What were you doing before this role?
I was a paralegal at a large defendant law firm.
What do you do in a typical working day?
My working day can be varied. I meet with a wide range of policyholders in North West England in order to investigate liability claims made against their policy. I then complete a report to their insurance company advising on liability and quantum, and I often handle the claim until conclusion.
How does your role fit into the wider insurance picture?
Loss adjusters play an important part in the claims process as we have the expertise to advise insurance companies on whether or not they are liable to pay a claim, and how much the claim is worth, which is vital information for an insurance company.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The challenges it presents. There is no time to be bored when you are a loss adjuster because you are constantly visiting places you have never been to and having to learn about them very quickly.
What is the most challenging part of your role as a loss adjuster?
You have to think on your feet. The range of issues that can arise during an investigation are diverse and often unexpected; not only are you establishing the liability position of the policyholder, but also considering the liability of any other parties involved, assessing whether the terms of the policy have been adhered to, valuing the claim at hand and judging the potential for fraud. You have to ask the right questions, listen carefully and make fast, yet informed, decisions.
What do you need to succeed as a loss adjuster in your opinion?
First and foremost, good interpersonal skills. It is important to be confident and professional when meeting with policyholders and to focus the appointment on what details are relevant. You might be meeting with the head of the Health and Safety department who has extensive knowledge of the claims process, or the owner of a small family business who has never dealt with a claim before. Therefore you must be able to switch from technical jargon to simple, straightforward language. You also need a broad knowledge of insurance and the relevant laws in order to provide sound and accurate advice.
How does your legal background help in your current role?
I have found the skills that I gained in the study and practice of law to be a valuable asset in my career as a loss adjuster. Not only did my legal background provide me with foundation knowledge on the relevant statutes and common laws but it has also taught me how to express that knowledge in a clear and succinct manner which is vital when reporting to insurers. It is also useful knowing how to navigate legal research sites effectively.
Do you hold any professional qualifications?
I hold the postgraduate diploma in legal practice (LPC) and the CII Certificate in Insurance. I am presently working towards the CII Diploma in Insurance with a view to completing the CII Advanced Diploma next year and then going on to complete the CILA qualifications in the future.
What have been your career highlights so far?
When you are constantly meeting new people and visiting interesting new places, every week has its highlights. However, I will never forget the first investigation I conducted on my own because it was so different to my previous job and I felt a great sense of achievement.
What are the main benefits of working in the insurance profession?
The opportunities. If you work hard then there are real opportunities to progress your career quickly, travel the world, gain qualifications and move into whatever area of insurance you find most interesting.
Why did you choose a career in insurance?
When I was a paralegal I was asked to do a secondment at an insurance company. I was surprised to find that the work was much more interesting and enjoyable than at a law firm, so when my secondment came to an end I moved into insurance permanently, and I have never looked back.