A claims adjuster looks into insurance claims to ascertain how much liability is covered. Claims adjusters may handle liability claims involving personal injuries or third-party property damage, as well as property claims involving damage to structures.
Each case is examined by a claims adjuster by chatting with the claimant, consulting with any potential witnesses, looking up records (including police or medical records), and checking any relevant property.
Understanding a Claims Adjuster
Claims adjusters examine requests for payment from an insurance policy made by a policyholder. They choose a reasonable settlement amount. They might be of any kind, from property damage to bodily injury. The insurance adjuster’s primary responsibility in property damage claims is to conduct a thorough investigation of the claim by:
- Inspecting the damage
- Reviewing police reports
- Speaking to witnesses
- Talking to property owners
For instance, if a tree fell on a house, the homeowner would file an insurance claim. A claims adjuster would then check the property, speak with any witnesses, and conduct an interview with the homeowner to assess the degree of the damage. The claims adjuster then provides the insurance company with documents outlining the incident and making suggestions for the claim amount (how much money the insured will receive from the insurance company to repair the property).
Once the investigation is complete, the adjuster will then be in a position to determine the amount of the insurance company’s potential liability to its insured. Adjusters very often try to convince property owners to accept less money than their claim is worth.
How to Become a Claims Adjuster
Although becoming a claims adjuster is not normally a career option that people consider, it is a field where employment opportunities are many. A high school graduation is often required, while an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may be desirable. After that, people will have to do their homework and pass a license test.
Several states mandate a minimum amount of training hours that must be completed in advance. Insurance adjusters must then finish continuing education requirements in order to maintain their license. Every two years of their licensing terms, California’s licensed independent insurance adjusters are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education.
For instance, Florida requires insurance claims adjusters to complete specific tests and possess professional credentials. Residents have two options: enroll in and pass the Florida Adjuster Examination or complete a course for adjuster certification that has received state approval. Additionally, the state will demand evidence that they have attended 24 hours of continuing education programs at least every two years. 2
Insurance adjusters are not required to have licenses in the following states:
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Benefits of Becoming a Claims Adjuster
Claims adjusters have very stable careers: there is always demand for this role, and even in a recession, there will always be a need for adjusters to come and estimate the damage caused by natural disasters for individuals, businesses, and corporations. In addition, it’s pretty easy to become a claims adjuster, if you’re willing to put in the work and pass the licensing exam.
Claims adjusters also have a lot of creative freedom in their work. Claims adjusters work on a variety of tasks, from evaluating hurricane damage to completing paperwork, consulting, inspection, and more. It’s a profession you may construct to concentrate on your strengths and hire others to handle your weaknesses. In particular, independent claims adjusters have more flexibility in how they charge for their services and get paid.
Working With a Claims Adjuster
Claims adjusters are employed by the insurance provider. They might be an independent adjuster that the insurance company hires to handle particular claims, or they might work directly for the insurance company. They work for the insurance company, so in either situation, they won’t have your best interests in mind. If you want to ensure that your interests are protected in a claim, you might think about hiring your own independent claims adjuster. Your personal claims adjuster will take all reasonable steps to reduce your loss. The claimant benefits from the lack of a conflict of interest between the adjuster and the insurer.
The greatest thing you can do in the event of an accident is to give full descriptions of all the objects lost and to be sure to conduct a house inventory, particularly using photos and videos. Make sure you do your research and obtain your own repair estimates.
Does an Insurance Adjuster Get Paid Well?
According to Indeed.com, a claims adjuster’s average salary in the U.S. is $52,577 per year.3 However, a claims adjuster’s salary will depend, based on how many claims they’re working on at once. Some estimate that adjusters can earn thousands of dollars a week.
Is Being an Insurance Adjuster a Stressful Job?
Being an insurance adjuster is a relatively flexible job, but the process of negotiating and communicating with often distressed parties can add stress to the job.
How Can I Negotiate With an Insurance Adjustor?
If you are hit by an accident, the best thing you can do is provide detailed descriptions of all the items lost and make sure to create a home inventory, especially through photographs and videos. Get your own estimates for repairs, and make sure to do your due diligence.
How Long Does an Insurance Adjustor Have to Respond?
It depends on the state; each state will issue different guidelines for insurance adjusters to respond to a claim.