Insurance Inspector: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for an insurance inspector. Get the facts about education requirements and opportunities, job duties and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Insurance Inspector Do?

Insurance inspectors are salaried workers or independent contractors who evaluate properties or vehicles as a precondition to a company's insuring them. As an insurance inspector, you'll look for problems in properties and investigate potential insurance fraud. You'll need to have an understanding of construction codes and regulations.

Take a look at the following chart to learn some of characteristics of the career.

Degree Required No degree required, but certificate or associate's degree may be preferred
Training Required Experience in construction and familiarity with codes, ordinances and regulations dealing with occupational safety, environmental issues and fire protection
Licensure Requirements Most states require licensure for home inspectors*
Job Growth (2014-2024)8% (for building and construction inspectors)**
Median Salary (2015)$57,340 (for construction and building inspectors)**

Sources: *National Association of Home Inspectors, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Insurance Inspector?

Insurance inspectors examine residential or commercial properties before an underwriter issues a policy. Their job is to search the property for problems that could prompt insurance claims. While they work for the same industry, insurance investigators probe claims when the insurance company believes a crime or fraud was committed.

What Duties Would I Perform?

Your inspections will vary depending upon whether the property is a residence or commercial site. But you will usually examine a property's exterior, take measurements, make a diagram and note any problems that could lead to an insurance claim. You will use a digital camera to shoot photographs of the property, including any problem areas. Sometimes you might examine the inside of a property to note the utility systems, cooking areas or public spaces.

As an insurance inspector, you might note if there are ample exits, sufficient emergency lights and working smoke detectors. You could detail the property's proximity to the nearest fire department and water hydrant. Photographs, diagrams and other findings are submitted to the insurance company through a computer.

Some insurance inspectors examine motor vehicles before an underwriter issues a policy. You examine the vehicle, shoot photographs, note the odometer reading and obtain information about the drivers and their driving habits.

Do I Need an Education?

There are no educational requirements to become an insurance inspector. Some employers want insurance inspectors with relevant work experience. Many companies offer training for their new insurance inspectors. You might be expected to learn the regulations governing occupational safety, fire protection and the environment. Some companies offer continuing professional education to keep their insurance inspectors' knowledge up-to-date.

Although no formal education is required, you could improve your job skills by seeking some type of advanced education. Some community colleges and technical colleges offer courses or certificates in different types of inspections, including fire and building inspections. Or you could earn a degree in a relevant program like engineering or environmental and occupational health.

What Kind of Career Might I Have?

You could work for an insurance company or for a firm that supplies inspections for the insurance industry. Some companies hire inspectors as salaried employees and other firms hire inspectors as independent contractors.

You might earn a regular salary as an insurance inspector, or you might earn a fee for every inspection you complete and report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not publish salary data for insurance inspectors ( But the BLS reported in May 2015 that building inspectors, a job which is similar to insurance inspectors, earned a median yearly salary $57,340.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals interested in an alternative career may consider becoming a claims adjuster or a surveying technician. A high school diploma is typically needed for both jobs, although some employers may prefer those with more experience or training. Claims adjusters are responsible for inspecting damage to see how much the insurance company should cover. Surveying technicians assist surveyors in collecting data to produce maps.

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