What Is An Insurance Claim Adjuster?
If you have been involved in an accident and submitted a claim to the insurance company, then they will assign a claims adjuster to your case. The claims adjuster will then investigate and determine the extent of damage and how liable the insurance company is. The investment can include interviewing witnesses, interviewing the claimant, talking to the police who responded to the accident if applicable and the hospital records or medical records. They will also inspect the property damage to the vehicle or other property if applicable. After this investigation, they will come up with a settlement amount. If your car is damaged beyond repair, for example, then an assessment will be made on the value of the car, and that money will come back to you as compensation for damages.
What They Do
The first thing a claim adjuster does is verify that the claimant indeed has an insurance policy. Then they will begin their investigation into the claim. After that, they will draft a compensation amount to the injured party based on their damages.
It’s both a hands-on and administrative job. Some of their specific duties include communicating with policyholders, researching every aspect of your claim, preparing damage reports, filing paperwork, and notifying insurers of loss of a covered loss. A claims adjuster protects the interests of the insurance company it represents, not the claimants. This is why it is important to have an attorney working with you. The claims adjuster is someone who wants to reduce costs for the insurance company. They are not in the business of helping victims get the most compensation for all of their damages, including non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, and emotional distress or even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
While most employers will prefer a candidate with an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, all that is required of a person to qualify to be an insurance claims adjuster is to have a high school diploma or GED. Most states require that an individual pass an exam before practicing, and accrue continuing education credits in order to keep their professional license. In order to become an adjuster in the state of Oregon, no pre-license training is required, but you must pass the exam before practicing as an individual or with an insurance company.
Some specialize in one or two areas: property or liability claims. Multi-line adjusters are those who practice both areas. Areas of specialization include:
- Excess Liability
- Physicians and Surgeons Liability,
- Aircraft Liability
- Ocean Marine Liability
- Hospital Professional Liability
Why Do People Become Claims Adjusters
This is a steady position in an industry that is always seeing one accident after another, so there is never a shortage of work for claims adjusters. Every day is different, as they may be called to evaluate a variety of claims. If you’re good with numbers, can work well with others, and like challenging work, then you have a lot in common with insurance claim adjusters.
Claim Adjusters And You
As mentioned, claims adjusters are not motivated to help claimants get the maximum amount of money in damages for their injuries. An attorney who specializes in personal injury law, however, is on your side. Don’t speak to the claims adjusters, and definitely do not agree to any interviews until you speak to an attorney.
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