How to Get a Missouri Adjuster License

Author: Ethan Peyton
Updated:

The path to becoming an adjuster in Missouri starts with getting a license. That said, the state of Missouri does not offer their own adjuster license. 

So how can you become an adjuster if there is no Missouri adjuster license? The answer is something called a designated home state license (DHS).

This step-by-step guide will explain what a DHS license is, how to get one, and how to become an insurance adjuster Missouri.

What is a Designated Home State License

A designated home state license (DHS) is an adjuster license for people whose state of residence doesn’t offer a license. 

There are a few states that offer DHS licenses, but we recommend the Florida designated home state license for the following reasons:

  • Simple application process – Of the states that offer DHS licenses, Florida has the most streamlined process to apply for and manage your license. This is especially true if you choose Adjuster
  • Catastrophe claims – Cat claims are often the main entry point for new adjusters – and Florida is among the states with the highest likelihood of weather-based catastrophe claims.
  • AdjusterPro course – Courses through AdjusterPro allow you to skip the state exam, which will save you time and money. Upon completion, you’ll also receive the All-Lines Training Certified Adjuster (CA) Designation, which looks great on a resume.

Get Your Adjuster License

Check out our step-by-step guide to get your Florida DHS License and become a licensed insurance adjuster.

Why Do You Need a Designated Home State License?

A common question is: If Missouri doesn’t require a license to adjust claims, then why do I need a license at all?

There are two main reasons why a DHS license is your first step in the adjuster career path: non-resident licenses and credibility.

Non-Resident Licenses

Most adjusters – whether independent adjusters or staff adjusters – work in multiple states. This means that you won’t just need a Missouri adjuster license, but licenses for each state you work claims in.

In order to get a non-resident license in a state you don’t live in, you’re required to have a license in your home state first.

Since Missouri doesn’t offer a license, a DHS license is the only way to get licensed in other states.

Credibility with Independent Adjuster Firms

Most independent adjusters get their work through contracts with Independent Adjuster firms (IA firms). These firms work with hundreds or thousands of adjusters across multiple states.

To even be considered being added to one of these IA firm rosters, you’ll need to show that you are a credible adjuster. The licenses you hold are the first thing they look at when assessing applicants.

If another adjuster has multiple state licenses (notwithstanding certifications or experience) on their resume, an IA firm would obviously look to them before you.

It’s simply not realistic to become an independent adjuster without a license.

Read our guide to get your Florida DHS License.

How to Get a Designated Home State License

The steps to get your designated home state license are to choose a DHS state, complete an adjuster course, take the adjuster exam, and apply for your license.

Depending on the state, the individual steps and the order in which you take them will differ.

Choose your DHS State

As mentioned above, we recommend Florida as the best state to designate as your home state.

There are other states that offer DHS licenses, but offer fewer benefits than Florida. These include Texas, Indiana, and a few others.

Take an Adjuster Course

Before sitting for the exam, you’ll need to take an adjuster course. This course will prepare you for the subjects and questions on the exam.

Though the main focus of these courses is passing the exam, some providers also offer courses that teach the day-to-day operations of claims adjusting.

Depending on your familiarity with the industry, you should consider taking an operations-focused course. It will cost more, but it will give you an edge over the competition when it comes to getting on IA firm rosters and improve your on-the-job skills when you get started.

Adjuster Course

We recommend AdjusterPro for both exam prep courses and adjuster operations training.

Take the Adjuster Exam

After completing your course, the next step is to take the adjuster exam.

You’ll schedule an appointment to take the exam with the state’s exam provider, pay the fee, and take the test.

These courses cover laws and regulations of insurance, claims adjusting, ethics, and consumer protection. There is very little material on the adjuster exam that can be answered with common sense thinking.

Note

AdjusterPro offers an adjuster course for the Florida DHS license that includes the state exam. This means that once you successfully complete the course, you won’t need to take the state’s exam. This is both a time and cost saver.

Is the Adjuster Exam Hard?

A common question we receive is: Is the adjuster exam hard?

Difficulty is a subjective matter, but we answer this question with: Yes. The exam is intentionally tough.

Don’t let this discourage you. Keep in mind that most folks who take this exam haven’t taken any formal tests since high school or college. The state intentionally makes these tests difficult in the hopes of protecting the average citizen from working with adjusters who don’t understand the laws and guidelines surrounding insurance.

The key to passing the exam is to take your exam-prep course seriously and allow yourself time for in-depth study. 

Check out our Adjuster Exam Study Guide for tips and strategies to pass your exam on the first attempt.

Apply for Your License

After you’ve passed the exam, the last step is to apply for the adjuster license.

Generally, you’ll fill out an application through NIPR and pay a licensing fee.

Most states also require you to have your fingerprints taken in order to initiate a background check.

Note

If you’ve been convicted of a felony in the past, you should reach out to the state’s licensing department before taking any other action. If the nature of the offense precludes your eligibility to get an adjuster license, you will save a lot of time and money by making this call first.

Once your background check comes back and your license application has been reviewed, a license will be issued to you.

Congratulations! You are now a licensed insurance adjuster in Missouri!

After Getting Your License

Now that you’re licensed, you can get to work! Most folks take one of two paths at this point. They choose to become an independent adjuster or a staff adjuster.

The main difference is that staff adjusters are employed by one firm, usually an insurance company, whereas independent adjusters operate as contractors, normally being “rostered” to multiple Independent Adjusting (IA) firms.

If you’re interested in becoming a staff adjuster, check out the current job openings on StateRequirement Jobs

If the independent adjuster role is more alluring (we think it is), check out AdjusterPro’s IA Directory

Adjuster Certifications

To be considered a great candidate for IA firms or insurance companies, you’ll need to prove that you know how to actually work an insurance claim. Certifications show that you know your stuff and will give you a strong advantage over other candidates. 

While there are several adjuster certifications available, focus on Xactimate and Insurance Company certs first.

Xactimate Certifications

Xactimate is the industry standard software used by adjusters and insurance companies. There are three levels of certification offered by Xactimate

You should strongly consider levels one and two now, and look into level three after you’ve spent some time in the field.

Insurance Company Adjuster Certifications

Large insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and others require that adjusters (staff or independent) get their specific certifications. 

To get these certs, you’ll need to be on the roster of an IA firm that works with that company. They offer courses to their adjusters throughout the year. Staff adjusters that work for the insurance company will be provided training and certification through their employer.

It’s widely accepted that State Farm’s adjuster certification is the most valuable insurance company cert. They are the largest insurer in the US, and therefore have more claims than other insurers.

Out-of-State and Reciprocal Licensing

Most claims, especially catastrophe (CAT) claims come from weather events. And since you can’t control the weather, you should get licenses in states outside your home state. These are called Non-Resident Adjuster Licenses.

IA firms are much more likely to both roster you and select you for work if you are licensed in states where they operate. If you’re already on a roster or two, talk with your contact there to see if they recommend a state to get licensed in.

The best states to start with are generally those that neighbor your home state. For Missouri, this includes:

  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas (no license required)
  • Nebraska (no license required)
  • Iowa (no license required)
  • Illinois (no license required)
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee (no license required)

All these states offer what’s called reciprocation with Missouri. This means that you don’t need to take a pre-licensing course or pass an exam in order to get their license. All you need to do is apply, pay the fee, and you’ll be licensed quickly.

References and Links

Missouri Department of Insurance

301 W. High St.
Room 530
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 751-4126
Licensing@insurance.mo.gov