By Guy Grand


Many of our students come to us with questions about how they will get paid once they start working in the industry.  I’ve written about the relationships our Trained Adjusters develop with our partner Independent Adjuster Firms in this article titled “Who Do Independent Adjusters Work For?”.  But below you will find an excerpt from our free ebook “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making it Your Career” where I have written about fee schedules and how we actually get paid to do the work we do.  The following should give you a little insight into the matter.


Independent adjusters are paid in a few different ways but almost always they split the fee bill with the IA Firm. This means we split the money made from handling the claim with the IA firm. The adjuster usually makes between 50% and 70% of the amount the IA firm bills to the insurance company for the claim.

Fee Schedules

During catastrophes, adjusters are usually paid according to a fee schedule basis. Fee schedules vary widely between insurance companies and IA firms. IA firms contract with, and agree to, a fee schedule which they ultimately pass along to the field adjusters.

During hurricane Sandy I worked for one IA firm but no less than 5 carriers. Some fee schedules paid really well and some not so much. I have never looked at the multiple fee schedules and worried about who is paying more and who is paying less. The bottom line is what I make on the storm.

I have always figured my income from door to door. I start the clock when I leave my driveway and stop it when I get back to my driveway. I add up all my income and divide it by the number of days I was gone. That gives me my gross daily pay. Some adjusters only figure their daily income beginning with their first inspection day. That number looks better on a daily basis, but hey, I want to know how much I made total, including driving back and forth across the country.

Below you will find an actual example of a fee schedule from one carrier (remember this money is split between the adjuster and the IA firm). On hurricane Sandy I was paid 65% of the fee schedule.

Fees Also Include:

  • Inspection & Estimate (unless noted otherwise)
  • Full cost of agreed repair or replacement (including depreciation or betterment)
  • Telephone, faxes, and all other adjuster out of pocket expenses (except T&E billing)
  • 4 photographs included in fee- $1.00 thereafter to $20.00 maximum charge for Personal Lines and $50.00 maximum for Commercial Lines.
  • Mileage; first 50 miles included – $1.50 per mile fee applies thereafter.

There are also other ways an independent adjuster is paid: 

  • Time and Expense (T&E): On large losses, or on complex claims, we are sometimes paid on a “time and expense” basis. We keep track of the time spent in all parts of the claims process and submit our hours and our expenses to the IA firm. The hourly rate varies depending on the company, usually between $65 and $95 per hour worked.
  • Daily Rate: This is common for those who work in the office reviewing files (inside adjusters) and for the later stages of a catastrophe deployment. It is usually a set dollar amount per day to complete a defined amount of work.

(See the Ebook for the complete tables and fee schedule Charts.)

If you would like to read more about how Independent Insurance Adjusters are paid or find out what it is really like working as a Catastrophic Insurance Ajuster (CAT Adjuster) Click the link below to download the ebook “Catastrophic Insurance Adjusting – Making it Your Career”.

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