A Complete Guide on How to Become a California Insurance Adjuster

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How to Turn Your Existing Clients Into AdvocatesAre you thinking of becoming an insurance adjuster in California? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll provide you with a complete guide to realize your dream faster and easier.

First, let’s define what it is.

What is an Insurance Adjuster?

The legal definition of an insurance adjuster according to Section 14021 of the California Insurance Code is a “person other than a private investigator as defined in Section 7521 of the Business and Professions Code who, for any consideration whatsoever, engages in business or accepts employment to furnish, or agrees to make, or makes, any investigation for the purpose of obtaining, information in the course of adjusting or otherwise participating in the disposal of, any claim under or in connection with a policy of insurance on behalf of an insurer or engages in soliciting insurance adjustment business or aids an insurer in any manner with reference to:

  • Crime or wrongs done or threatened against the United States of America or any state or territory of the United States of America
  • The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation, or character of any person
  • The location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property
  • The cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, or damage or injury to persons or to property
  • Securing evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigating committee.


What do you need to become a California Insurance Adjuster?

Apply for a California Insurance Adjuster License


A. License application qualification

  • The applicant must be 18 years old or older
  • The business of each licensee must be operated under the active direction of the licensee
  • The qualified manager (person in charge of the business) is not required to be a California resident but he or she must meet the requirements stated in Cal. Ins. Code Section 14029(a)
  • Must have 2 years of certified experience in the insurance adjusting field
  • California resident independent insurance adjusters must have continuing education of 24 hours including 3 hours of ethics


B. Complete and submit the required forms

  • Individual and Business Entities may visit sircon.com and click “New Adjuster License”.
  • Alternatively, individual license applicants may fill out LIC 041-A form while business entities may use LIC 042-A form.
  • If you’re planning to open other locations in California, you must apply for a Branch Office Certificate


C. Obtain a California Insurance Adjuster Bond

This type of bond is mandated by Sections 14050 and 14051 of the California Insurance Code.

The purpose of this bond is to ensure “the faithful and honest conduct of business by the Principal, and every person injured by the willful, malicious, or wrongful act of the Principal may bring an action on this bond in her or his own name to recover damages suffered by reason of such willful, malicious, or wrongful conduct.”

Here are the steps to apply for this bond:

  • Contact us and tell us which type of surety bond you need
  • You will be asked to submit the following information required for the pre-qualification process:
  • Financial history
  • Credit history
  • Job history
  • Once approved, you’ll be asked to pay the bond premium and sign the indemnity agreement
  • The bond will be sent to you


How much does a California Insurance Adjuster bond cost?

The penal sum of the bond is $2,000. The bond premium is a small fraction of the penal sum of the bond that will be paid to the Surety. It could be as little as 5% of the penal sum of the bond. This will depend on the applicant’s credit score.


D. Submit Fingerprint Impressions

Here are the fingerprint requirements and fees. You can also have your fingerprint taken at a California examination site where you will be assigned.


E. Take the Exam

The qualified manager is required to take a 100-question exam. The maximum duration of the California Department of Insurance’s Insurance Adjuster (independent) license examination is 2 hours and 30 minutes for examinees without any aids.


F. Pay the fees

  • License Application Fee (2-year term) – $311 per qualified manager.
  • Examination Fee – $79
  • Branch Office Certificate – $52
  • Fingerprint Fee


That’s it! All you have to do now is wait for your license. A California Insurance Adjuster license is valid for 2 years.



Renewing your California Insurance Adjuster License

Before the 2-year period is up, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) will send you a renewal notification e-mail. The email notification will include the following:

  • Your license number
  • Your license term
  • Your license type
  • Other information regarding any continuing education requirements

If you’ve changed your e-mail address, you can update the one on CDI’s file using Sircon.com – Change Address Online.



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