CA Adjuster – License & Exam FAQs

What is an adjuster?

If you have ever seen a catastrophe unwind on TV, or experienced a flood in your home/business or damage to your car, insurance adjusters are the ones sent by the insurance companies to help owners file and evaluate property claims.

Are there different types of adjusters?

There are typically four main types of insurance adjusters as described below:

  • Independent Adjuster – Insurance companies contract these adjusters . . . usually through a third party company that has a contract agreement with the insurer.
  • Staff Adjusters – Hired directly by an insurance company
  • Catastrophe Adjuster (CAT Adjuster) – Independent adjusters who travel to disaster sites.
  • Public Adjusters – Work for insurance customers, not the insurance company to help improve the claim proceeds.
Why should I become an adjuster?

There is a small initial investment, minimal education requirement and high earning potential involved in becoming an adjuster.  In addition, most adjusters enjoy the freedom and flexibility enjoyed by other business owners or independent contractors.

What are the requirements to become an adjuster in California?
  • 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 the licensee, if the licensee is qualified, or the person who has qualified to act as the licensee’s manager, if the licensee is not qualified. Although the qualified manager is not required to be a resident of California, they must meet the oversight requirements pursuant to section 14029(a) stated above.
  • Entity Types: Individual and Business Entity.
  • Prelicensing Experience/Education: Must have two years certified experience in insurance adjusting field (2,000 hours of compensated time in the adjusting field is equal to one year of experience).
  • Prelicensing Training: Candidates to become a public adjuster must take an approved 20-hour prelicense training course.
  • Continuing Education: CE requirement of 24 hours, including 3 hours of ethics during each two year license term.
  • Pass the California Adjuster License Exam (that’s what we help you do).
How does somebody earn the hours of compensated time (internship) necessary to qualify for the adjuster license?

There are two ways that are typical:  Working for a licensed adjuster who vouchers for your hours or working as a staff adjuster for an insurance company.  Also Applicants who were licensed as an Apprentice Public Adjuster for 12 months can satisfy the two-year experience requirement.

What are the steps to get licensed as an adjuster?
  1. Take our Adjuster License Exam course to prepare for the State License Exam
  2. Public adjuster license candidates must take a 20-hour prelicense training course.
  3. Schedule the State License Exam at or by calling (833) 518-7456
  4. Pass the State License Exam with a score of 60% or better
  5. Get fingerprinted (available at the testing site).
  6. Apply for the adjuster license with Sircon (the agent handling license for the State) at
  7. Buy an adjuster surety bond in the amount of $2,000 (independent adjuster) / $20,000 (public adjuster). Just search California adjuster bond online.
How much does it cost to become an adjuster?

$159 – Adjuster license course for passing the adjuster license exam (that’s us).

$70 – Fingerprinting, which can be done at the state examination site.

$79 – License examination fee

$311 – State license fee (good for two years)

$200 – Adjuster bond (good for two years).

Anything else that I need to keep my license going?

Licensed California adjusters are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years.  Don’t worry. We can help you here too and the cost is only $38.


There is also something called Fair Claims Settlement Certification that must be completed annually.  Don’t worry about this one either.  It comes free with our courses, or you can self-certify quite easily and we’ll tell you how.


You must renew your adjuster bond when it comes due.

Is there anything special I need to adjust earthquake claims?

Yes . . . and we have it!  The California Department of Insurance has adopted regulations governing required training of insurance adjusters in evaluating damage caused by earthquakes and fair claims handling. Our Earthquake Certification course meets and exceeds these requirements.  How does it work?  Sign up, read our online text and passing a simple, open book exam. You will instantly receive your Earthquake Certificate and be eligible to adjust earthquake claims.

How hard is the adjuster license exam?

The license exam is difficult to pass, even for seasoned adjusters, because of its diversity.  Questions span insurance codes, laws, principles, homeowners coverage, commercial policies, ocean marine coverage, surety (bonds) and more.


The State says there are “no trick questions”, however, we know of many that have answers that can be considered wrong because they are based on out-dated policy language.


We prepare you for issues like this with hundreds of practice questions and answers.  You could read every code, the State’s adjuster learning objectives and countless claims manuals and still not find this information, i.e., it would be difficult to do this on your own.  And, why would you when our fee is so reasonable?

How many questions are on the State License Exam and how long do I have to take it?

There are a mixture of 100 questions on the license exam.  Some are true and false, some are multiple choice with answers that may be a specific choice, e.g., a,b,c, or d OR the correct answer might be “all of the above” or “none of the above”.  A passing score is 60%.


You have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam.

Why should I choose Affordable Educators to help me prepare for the State License Exam?

Affordable Educators has been an insurance educator since 1993.  We have offered adjuster continuing education for the past eight years and through our association with California Claims Pro we can now offer you adjuster license exam training.


California Claims Pro is an adjuster license school that has successfully trained thousands to pass the California adjuster license exam since 1996.  It’s owner, Pete Otto, was an independent adjuster in Northern California handling thousands of claims over many years.


Affordable Educators is pleased to offer and support the California Claims Pro course.  Call us at (800) 498-5100 or sign up through our website at

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Useful Information
California Department of Insurance Adjuster License Division Contact Information
(916) 492-3085
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