Insurance adjusters perform some of the more difficult roles for insurance companies. Adjusters are responsible for receiving a policy holder's insurance claim and gathering evidence to determine whether the written claim matches the real damage. Claims adjusters then must determine whether the policy holder is entitled to the money they've claimed and how much money the insurance company should award. Because of these responsibilities, insurance adjusters make some of the most lucrative salaries in the insurance industry.
Among career titles for individuals employed to review insurance claims, including claims adjuster, examiner or investigator, the average salary for those working in the United States was $60,200 per year as of May 2010; the average hourly wage for adjusters was $28.94. In 2008, the salary range for the middle 50 percent of wage-earning insurance adjusters spanned from $42,400 per year to $70,860 per year.
Most of the top employers of insurance adjusters in the United States pay salaries close to the national average for that position. Insurance carriers, including health, automobile and home insurance carriers, employed more than 120,000 adjusters in 2010, accounting for 10 percent of the entire insurance adjuster work force; these companies paid adjusters an average of $59,490 per year. The highest-paying employers for insurance adjusters in 2010 included physicians' offices, paying an annual average of $73,990; financial investment businesses, paying an annual average of $73,210; and real estate agent offices, which pay $68,620 per year.
Insurance claim adjusters often receive standard full-time employment benefits as well as various company resources for use during their work. This can include the use of a company-provided laptop, smart phone or, for adjusters performing field work requiring travel, a car. Where adjusters use their own car, they are typically compensated for mileage or wear on their vehicle. The 2 percent of insurance adjusters who are self-employed do not typically have salaried benefits.
Other Industry Positions
Claims adjusters are among the top earners in the insurance industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The only position in the industry earning a higher salary is that of insurance underwriter; in 2008, insurance underwriters earned an average hourly wage of $27.31, about 50 cents more per hour than what claims adjusters earned at that time. Other top-paying positions include supervisors and managers, earning $22.02 per hour; insurance sales agents, earning $21.84 per hour; and secretaries and administrative assistants, earning $19.24 per hour.