What Is a Claims Adjuster?
Both companies and private individuals buy insurance policies to protect life, health, property and other possible areas from loss or damage. Once a loss occurs, a claim is filed with the insurance company. The insurance company will verify both the extent of the loss and whether it is covered under the applicable policy. While lesser claim amounts often are settled without actual visits from an insurance company employee, the claim still is processed by someone called a claims adjuster.
Waht Does a Claims Adjuster Do?
An adjuster takes charge of a claim for loss after it is filed. This involves setting up the necessary files and gathering information related to the claim such as statements from witnesses, police reports, photographs and any reports from professionals such as physicians. The adjuster may interview the claimant, either by telephone or in person. Depending on the size of the claim, the adjuster visits the related property, such as an automobile damaged in an accident. Sometimes the claim involves the services of another party, such as an Appraiser or Investigator.
What Is a Typical Day Like?
The adjuster spends part of each day examining reports related to claims and searching online for information about the claim and the individual(s) or business filing the report. The day may begin with a visit to the insurance office or simply a contact from a home office. When physical site visits are required, the adjuster can put in long hours driving to different locations during the day. Once at a site, they take photographs, interview involved parties and later compile a report. With accidents involving automobiles, the claims adjuster might visit an auto body repair shop for information. Sometimes the adjuster negotiates with the party filing the claim regarding a settlement amount.
How Many Hours Does an Adjuster Work?
Depending on the nature of the insurance business, an adjuster either spends most of the time in an office or visiting claimant locations. In the latter case, using Internet and cell phone connections, an adjuster often does not go to the insurance company office on a daily basis. In some insurance fields, working hours involve a normal five-day, 40-hour life. In other cases, because the adjuster visits claimants in the evening or weekends, the schedule is variable and results in longer work weeks. Emergencies such as major storm damage involve extended work hours.
What Are the Educational/Training Requirements for the Job?
Except for possible licensing requirements in individual states---and not all states have these---at least a high school education is required. Further education usually helps in finding jobs. In specialized areas such as auto damage or medical claims, a background in these specific fields is desirable. Since insurance laws change, claims adjusters must keep abreast of their fields through further education and training.
What Is the Employment Outlook for Claims Adjusters?
The need for workers involved in claim adjusting and related activities is expected to grow by nine percent between 2006 and 2016. The low rate reflects more efficient workloads using new technology and the use of outsourced call centers to handle preliminary data collection. These economies will be balanced by a growing population, which increases the need for more insurance. For further information about a career as a claims adjuster, contact the headquarters of insurance companies.
- Photo Credit Charles R Anderson
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