Flood: what license should you get first as an adjuster?


October 22, 2020

*Article has been edited for clarity.

This is a question we hear often! Here’s the thing: flood is different. Way different. There are very specific requirements.

Image via Wunderground

FCN Card

Simply put, to work NFIP claims you actually do not need licenses other than the Flood Control Number (FCN) Card. That sounds simple enough. Only, how do you get that license if you don’t have any others? Well, that’s the hard part.

In order to apply for the FCN, you must be a licensed adjuster for at least 4 years, and worked 4 consecutive years as a property adjuster. We encourage all adjusters to get their home state license first. There is some expense and study needed to acquire your home state license. There are plenty of sites online that provide the study materials and the exam, the most popular being Adjuster Pro. We suggest you set at least two weeks aside in order to review all of the study material and take the test. Take our advice and don’t rush it. Learn it, then take the test. If you rush it, you will be taking the test again and you will still need the two weeks to study for it.

Once that’s done, you can run private claims within your state, but you still cannot do NFIP Flood Claims. FEMA recognizes the need for new adjusters and understands that their qualifications are stringent. This is because they want to make sure that only highly qualified, seasoned adjusters are working with their policyholders.

New Adjusters

Because of the need for new adjusters, FEMA has created the Flood Adjuster Capacity Program (FACP). This program allows a brand-new adjuster to sign on with an approved FACP adjusting firm in order to learn the Flood Program from a Mentoring Adjuster. CNC is an approved FACP adjusting firm and we have a robust mentoring program.

Private Flood

And, did you know that the Private Flood market is growing? Yes — Private Flood. FEMA launched the moonshot initiative back in 2018 and the primary goal was to increase the number of flood policies by 4 million within the next few years. One of the ways they hope to achieve that is to increase Private Flood policies. In order to qualify to work for those claims, each adjuster must hold a license in the state where the flood policy is in force. The FCN card is not required for Private Flood, but it is encouraged.


Not all states require a license, but you should obtain licenses in as many states as possible. This will give you more opportunities to gain experience working property claims. You can check with CNC’s HR department to find out which states require a license. But, without a doubt, the first license to get outside of your home state should be Florida. Some other important states to get include Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. The good news about these states (and many others) is that they reciprocate with other states. In other words, you don’t have to test again in these states because you already hold a license in your home state. For a full list of reciprocity, look at Adjuster Pro’s license reciprocity map.

That leaves us with the Holy Grail of licenses: the New York license. I say this as it is well known to be one of the most difficult to get. New York does not reciprocate with other states and you must study and take their exam separately in order to obtain.

We hope this helps get you started on your path to licensing. For any questions, we’re here to help — email or call us at 251-471-4718 option 4. We’ll see you out there!

Glenn Mathers — Thanks for reading! What did you think of this post? Email us.