Independent Adjuster Law & Legal Definition


Independent adjuster means a contractor who solicits business for more than one insurance company. Usually, an independent adjuster may not be employed by one insurance company. Consequently, s/he does not work for one insurance company. Insurance companies whose financial resources or volume of claims do not warrant employing their own in-house adjusters, often engage independent adjusters.

Following is an example of a state statute (New York) defining the term independent adjuster. Pursuant to NY CLS Ins § 2101, “The term "independent adjuster" means any person, firm, association or corporation who, or which, for money, commission or any other thing of value, acts in this state on behalf of an insurer in the work of investigating and adjusting claims arising under insurance contracts issued by such insurer and who performs such duties required by such insurer as are incidental to such claims and also includes any person who for compensation or anything of value investigates and adjusts claims on behalf of any independent adjuster, except that such term shall not include:

(A) any officer, director or regular salaried employee of an authorized insurer or entity licensed pursuant to article forty-four of the public health law providing comprehensive health service plans (as used in this paragraph, a "health maintenance organization"), or any manager thereof, individual or corporate, or the manager, agent or general agent of any department thereof, individual or corporate, or attorney in fact of any reciprocal insurer or Lloyds underwriter, or marine underwriting office, unless acting as an auto body repair estimator as defined in subsection (j) of this section;

(B) any officer, director or regular salaried employee of an insurer authorized to write accident and health insurance, a corporation licensed under article forty-three of this chapter (collectively, as used in this paragraph, a "health insurer") or a health maintenance organization, or any manager thereof, individual or corporate, when the claim to be adjusted is issued or administered by another health insurer or health maintenance organization within the same holding company system as the health insurer or health maintenance organization adjusting the claim;

(C) any officer, director or regular salaried employee of an article fifteen holding company or a controlled person within such holding company system providing administrative services within that holding company, or any manager thereof, individual or corporate, when the claim to be adjusted is submitted for payment under a health benefit plan that is issued or administered by a health insurer or health maintenance organization within that same holding company system;

(D) any officer, director or regular salaried employee of an authorized insurer that is licensed to write the kind of insurance to be adjusted, or any manager thereof, individual or corporate, when the claim to be adjusted is pursuant to a policy that is issued or administered by another insurer within the same holding company system as the authorized insurer adjusting the claim, unless acting as an auto body repair estimator as defined in subsection (j) of this section;

(E) any officer, director or regular salaried employee of an authorized life insurance company, or any manager thereof, individual or corporate, or the manager, agent or general agent of any department thereof, individual or corporate, when the claim to be adjusted is submitted under an insurance contract issued by another insurer and the claim: (i) is within the scope of a contract of reinsurance between the two insurers for all of the underlying risks and none of the underlying risks are later reinsured back to the ceding insurer; and (ii) relates to a kind of insurance that the authorized life insurance company adjusting the claim is licensed to write;

(F) any adjustment bureau or association owned and maintained by insurers to adjust or investigate losses, or any regular salaried employee or manager thereof who devotes substantially all of his time to the business of such bureau or association, unless acting as an auto body repair estimator as defined in subsection (j) of this section;

(G) any licensed agent of an authorized insurer who adjusts losses for such insurer solely under policies issued through his or its agency, provided the agent receives no compensation for such services in excess of fifty dollars per loss adjusted;

(H) any licensed attorney at law of this state;

(I) any average adjuster or adjuster of maritime losses; or

(J) any agent or other representative of an insurer authorized to issue life and annuity contracts, provided he receives no compensation for such services.”