If you’re looking for a career with stability and plenty of growth potential, becoming a claims adjuster may be the perfect choice for you. In this profession, you’ll be responsible for investigating and assessing property damage claims made by policyholders after an accident or natural disaster. This often involves working with insurance companies to handle claims fairly and accurately.
The job outlook for claims adjusters is very positive, as the industry is expected to grow by 6 percent over the next decade. And with experience, you could move up into management positions or become a self-employed consultant. If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting career path, keep reading!
1. What Is a Claims Adjuster?
A claims adjuster is an insurance professional who investigates and evaluates insurance claims. They work for insurance companies to determine whether a claim is valid and how much the company should payout for the claim. They are also responsible for managing the paperwork and processing claims to expedite them as quickly as possible.
A claims adjuster also negotiates with claimants over the phone or in person to settle on an amount agreeable to all parties involved. Additionally, a claims adjuster may work with medical professionals, attorneys, and engineers to help determine the validity of a claim.
2. What Does a Claims Adjuster Do?
A claims adjuster would be responsible for inspecting the damage related to an insurance claim, taking pictures and notes, interviewing any witnesses or people involved, and reviewing all documents related to the incident. In some cases, they may also be responsible for helping to manage the repair of the damaged property. Claims adjusters usually work in an office setting but can be called out to visit a site if necessary.
A claims adjuster can work for various types of insurance companies. Many people with a background in accounting, business, or law find themselves working as an adjuster. Previous experience within the insurance field is not required, but many employers will look favorably upon those who have previously worked as an agent or broker.
3. What Is the Average Salary of a Claims Adjuster?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for an insurance claims adjuster is $58,000 per year as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is significantly higher than the national median salary for all occupations, which was $34,750 as of May 2011. The lowest 10 percent claims adjusters made less than $32,420 per year, while the highest 10 percent made more than $90,510. It is important to note that these figures only represent averages, and actual salaries may vary greatly depending on the insurance company, location, and claim size.
4. How Do I Become a Claims Adjuster?
To become a claims adjuster, you would need to have experience in the insurance industry either by working as an agent or broker for an insurance company, investing in the industry, or having a relative currently employed within the sector. You may also get into this profession with a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or accounting and some previous experience in those fields.
To work as a claims adjuster, organizations usually require that you have some higher education. Many employers prefer candidates who have an Associate’s degree in Insurance, Business, Finance, Accounting, or related field. Still, a bachelor’s degree is usually required to advance in the organization. While working towards your education or in your free time, you would want to get involved with organizations related to insurance, such as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors ( www.naifa.org ). This will help you gain experience in different areas of the industry and increase your chances of getting a job after college. Finally, working as an intern or apprentice will allow you to network with industry professionals and get a feel for the work environment before actually applying for a full-time position.
5. What Is a Typical day in the Life of a Claims Adjuster?
A claims adjuster would be responsible for conducting inspections and taking measurements and photographs of property damage during an initial visit to a location. Based on their findings, they would then evaluate the claim and determine how much compensation should be offered. After that, they would create an official report for the claim and include any documentation such as photos, estimates, or witness statements. Then they may have to discuss the results with other team members. Finally, they would need to manage the paperwork and processing of the claim, including communicating with clients or claimants as needed.
6. What Is the Job Outlook for Claims Adjusters?
The job outlook for claims adjusters in the U.S. is projected to grow 5% in the next ten years, which is about as fast as average according to the BLS ( U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ). The main reason for the projected growth is that as the population ages and more people purchase homes or vehicles, there will be an increased need for claims adjusters to help manage insurance policies on these items.
7. What Are Some Related Job Titles?
Claims adjusters are similar to the following job titles. They may perform different roles but often have similar responsibilities:
- Claims Examiner
- Insurance Adjuster
- Insurance Appraiser
- Insurance Investigator
- Property Damage Appraiser
- Property Damage Investigator
- Public Adjuster
8. What Are Some of the Common Skills Required?
Some of the most critical skills for claims adjusters to possess include:
- Communication skills – you will be interacting with clients or claimants regularly, so it is essential that you can professionally conduct yourself. It would help if you also communicated clearly and concisely with clients, co-workers, attorneys, adjusters, appraisers, etc.
- Critical thinking – you will often need to review claims quickly to determine the value of the claim and the necessary documentation that should be included. You will need to use logic and reasoning skills to do this.
- Customer service skills – since you will be working with clients or claimants, it is essential that you have good customer service skills to help the other party understand the claims process while trying to resolve their claim as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Detail-oriented – while inspecting property damage, it is essential that you can take precise measurements and photos. You must also write accurate reports, which requires attention to detail.
- Investigative skills – claims adjusters may need to investigate the validity of a claim to process it properly for both parties. This includes interviewing witnesses and clients and inspecting damage or property loss.
- Mathematical skills – claims adjusters will also need to use basic arithmetic to determine a value of a claim. This may include adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers to arrive at an amount.
- Physical fitness – if you work for an insurance company or third-party administrator (TPA), you may need to inspect property damage or property loss at a location. You may also need to travel to meet with clients or claimants in person, which means you will likely need to be able to sit for long periods and lift heavy objects when necessary.
9. What Advice Would You Give Someone Considering This Career?
This is a stable and in-demand job, but it can be very demanding. It may require you to work long hours, including nights or weekends.
There are many different types of insurance claims adjusters. Some specialize in property claims, while others only deal with casualty claims or personal injury claims.
The median annual wage for an insurance adjuster was $60,610 in May 2014, according to the BLS ( U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ). The highest-paid 10% earned over $102,670 per year, while the lowest-paid 10% earned less than $33,400 annually.
The BLS also reported that the number of jobs for claims adjusters and examiners is projected to increase by 12% between 2012 and 2022. This is much faster than average compared to other professions, which means job opportunities should be plentiful.
10. What Type of Companies Hires Insurance Claims Adjusters?
Some of the companies that hire insurance claims adjusters include:
- Assurant Solutions
- The Hartford Financial Services Group
- Liberty Mutual Insurance Group
- Nationwide Mutual Group
- State Farm Insurance Group
11. Best Colleges to Study Claim Adjustment
Numerous colleges offer excellent programs in the field of claim adjustment. However, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best for you.
Below is a list of colleges with a long history of excellence in claim adjustment.
- Ohio Northern University
- University of Hartford
- University of La Verne
- CUNY Queens College School of Business
- Quinnipiac University School of Business
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Pace University Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems
The insurance world is constantly changing, and the role of the claims adjuster. As technology advances, so does the way insurers and their customers interact. The Claims Adjuster career path is an excellent opportunity to be at the forefront of this change, helping to settle claims quickly and fairly for policyholders. If you are interested in a career that offers stability, opportunities for growth, and a chance to help others, then consider becoming a Claims Adjuster.