be made electronically as an attachment to an application submitted on Sircon.com or via the NIPR warehouse.
4. Submit Fingerprint Impressions
5. Submit a 2 X 2 passport photo.
6. Additional documents:
a. Branch Office Certificate: If the applicant intends to conduct business from any location in California other than the principal place of business, a Branch Office Certificate must be obtained by submitting an Application for Branch Office Certificate, form LIC 31A-13, and fee.
b. The Insurance Commissioner may require such other documents as will aid in determining whether the applicant meets the qualifications for a license.
c. Federal law (Title 18 United States Code Section 1033) prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a felony involving dishonesty or a breach of trust from conducting the business of insurance unless they have obtained the written consent of the Insurance Commissioner.
To obtain written consent you must file 1033 Short Form Application for Written Consent prior to filing your application.
** Bond: California independent insurance adjuster applicants who are solely adjusting claims on behalf of a qualified licensed insurance adjuster, qualified manager, an independent insurance adjuster association, organization, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation that has filed a surety bond or certificate of insurance with the Department are not required to file a $2,000 adjuster surety bond. All other independent insurance adjusters must comply with the $2,000 bond requirement. The qualified individual or business entity must file an Independent Insurance Adjuster List of Employees and Adjusters Not Licensed in California, CDI-183, to remove this bond requirement for their California licensed independent insurance adjuster employees.
- License Application - Two year term: $311 per qualified manager.
- Examination: $79. This fee will be charged when the examination is scheduled using PSI exam scheduling service.
- Branch Office Certificate: $52
- Fingerprints: Review Fingerprint processing link for fees.
Insurance Adjuster licenses are issued for two year terms. The term of the license begins the date the license is issued and ends the last day of that same calendar month two years later.
Licensed independent insurance adjusters are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education hours each two-year license term, of which 3 hours must be in ethics.
Licensed independent insurance adjusters can use the California Department of Insurance’s (CDI) Education Provider and Course Search to locate the required courses to complete their continuing education requirement (Cal. Ins. Code Section 14090.1).
In January each year, CDI’s Notice on significant California laws effective as of the date of that notice pertaining to residential property insurance policies, including those related to a declared state of emergency and CDI's Guide for Adjusting Property Claims in California After a Major Disaster (Guide) will be distributed to licensed independent insurance adjusters, qualified managers, and insurers admitted in the state of California. This is in addition to the required Cal. Ins. Code Sections 790 through 790.15, Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, and Title 10, California Code of Regulations (10 Cal. Code Regs.) Sections 2695.1 - 2696.14 training for all claims adjusters. The Fair Claims Settlement Practices training and certification are to be completed by all claims adjusters on or before September 1 of each calendar year (10 Cal. Code Regs. Section 2695.6).
Important Note: After a public official declares a state of emergency, as defined in California Government Code Section 8558, licensed adjusters and qualified managers are to require the employees under their supervision to read and understand CDI’s most recent Notice and CDI’s Guide no later than 15 calendar days from the date on which the employee began claims adjusting activity in California (Cal. Ins. Code Section 14022(a)(2)).
CDI emails licensees a courtesy renewal notification to their email address on record approximately 90 days in advance. The email notification includes the license number, license term, license type, and information including any continuing education requirements. You can update your e-mail address using Sircon or NIPR online services.
Individuals and business entities who do not receive the email notification must still renew their license online by following the prompts at Sircon's - Renewal and Reinstatement Service or NIPR's Licensing Center.
If the license or certificate is renewed after its expiration, a delinquency fee is also required (Ins.Code sections 1718 - 1720).
Insurance Adjuster Registrations and Certification Online Services
The Independent Insurance Adjuster Registration and Certification Online Services is available for qualified licensed insurance adjusters, adjuster firms, and qualified managers to electronically register their employees.
The full name and Social Security Number of any employee hired or terminated subsequent to filing of the original application for license, must be submitted to CDI within 30 days of such occurrence.
- Select the hyperlink above to register independent insurance adjuster employees.
- Set-up an account.
- Under “Employee Registration,” select “Create a New List.”
- Select “Add” to insert the full name and information for an employee and save. Select “Add” to insert the names of additional employees.
- Select “Download Employee List” to print the list of employees that were submitted to CDI.
Declared Emergency Situation by the Insurance Commissioner
In the event of a declared emergency situation by the Insurance Commissioner, the registration and certification links in the Declared Emergency Situation section on CDI’s Adjuster Online Services will be available for insurers to register adjusters not licensed in California and for qualified insurance adjusters, adjuster firms, and qualified managers to register their employees who are authorized to adjust claims during a declared emergency situation in California.
Important Note: The work performed by independent insurance adjuster employees and adjusters not licensed in California must be under the active direction, control, charge, or management of a licensed adjuster, qualified manager, or insurer authorized to do business in California (Ins. Code sections 14022.5(a)(1) and 14029(a)
- A Pocket Identification Card will be issued either for the individual licensee, each qualified manager, each officer, or partner.
- A branch office must be a bona fide place of business.
License Change Reporting Requirement
- A change in the qualified manager, branch manager, officer or partner must be reported to the Department within 30 days of such change. A Personal Identification, form LIC 31A-9 for each new Qualified Manager, officer or partner must be filed. The Pocket Identification Card issued for the previously named Qualified Manager must be surrendered.
- In the case of a business entity, any change in the officers, partners, those stockholders owning 10% or more of the corporate stock, directors, or controlling persons must immediately be reported to the Department giving full names, residence address and social security number.
All fees and documents mailed to the Department must be sent to:
California Department of Insurance
Attn: Adjuster Unit
P.O. Box 1139
Sacramento, CA 95812-1139
Contact the Adjuster Unit
Phone (916) 492-3085
All filing fees submitted are not refundable, whether or not the application is acted upon or the examination taken.