When most people think of a career in insurance, insurance agents also come to mind. However, there are other options to choose from in insurance. The insurance claims adjuster is one of these options. And in this article, we’ll explain the job roles of an independent insurance claims adjuster, as well as the salary involved.

Who Is a Claims Adjuster?

A claims adjuster reviews insurance claims to assess the extent to which a company’s obligations are insured. Claims adjusters may handle structural damage claims as well as liability claims involving personal injury or third-party property damage.

Each case is reviewed by a claims adjuster who speaks with the claimant, interviews any witnesses, researches records (such as police or medical records), and inspects any connected property.

The Role of a Claims Adjuster

Claims adjusters investigate insurance claims and determine a fair payment amount. These claims might range from human injury to property loss. The major responsibility of the insurance adjuster in property damage claims is to conduct a thorough examination of the claim by:

  • Examining the damage
  • Examining police reports
  • Interrogating witnesses
  • Speaking with property owners

For example, if a homeowner files an insurance claim because a tree fell on his or her house, a claims adjuster would interview the claimant (homeowner), as well as any witnesses, and inspect the property to evaluate the degree of the damage and the cost of repairing the property. Following that, the claims adjuster presents documents to the insurance company explaining the incident and making suggestions for the claim amount (how much money the insured will receive from the insurance company to repair the property).

Once the inquiry is completed, the adjuster will be able to calculate the insurance company’s potential obligation to its insured. Adjusters frequently attempt to persuade property owners to accept less money than their claim is worth.

How to Become an Insurance Claims Adjuster

Becoming a claims adjuster is not normally a career option that many consider, yet it is a high-demand field. Insurance claims adjusters are often required to have a high school diploma. However, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is desirable. Individuals will then need to study for and pass a licensing exam. The following steps will help you on your journey to becoming an insurance claims adjuster:

#1.  Complete Your Education

A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required to work as a claims adjuster. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree is preferred by some employers, although it is not required for claims adjuster licensing.

#2  Determine Your Insurance Claims Adjuster Career Interests

An insurance claims adjuster can work in one of three ways. He either works as a staff adjuster, an independent adjuster, or a public adjuster. A staff adjuster works solely for one insurance adjuster firm. An independent insurance adjuster handles claims for a variety of companies. In contrast, a public insurance adjuster is compensated directly by the insured.

Working as a staff adjuster for an insurance group or firm typically entails being salaried and receiving benefits such as a pension, life and health insurance, and continuing education training.

An independent insurance adjuster works for several insurance companies or third-party administrators as a contractor. Because they are on the ground following big weather catastrophes and calamities, these people are frequently referred to as “catastrophe claims adjusters.”

Public insurance adjusters work directly for policyholders. They will assist businesses or individuals in filing an insurance claim if an insurer’s proposed settlement is deemed inadequate.

While working as a staff adjuster is a consistent 40-hour-per-week profession, the independent and public paths provide greater freedom. You could work well over 40 hours per week during the busiest season. However, you could work significantly fewer hours during less busy seasons.

#3. Take and Pass an Insurance Licensing Course and Exam

To become an insurance claims adjuster, you may need to complete a course and pass a licensing exam in your state. Some states have no requirements, while others demand completion of an insurance licensing course and passing of an exam. If you live in a state that requires professional adjusters, you should first obtain your home state license before considering other licensing. If you must take an exam, an insurance certification study kit might assist you.

You can legally adjust claims without taking a licensing exam if you live in a state that does not require an adjuster’s license. Many adjusters, however, seek to obtain out-of-state licenses that will let them work across the country. You can do this by obtaining a DHS (Designated Home State) license. This means that if a person lives in a state that does not require an adjuster’s license or does not offer their own adjuster licensing exam, they can use the Designated Home State (DHS) process to designate another state as their resident or “home” state, and nonresident licensure is based on that qualification.

#4. Keep Your License Current (Continuing Education)

States that require licenses will almost certainly require continuing education credits for adjuster license renewal. Taking live or online courses can be used to obtain continuing education (CE) credits. CE can also be obtained from employer-provided training sessions, as well as by publishing articles or presenting lectures about the insurance claims industry. Check with your state to see what CE is necessary and how you can meet those standards.

If you enjoy doing investigations, crunching data, and negotiating settlements, you could have a promising career as an insurance claims adjuster. There is an insurance claims career path that is suited for you. This is not minding whether you want a steady 9 to 5 job or prefer to work when and how much you want.

Some states demand a specific number of hours of training to be completed ahead of time. Following that, insurance adjusters must complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their license.

Read Also: CATASTROPHIC INSURANCE: Is Catastrophic Insurance Worth It

What Is The Average Salary Of An Insurance Claims Adjuster?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for an insurance claims adjuster in the United States is $51,897 as of July 13, 2023.

In case you need a quick salary calculation, that works out to about $24.95 per hour. This equates to $998 each week or $4,325 per month.

The majority of claims adjusters’ salaries in the United States presently vary from $41,500 (25th percentile) to $60,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) earning $72,000 per year. The average salary range for an insurance claims adjuster varies substantially (up to $19,000). This implies that there may be several prospects for promotion and higher income dependent on skill level, location, and years of experience.

The claims adjuster job market in Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding area is quite active, according to recent job posts. A claims adjuster in your region earns an annual salary of $51,479, which is $418 (1%) less than the national average of $51,897. In terms of claims adjuster wages, Georgia ranks 50th out of 50 states.

