Insurance adjusters are insurance company employees who schedule claims work. They will investigate claims by interviewing witnesses and consulting police reports and records. They also inspect the damaged property to determine how much the insurance company should pay for the damage. Everything is put into a report that becomes the insurance company’s record of the claim. If needed, adjusters can negotiate with claimants to settle claims or work with lawyers if the claim is contested in court.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 273,930 insurance claims adjusters and examiners employed in the country in 2009. They earned an average hourly wage of $28.26, which works out to an average annual salary of $58,780. The middle 50 percent of insurance claims adjusters earned between $43,300 to $72,130 a year. It is a position that is projected to see average growth -- 7 percent -- between 2008 and 2018.
The top-paying industry for insurance adjusters in 2009 was securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage. Insurance adjusters in that industry earned an average of $71,950 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other top-paying industries for insurance adjusters were: natural gas distribution, other financial investment activities, rail transportation and the federal executive branch. However, the top employer of insurance adjusters was insurance carriers, which employed 128,440 insurance adjusters and examiners.
Pay by State
Insurance adjusters in Washington, D.C., earned the most money in 2009 with an average salary of $77,180 a year. Other top-paying states were New Jersey, Louisiana, New York and Vermont. Connecticut had the highest ratio of insurance adjusters with 3.376 insurance adjusters and examiners per 1,000 workers. Other top-employing states were Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska and Maryland.
Pay by Metropolitan Area
Insurance adjusters in Lubbock, Texas, earned the most money in 2009 with an average salary of $80,290 a year. Other top-paying states were: Framingham, Massachusetts; Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York; Monroe, Louisiana; and Gary, Indiana. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa, had the highest ratio of insurance adjusters with 9.697 insurance adjusters and examiners per 1,000 workers. Other top-employing metropolitan areas were: Macon, Georgia; Waco, Texas; and Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut.