Loss adjusters operate independently of insurance companies. Their aim is to mitigate loss and get businesses back up and running with minimum disruption.
In this article we take a detailed look at the role of a loss adjuster, where they work, and how to become one.
What does a loss adjuster do?
A loss adjuster looks into the circumstances surrounding a claim – establishing the cause of a fire, for example – before negotiating a fair sum to replace the loss or repair the damage.
After checking the authenticity of the claim and negotiated an acceptable amount, loss adjusters will report the facts to the insurers. They will also make recommendations for interim and final payments. However, they cannot commit insurers to a final payment.
A loss adjuster would typically look at the following;
- That the right insurance is in place to cover the loss
- This has been particularly important as of late, with many small businesses discovering they are not covered in the event of a pandemic
- That all conditions of the policy have been met
- The loss falls within the policy
- The amount being claimed
Loss adjusters are deemed to be fair and impartial. Most insurance companies maintain a panel of loss adjuster firms. They operate through the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters and follow a code of conduct ensuring their impartiality.
What are the different types of loss adjusting?
There are different areas of loss adjusting;
- This covers employers, public and product liability. It also covers professional indemnity claims
- This covers buildings and contents
- Being employed by a policyholder to provide expert claims advice and assistance
- Business interruption
- This includes business interruption and other financial risk claims
- Fraud investigation
- Investigating claims that may be false or exaggerated
So as you can see there are a wide variety of areas you can venture into as a loss adjuster.
What is the difference between a loss adjuster and a loss assessor?
Loss assessors are insurance claims professionals who work on behalf of the claimant rather than on behalf of the insurer. Loss assessors help present a claim clearly to the insurance company. They will use their expertise to compile and present a claim.
Essentially, they are similar roles but representing the different sides of the claim.
What does a loss adjuster do day to day?
The responsibilities of a loss adjuster vary depending on the area they are working in. However, some tasks may include;
- Gathering and checking evidence
- Interviewing policy holders
- Providing evidence in court
- Liaise with brokers, lawyers and policy holders
- Writing reports for insurers
- Visiting the site of a claim
- Helping businesses quantify the loss of income
- Advising on measures to reduce the risk of further losses
So depending on which area of loss adjusting you go into, your work is varied.
What skills do you need to become a loss adjuster?
To be a loss adjuster you need a range of soft and technical skills.
Communication skills are a must as a loss adjuster. You will be working with a range of people, from insurance professionals to those that have taken out the claim – you may even be working with law enforcement.
You will have strong judgement and decision-making skills as well as good research and analytical skills. As you are investigating claims, you will need a good eye for detail and be a good investigator.
A loss adjuster may also experience some quite stressful environments. You may be asked to attend an emergency, so staying calm and resilient in difficult circumstances is also a key skill.
Where do loss adjusters work?
Loss adjusters can work in various areas depending on the insurance claims they work on. They are traditionally employed by independent firms. These firms can range in size and cover many fields including;
- Construction and property
Some large insurance companies have in-house loss adjusting teams.
How to become a loss adjuster
You do not need to have a specific degree to become a loss adjuster. However, some useful degrees include surveying, engineering, risk management or a finance related degree.
Some larger loss adjusting firms offer graduate schemes, of which they ask for a 2.2 or above. You will likely start off working in claims handling then progress to loss adjusting. You may be able to start off as a loss adjusting assistant and work your way up.
Some firms also offer apprenticeships or entry-level roles that do not require you to go to university.
Once you start working in loss adjusting you will work towards your professional qualifications. This will be done through the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters. These qualifications range from Certificate to Advance Diploma. To become an Associate member you will have to take the Accreditation for Chartered Status assessment. This includes a three and a half hour written exam and a 3,000 word analysis of a claim, on top of five years’ of experience.
How much can a loss adjuster earn?
Depending on your experience and qualifications, loss adjusters can earn a stating salary ranging from £20,000 to £30,000 with experienced loss adjusters earning up to £60,000 to £80,000 at management level.
As you can see, working as a loss adjuster is a varied but rewarding career. You will interact with a range of people and work on a variety of different claims. This requires good communication skills, a high degree of analytical ability and the ability to work in difficult circumstances.