Claims adjusters are specialists who work with insurance claims. They take on the role of appraiser, examiner and investigator, and are hired to look into costly insurance claims, helping to decide whether the fault can be proven, and whether an insurance company should pay for damages. This career field is secure and promising since it is an avenue of life that is constant, as well as nearly recession-proof. In the U.S., most states require mandatory minimum insurance coverage. That’s good news for the long-term viability of this career field.
What Claims Adjusters Do
Claims adjusters are asked to investigate a claim and then figure out some pertinent details about the case—information which is typically not volunteered by either party of the accident. They assess what happened as well as how much the insurance company is obligated, and whether or not the policy covers this particular claim.
The agent has a tremendous responsibility. First, he or she must prove that the claim is legitimate and isn’t a case of fraud. Next, the adjuster must establish who, if anyone, is responsible for the claim. Other job duties include contacting claimant doctors and employers for further questioning, consulting with legal counsel, and organizing files. If the investigation reveals that one party was at fault, then the process moves onward to negotiating settlements and authorizing payments.
Much of the job depends on what type of an insurance company employs you. Graduates seeking employment in this line of work are advised to learn all they can about the industry, as well as the company for which they are applying for. Insurance is a very complex market, especially when comparing casualty insurance, property insurance, auto insurance, and other aspects. Away from the automobile sector, there are also homeowner’s insurance companies, health insurance companies, and specialty insurance contracts which have unique clauses.
Opportunities That Wait for You
Some claims adjusters may even seek help as an independent public adjuster, though more often than not, newcomers seek the security of a full-time job. Claims adjusters who work independently can be approached by claimants who wish for a second opinion, and do not want to rely solely on the insurance company’s adjuster. An independent worker can balance out the blind allegiance the corporate-sponsored adjuster has.
Developing your interviewing skills is important, since you are going to be talking to people in person and on the phone. Much of your daily grind will be interviewing claimants and witnesses and perhaps going out to inspect the property in question. Since you are an investigator, you may find helpful resources in police reports, record searching, and interviewing eyewitnesses. Adjusters frequently talk to accountants, architects, lawyers, construction workers and doctors in hopes of proving their case.
Taking clear photographs, learning how to use a video camera, and writing down interview notes (or using a microphone) are also job duties frequently cited by those in the industry.
One of the most attractive features of the job is its relatively low qualification criteria. Though there is a noticeable trend of companies choosing bachelor’s degree students, who have usually had more business and sales training, many employers will hire workers just out of high school.