The Advantages of Becoming a Claims Adjuster

Claims adjusters have relatively secure careers: there is always a need for adjusters to come and assess the damage caused by natural catastrophes for people, businesses, and organizations, even during a recession. Furthermore, if you’re prepared to put in the effort and pass the license exam, becoming a claims adjuster is rather simple.

Furthermore, claims adjusters have a lot of leeway in their work. Although it is a mobile job, claims adjusters are responsible for everything from estimating hurricane damage to doing paperwork, consulting, inspections, and more. It’s truly a career that you can tailor to focus on what you enjoy while outsourcing the parts you don’t. You can pick how you charge for the task and how you’re compensated, especially if you’re an independent claims adjuster.

Collaboration With a Claims Adjuster

Insurance companies employ claims adjusters. They either work directly for the insurance business or may be freelance adjusters contracted by the insurance company to handle individual claims. In either scenario, because their employer is the insurance company, they will not have your best interests in mind. Consider hiring your own independent claims adjuster who will try to protect your interests in a claim. (midcitiespsychiatry) Your claims adjuster will do everything in his or her power to minimize your loss. The lack of a conflict of interest between the adjuster and the insurer benefits the claimant.

If you are involved in an accident, the best thing you can do is provide detailed descriptions of all the items lost and create a home inventory, particularly through photographs and videos. Get your own repair estimates and make sure to do your homework.

What Is the Role of an Independent Insurance Claims Adjuster?

An independent adjuster is termed independent since they are not directly employed by the company, firm, or agency in question, but by a third party who specializes in homeowners or other types of insurance claims. An independent adjuster handles claims on behalf of the insurer but does not work for the insurer directly.

How Independent Insurance Adjusters Do Their Job

Independent adjusters are required to meet the licensing requirements of the state in which they work. They can work as 1099 independent contractors or as W-2 employees. They are usually employed for one of two reasons: a large number of claims and/or statutory reasons. During times of natural disasters, the number of homeowner claims skyrockets. For example, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy damaged large parts of the New Jersey and New York coastlines, damaging over 650,000 homes. As a result, homeowners’ insurance providers experienced an increase in claims.

Insurance firms frequently lack the human resources to outsource this type of responsibility, so they hire independent adjusters to relieve their workload. A third-party insurance firm can be hired by an insurance company to negotiate and evaluate cases on its behalf. This sort of job also emphasizes the use of independent adjusters in remote or highly specialized locations. Examples include a country residence in the mountains or damage caused by a rare species that is not commonly seen in most insurance claims.

Example of an Independent Insurance Adjuster

If you own a house, you should be aware of when an independent insurance adjuster may be required. Assume that a strong storm causes a tree on your neighbor’s property to fall into your yard, breaking your fence and a portion of your home’s roofing in the process. When you make a claim with your homeowner’s insurance provider, the business hires an independent insurance adjuster.

The insurance adjuster will inspect your property and take photos to determine the amount of the damage. They might also talk to you and your neighbor to figure out what happened. After they have left your property, the insurance adjuster may confer with fencing or roofing repair professionals to assess the cost of repairs.

They’ll assemble all of the relevant information into a report and give it to your insurance company once they’ve obtained all of the necessary information. Based on the judgment of the independent insurance adjuster, the insurance company can then analyze the report and determine how much to pay toward your claim.

Is it worth being a claims adjuster?

An insurance claims adjuster’s job is a decent one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, insurance claim adjusting has been one of the highest-paying professions in the country for the past few years. Claims adjusting is a high-paying profession, but it also comes with a high-stress level and long hours.

What skills does a claims adjuster need?

To be successful as an adjuster, you need people skills like patience, empathy, and clear communication. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, for instance, an adjuster should treat an insured with compassion as they work through the claims process.

Do insurance adjusters travel a lot?

Even though working “daily claims” in your hometown can be satisfying, many people who work as CAT adjusters are looking for a more exciting career path. It is common practice for insurance adjusters to take their jobs on the road, frequently venturing across the country and even overseas.

Do insurance adjusters make mistakes?

Inexperienced adjusters cause more trouble than they’re worth, so it’s crucial that they get the education and training they need before entering the field.

How do adjusters determine damage?

Insurance adjusters will typically try to collect information from accident reports, police notes, photographs, and interviews with other drivers and witnesses to determine the extent of your damages and verify which damages to your car are new.

Should I trust an insurance adjuster?

To put it briefly, no. In most cases, an insurance company will be the one to employ an adjuster. It is the sole responsibility of the claims adjuster to provide you with the lowest possible settlement. The insurance adjuster is not advocating on your behalf.

In Conclusion,

Understanding what an independent adjuster is is critical to your claims procedure. An independent adjuster does not, in any way, represent the homeowner; rather, the independent adjuster represents the insurance company. If you prefer to represent yourself, hiring a public adjuster may be an excellent option.

Insurance Claims Adjuster FAQs

What makes a good claims adjuster?

Insurance claims adjusters must have great interpersonal skills. An adjuster will interact with people in a variety of moods, from happy and thankful to furious and suspicious. You may also be working under unforeseeable conditions, particularly if you are on a disaster deployment.

How stressful is being a claims adjuster?

The job of a claims adjuster is quite stressful due to the numerous high-demand duties. However, when you put in the effort and attention, the rewards greatly transcend all of the job’s difficult demands.

Do claims adjusters need to be good at math?

You don’t need to be the best at math, but as a claims adjuster, you need to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide effectively.

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