I found out recently that there are 2 different accepted ways to spell the word "adjuster". My question is whether or not there is a difference between the two spellings and when it's appropriate to use one over the other.

I've read similar questions with answers that seem to vary depending on the word and was wondering if there is a distict difference in meaning or application between the two spellings.


  • 3
    In some disciplines. -or is used for people and -er for things. I.e. a welder is the welding machine. A weldor is the person who uses the machine.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 17:18
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    @Jim - Yes, it's well known that employers aren't real people ;)
    – AndyT
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 17:19
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    @Jim: People write "weldor"? EDIT: oh, I just saw your comment here: "that is a usage that is being pushed by the American Welding Society"
    – herisson
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 18:49
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    Relevant posts: english.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/…
    – herisson
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 18:50
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    You make a good point... I'll edit the question. To rephrase, my question is more like, "When is each use appropriate?" Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


Adjuster is the standard English spelling according to Webster's. Adjustor is considered a "secondary variant" which is less common. Rule of thumb is to always use the first listed spelling of a word. Adjuster is defined as one that adjusts, an insurance agent who investigates claims.

  • So it's interchangeable and one version just happens to be used more than the other? Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 15:33

Adjustor was a legal title like attorney at law when I was hired by a major commercial lines insurance group in 1970. I was the first Adustor in their 100 year history who was not a law school grad. I was a psychology/history double major, but also a math/physics prodigy capable of complex abstract analysis which applied to many areas. The term "aduster" was applied to college grads (usually) who worked for primarily personal lines insurance companies, were also given company cars and expense accounts, with emphasis on a lot of training in property damage estimation and understanding of specifics of insurance policy coverages regarding farmers, homeowners, smaller businesses, and vehicle coverages. In addition to those types of claims, I was heavily used for forensic reconstruction of multi vehicle and fatality accidents, serious product liability cases, medical malpractice defense, embezzlement cases worked with local detectives and FBI agents, and a lot of collaboration with scientists and legal experts at the University of Note Dame for three years before moving back to Southern California.

Both terms apply to an agent of a licensed insurance organization who had authority to fully represent, negotiate and bind the organization to settlement contracts. The average adjuster I knew had $1,500 draft (corporate check) authority and $5,000 tentative settlement authority. In my second year I was authorized to sign drafts for up to and including $50,000, and confirm settlements up to $500,000.

I have not noticed any use of the term "Adjustor" for thirty years, but "insurance adjuster" is common for independent adjusting firms. Insurance firms commonly use something like "Field Claims Representative" for the same function. I suspect that the original was Adjustor, dating back to the 19th Century. Hope this helps, if anyone's still there.

Anti M

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    Still here, and fascinating. Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 5:33

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