The New York Series 17-70 Independent General Adjusters License has earned a reputation, and rightfully so, as one of the most difficult licenses to obtain. The test is a bear. There are additional steps and a few hoops to jump through compared to most states. But as we explained in our Golden Ticket article in 2015, it’s worth it.
Yes, it’s hard. But if you’ll allow me to quote the great Jimmy Dugan from A League of Their Own: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great.”
Ok, so that might be a bit dramatic. Obtaining your New York license might not be on par with going to the World Series but trust us. Being an adjuster who’s always needed by Independent Adjusting Firms can make you feel like a superstar. Too few candidates are willing to tackle the New York challenge but for those that do? Those adjusters are almost always in demand.
Remember: the Empire State does not offer reciprocity to out-of-state adjusters. So there’s only one way to work claims in New York: pass the state’s insurance adjuster exam and apply for your license. But that’s where things get a little trickier than most other states.
So let’s break down, step-by-step, what you need to do to get a 17-70 General Independent Adjuster License in New York.
Step 1: Meet Basic Requirements for the New York Adjuster License
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be trustworthy and competent
- Never have committed a felony or any crime involving fraudulent or dishonest practices
If you meet these requirements, it’s time to strategize how to ace the difficult New York Adjuster state exam.
Step 2: Prepare for the New York Adjuster License Exam
We know the New York insurance adjuster exam is a doozy. So while a pre-licensing course isn’t required by the state like it is in Texas or Florida, we highly recommend you take an exam prep course.
AdjusterPro’s New York Exam Prep Course is one of the best in the industry and we certainly hope you’ll choose us to help you prepare. To be frank, this is not a test most people can pass by looking up the outline and researching topics on their own through Wikipedia or Google.
AdjusterPro’s course has been rigorously prepared and is regularly updated. Our online classroom allows you print reference materials, take practice tests, and even create your own quizzes to help with subjects you are struggling with. Once you’re consistently making 90% on your practice tests and passing all the quizzes with flying colors…it’s exam time!
Step 3: Pass New York Adjuster License Exam
As of March 2019, PSI Exams Online became the testing provider for New York. You will need to create an account on their website and pay the $33 exam fee.
After registering, you’ll schedule the time, date, and location to take the exam. If you need to cancel or reschedule your test, you must do so at least 2 days in advance or lose your exam fee.
Step 4: Submit an Application for Your License
Once you pass the exam, follow the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) submission requirements for IA (Independent Adjuster) Applicants. There’s a lot to unpack here…
- Start by downloading and completing the Independent Adjuster Application from the Department of Financial Services website.
- Pay the licensing fee ($100) with a check payable to “Superintendent of Financial Services.” Full fees are charged during the first year of a licensing period. Going forward, half fees are charged during the second year.
- New York adjusters need to provide a $1,000 surety bond to cover the licensing period. This helps ensure the individual faithfully executes his or her duties as an insurance adjuster. For example, if an adjuster is found guilty of fraudulent behavior, the state may recover any amount necessary from the bond.
- You can get a surety bond from a national company or local agency – as long as they are licensed in your state. When you contact a surety agency, you should know the kind of bond you need and its amount. In this case, a ‘New York insurance adjuster’s surety bond’ should be enough to get started. Costs vary but are typically around $100 a year.
- Provide five Certificates of Character. According to the NYDFS, the certificates and authors need to adhere to the following guidelines:
- “Five persons must vouch in their own handwriting for the character of an applicant for an independent adjuster’s license under Section 2108 of the Insurance Law; they must be citizens of at least eighteen (18) years of age, of good character and standing in the community where they reside, and must have known applicant personally for at least five (5) years. They should be well acquainted with the experience, ability, and character of the applicant, as they may be required to give further information. Each affidavit must be executed the same date or after the date of execution of the application to which it is to be attached. Original signatures are required.”
- Get your fingerprints processed. New York residents must be electronically fingerprinted through IdentoGo. The fee is $87. The state will NOT accept fingerprint cards from anyone with a New York address. Out-of-state applicants may submit a fingerprint card with a copy of the signed morphotrust pre-enrollment confirmation along with their application.
- Provide your original passed score report. We recommend waiting a week to submit your application to ensure your exam has been processed.
Once these steps have been completed, you can check the status of your license on the NYDFS License Search page. In our experience, applications usually take 3 to 4 weeks to be processed. For a complete list of application details, visit the NYDFS website.
Obtaining your home state license is the first step to a career as an insurance adjuster. Successful adjusters know you need additional state licenses to get noticed and get hired. While New York is one of the toughest nuts to crack, it consistently seems to offer excellent bang for your buck.
No matter where you’re at in your insurance adjusting career, we can help.