Independent claims adjusters handle claims for personal injury, damages, and loss of property. They evaluate claims, negotiate settlements, and reject/approve claims payments. They are usually tasked with gathering information about accidents and resulting injuries or interviewing claimants, attorneys, witnesses, medical professionals, and the police. Once investigations are complete, claims adjusters compile the information they have gathered into a comprehensive report and analyze it to determine whether to pay a claimant and the amount of settlement due.
Staff adjusters usually work in line with industry regulations as well as their in-house guidelines while independent claims adjusters work on a contractual basis for multiple insurance firms. However, you must first obtain an Oklahoma adjuster license before you can commence working on a contractual or salaried basis. The lines of authority for independent and public adjusters in Oklahoma include:
- Multi-Peril Crop
- Workers’ Compensation
- Property (Only) Motor Vehicle Included
- Crime & Fidelity Bonds
- Crop & Hail
They are divided into the following groups:
- Group 1: Motor Vehicle/Casualty/Property
- Group 2: Workers' Compensation
- Group 3: Crime & Fidelity Bonds
- Group 4: Crop & Hail
Let’s take a look at the requirements for obtaining your Oklahoma insurance adjuster license. You must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien with a work authorization from the Immigration and Naturalization Services.
- Be a resident of the state of Oklahoma.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a diploma or GED equivalent to become a claims adjuster. Although some employers will require a bachelor's or associate’s degree, this isn’t a prerequisite for obtaining an adjuster license.
- Take and pass the Oklahoma Adjuster Examination or a state-approved adjuster pre-licensing course (and included exam).
Individuals who meet any of the following criteria are exempt from taking the Oklahoma licensing exam:
- Holds a Property and Casualty (General Lines) Agent license.
- Earned an insurance degree (with at least 18 semester hours of college credit in commercial, health, casualty and property insurance from an accredited university or college).
- The State of Oklahoma also permits a licensed attorney to adjust insurance claims from time to time (in line with the practice of law) as long as he does not represent or advertise himself as an adjuster.
- If you currently hold an adjuster license in another state for at least one year prior to moving to Oklahoma, you must obtain a Letter of Clearance from the previous state verifying your status and apply for an Oklahoma Adjuster license within 90 days of becoming a resident.
How to Apply
Individuals who satisfy all of the requirements listed above can proceed to the next step — applying for the adjuster license. You need to apply online, submit all the necessary paperwork (including Proof of Citizenship Documentation), and pay licensing and exam fees.
When applying, applicants must provide an Oklahoma business and/or mailing address and must not hold an active resident license in another state. A P.O. Box address will not be accepted as either a business or resident address. If an applicant decides to cancel their former resident state's license, they are exempted from the licensing exam if they apply within 90 days of cancellation.
Individuals can apply for their Oklahoma adjuster license online via CLM Tracker and NIPR. Once obtained, Oklahoma licenses must be renewed biennially. Renewals can be done via the NIPR and CLM Tracker platforms. The license fee for any single group is $30, $50 for a license in any combination of two or more groups, and $30 for public adjusters. This fee is due every two years.
Continuing Education (CE)
Resident adjusters must undertake 24 hours of CE every two years, including two hours of legislative updates and three hours of ethics. Staff and company adjusters who adjust workers' compensation claims must take 6 hours of Work Comp Act training.
You should check the Oklahoma Non-Resident Adjuster Licensing checklist to find out if your former resident state has a reciprocity agreement with Oklahoma. For example, Oklahoma has a reciprocal licensing agreement with Texas but not with the state of Nevada. Individuals who hold a Texas non-resident license and reside in states without licensing requirements also enjoy reciprocity with Oklahoma. Residents of New York, Hawaii, California, and Arizona must take the Oklahoma licensing exam.
Applicants are advised to take a pre-licensing course before sitting for the Oklahoma licensing exam. They should be able to pass a background check and a criminal records search. According to federal law, certain felony convictions preclude an individual from obtaining an adjuster license. Applicants can also take advantage of Associate, Life and Health Claims (ALHC) professional designation exam offered by private associations like the ICA.