Public, Independent or Company Adjuster – Which Florida License Is Right For You?

Florida offers three different All Lines Adjuster licenses and the qualifications for each are also different. A 6-20 Company All Lines license is reserved for those who are already employees of insurance companies.

A Florida 5-20 Independent All Lines adjuster license is available to those who are not insurance company employees. These applicants plan to work on behalf of insurance companies through independent adjusting companies. A 3-20 Public Adjuster represent property owner’s against insurance companies, and the qualifications for this license are different from the first two categories.

Do you have any experience in the insurance profession adjusting claims? Do you have any experience in the construction industry? Are you an employee of an insurance company who will be employed as an adjuster? If your answer to these to questions is ‘no’, you may want to consider the 5-20 Independent license.

The 5-20 independent adjuster license is available to those wishing to enter the profession who do not have experience and who are looking for their first job in the profession.This license is granted when an applicant applies for the license with the Department of Financial Services, submits fingerprints, and either completes an approved designation, such as the Accredited Claims Adjuster Designation with the University of Central Florida’s Continuing Education department, or takes and passes the state exam.

An approved designation excuses the applicant from the state exam. If the 5-20 license is subsequently hired by an insurance company, the 5-20 Independent license will be converted into a 6-20 Company license.

For those who are already employed by an insurance company, apply for the Florida 6-20 Company license and follow the same procedures as described for the 5-20.Most insurance and adjusting companies offer invaluable on-the-job training which is essential to the new adjuster and you are paid while you are being trained.


Do you have experience adjusting claims? Do you have experience in the construction or building industry? Are you trained in negotiations? If your answer to these questions are ‘yes,’ then you may wish to consider becoming a public adjuster.An applicant for the public adjuster apprentice license must currently take and pass only the ACA (Accredited Claims Adjuster Designation), no other designation is acceptable.

An application for the temporary public adjuster apprentice license must be filed with the state, along with fingerprints and a $50,000 bond; The state exam must be taken and passed. A 12 month apprenticeship must be then served under the direction of a licensed public adjuster before the 3-20 license will be granted.

Since the state exam for the Florida Public Adjuster license is challenging, it is advisable to take an exam review course prior to taking the test. Do not expect to earn any substantial income during the apprenticeship period.

Public adjusters work on a contingency fee (a percentage of the claim) and the work is much like running a small business. Public Adjusters are responsible for attracting clients, advertising, maintaining an office and generating their own income.

Florida law regarding the practice of Public Adjusting has substantially changed over the past few years and an applicant must be familiar with these changes since the law affects everything from the questions posed on the state exam, to referrals, solicitation, to the amount of fees that may be collected from any one claim.

So, which license is right for you? The adjusting profession is thriving, even during the recent economic downturn. Be realistic in your assessment of your own background and abilities and choose the license that is right for you.