Claims Adjuster Jobs
Most claims adjusters work in the insurance industry. When an insured suffers a loss, he typically puts in a claim to his insurance company in order to be compensated for the loss.
Claims adjusters are the individuals who look into those claims, which usually deal with property damage, liability, and bodily injury. A claim adjuster’s main responsibilities are to investigate claims, negotiate settlements, and authorize payments to the policyholders.
Claim adjusters must have a good grasp of policyholders’ rights under Federal and State laws. They have to determine if an individual’s policy covers their loss, and if it does, the amount of money the insurance company should pay for the loss in compliance with applicable law.
Claims adjusters do not have a typical working environment. Many often work outside the office, inspecting damaged buildings and wrecked automobiles. Adjusters who inspect damaged buildings frequently encounter potential hazards, such as collapsed roofs and floors, as well as weakened structures.
Some adjusters come to an office every morning to get the day’s schedule, others get their assignments via the phone and spend their time traveling to and from claim sites, and many have home offices. Experienced claims adjusters are occasionally asked to travel to the scene of a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina to consult with local adjusters and government officials regarding damage.
There are no formal education requirements to be a claims adjuster, and a high school degree is typically the minimal requirement needed to get a job.
However, most employers prefer to hire college graduates or people who have some insurance-related work experience or vocational training, especially in the current economy, where competition for jobs is great.
Some claims adjusters choose to earn voluntary professional certifications and designations to demonstrate their expertise. Although requirements for these designations vary, some include a minimum number of years of experience and the successful completion of an examination. In most cases, a certain number of continuing education credits must be earned each year to keep the designation.
As of 2008, claims adjusters earned an average salary of $55,760 per year plus benefits, which may include a laptop computer, a smart phone, and a company car, especially if they work for insurance companies.