There are two basic employment options for adjusters: staff adjuster or independent adjuster. Staff adjusters work directly for the insurance carrier and independent adjusters work for Independent Adjusting Firms. IA Firms are relatively new in the insurance industry but now play a vital role in claims. Insurance companies know that there will be spikes and dips in claim volume from year to year, and they set policy premiums accordingly. For example, a large insurance company might expect 30,000 claims to be filed in Galveston, Texas during a normal year, but they realize that number could spike to 130,000 if a hurricane hits.
Claims fluctuate throughout a normal year too and these fluctuations present a staffing challenge for insurers. If they keep enough adjusters on the payroll to handle any contingency, they’d be overstaffed 90% of the time, decreasing their profitability. On the other hand, if they keep only a skeleton crew, the delay caused by trying to staff after a large spike would be disastrous for insurance companies. There are strict laws, steep fines, and public relations problems if claims are not handled on time, and it is difficult to hire qualified adjusters on short notice. Enter the Independent Adjusting Firm. Carriers now outsource claims to these firms and in turn, the firms can keep many more adjusters employed regularly.