Public insurance adjusters advocate for policyholders when filing an insurance claim as a result of property damage or loss. Before an adjuster may handle and adjust insurance claims for a policyholder in the state of Texas, he or she must be licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance. The process of getting a license is fairly straightforward and can be broken down into three steps: applicants must pass the adjuster licensing exam, submit fingerprints for a background check, and submit an application and additional documentation.
Taking the Examination
Those applying for a public adjuster license must pass a 100-question examination. The examination is multiple-choice and covers general insurance texts and forms, as well as a section pertaining specifically to Texas adjusters. It costs $48 to take the exam and applicants can sign up through Pearson VUE using the exam code, InsTX-PbAdj17. From January through June 2018, the public adjuster examination pass rate among all test takers—both new and repeat—was roughly 61%. Exam outlines, resources, and supplements are available on the Pearson website. Once an applicant passes the exam, they have up to one year to submit their application.
Applicants are exempt from taking the examination if his or her license has been expired between 90 days and one year or the applicant has a current license in another state.
Fingerprinting for Background Check
Applicants for a public adjuster license are required to submit fingerprints for a background check pursuant to sections §1.501 through §1.509 of the Texas Administrative Code. The background check is required to verify with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the applicant has no criminal record at the state or federal level. Once the background check is complete, a receipt containing a TCN# or UE ID# must be submitted to the TDI.
Appointments for fingerprint background checks must be made using IdentoGO and can be scheduled online or by calling (888) 467-2080. Most fingerprints are done electronically, however, fingerprint cards may be used as an exception. Payment for having fingerprints taken may be submitted using a credit card, business check, money order, or coupon codes. Personal checks or cash are not accepted forms of payment for fingerprints at this time.
Some applicants may be exempt from the fingerprint requirement pursuant to 28 TAC §1.504(b). Exemptions are generally for those who are already licensed or have recently held a license or they are applying for an emergency adjuster license in the wake of some kind of catastrophic event.
Applying as an Individual Adjuster or Adjuster Agency
Once an applicant has achieved a passing score on their examination and has submitted fingerprints for a background check, all that remains is to actually apply for the adjuster license. The application must be submitted on either Form FIN506 for individual adjusters or FIN507 for adjuster agencies. The application forms will ask you to provide information concerning the type of license you wish to acquire, as well as details concerning the individual applying for a license or the individuals who are responsible for the agency.
Individual Public Adjusters
If you are applying for an individual adjuster license, you must fill out Form FIN506 and pay a $50 fee using a check or money order made out to the Texas Department of Insurance. Applicants who are applying for multiple license types must pay $50 per license type for which they are applying. Public insurance adjusters are also required to provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of a $10,000 surety bond. The bond must be issued on form FIN509 and should be attached to the application. Surety bonds for public insurance adjusters do not require a credit check, meaning all applicants are approved instantly for $100.
Public Adjuster Agencies
The process of applying differs slightly for those who are applying as a public insurance adjuster agency. These applications must list the names of all executive officers, directors, or partners who contribute to the agency’s operations, as well as a list of all people or groups who handle the operation of the agency. One officer or active partner is required to possess an all lines adjuster license. Like the individual license application, proof of a $10,000 adjuster agency surety bond as financial responsibility must be submitted to the TDI for an application to be considered complete.
To ensure an application is processed quickly, applications should only be submitted once they are complete and include all necessary documents and payment of applicable fees. Once the TDI approves an application and issues a license, the individual or agency may begin practicing as a public insurance adjuster in the state of Texas.