Claims Adjuster: Definition, Job Duties, How To Become One (2024)

What Is a Claims Adjuster?

A claims adjusterinvestigates insurance claims to determine the extent of insuring a company's liability. Claims adjusters may handle property claims involving damage to structures, and/or liability claims involving personal injuries or third-person property damage.

A claims adjuster reviews each case by speaking with the claimant, interviewing any witnesses, researching records (such as police or medical records), and inspecting any involved property.

Key Takeaways

  • A claims adjusterinvestigates insurance claims to determine the extent of insuring a company's liability.
  • Claims adjusters may handle property claims involving damage to structures, and/or liability claims involving personal injuries or third-person property damage.
  • They either work directly for the insurance company, or they may be a freelanceadjuster hired by the insurance company to handle specific claims.
  • Being a claims adjuster is a very stable career: there is always demand for this role, even in a recession.
  • In order to become a claims adjuster, check out your state's guidelines on licensing. In states where a license is required, many require a pre-license course and continuing education credits, after the license is obtained.

Understanding a Claims Adjuster

Claims adjusters verify policyholder requests for funds from an insurancepolicy. Theydetermine a fair amount for settlement. These can be any type of claim, from personal injury to property damage. In property damage claims, the main role of the insurance adjuster is to carry out a detailed investigation into the claim by:

  • Inspecting the damage
  • Reviewingpolice reports
  • Speaking to witnesses
  • Talking toproperty owners

For example, if ahomeowner makes an insurance claim due to a tree falling on the house, a claims adjuster would interview the claimant (homeowner), along withany witnesses, andinspect the property to determine the extent of the damageand the costs of repairing the property. The claims adjuster then submits documentation to the insurance companydescribing the incident and recommendations for the claim amount (how much money the insured will receive from the insurance company to repair the property).

Once the investigation is complete, the adjuster will then be in a position to determine the amount of the insurance company’s potential liability to its insured. Adjusters very often try to convince property owners to accept less money than their claim is worth.

How to Become a Claims Adjuster

Becoming a claims adjuster is not typically a career path that people think about, but is an industry in high demand of careers. Typically, insurance claims adjusters need at least a high school diploma, although an associate's or bachelor's degree can be preferred. From there, individuals will need to study and pass a licensing exam.

Some states require a certain number of hours of training that must be done ahead of time. From there, insurance adjusters need to complete continuing education credits in order to keep their license. In California, licensed independent insurance adjusters must complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education, per every two-year license term.

For example, in Florida, insurance claims adjusters musttake and pass the Florida Adjuster Examination from an approved vendor. The state also requires adjusters to complete 24 hoursof continuing education every two years.

The following jurisdictions do not require licenses for insurance adjusters:

  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

$61,465

The average salary of a claims adjuster in the U.S., according to Indeed.com.

Benefits of Becoming a Claims Adjuster

Claims adjusters have very stable careers: there is always demand for this role, and even in a recession, there will always be a need for adjusters to come and estimate the damage caused by natural disasters for individuals, businesses, and corporations. In addition, it's pretty easy to become a claims adjuster, if you're willing to put in the work and pass the licensing exam.

In addition, claims adjusters have a lot of freedom in their work. It's definitely a mobile job, but claims adjusters work on everything from estimating hurricane damage to doing paperwork, consulting, inspection, and more. It's really a job that you can build to focus on what you love and hire out for the parts you don't. Especially if you're an independent claims adjuster, you can choose how you charge for the job and how you're paid.

Working With a Claims Adjuster

Claims adjustersworkfor the insurance company. They either work directly for the insurance company, or they may be a freelanceadjuster hired by the insurance company to handle specific claims. In either case, they will not have your best interests in mind, as their employer is the insurance company. It is agood idea to consideremploying your own independent claims adjuster,whoworks to protect your interests in a claim. Your own claimsadjuster willdoeverything possible to minimize your loss. This lack ofconflict of interest between the adjuster andinsurer is in the claimant's favor.

If you are hit by an accident, the best thing you can do is provide detailed descriptions of all the items lost and make sure to create a home inventory, especially through photographs and videos. Get your own estimates for repairs, and make sure to do your due diligence.

Does an Insurance Adjuster Get Paid Well?

According to Indeed.com, a claims adjuster's average salary in the U.S. is $61,465 per year. However, a claims adjuster's salary will depend, based on how many claims they're working on at once. Some estimate that adjusters can earn thousands of dollars a week.

Is Being an Insurance Adjuster a Stressful Job?

Being an insurance adjuster is a relatively flexible job, but the process of negotiating and communicating with often distressed parties can add stress to the job.

How Can I Negotiate With an Insurance Adjustor?

If you are hit by an accident, the best thing you can do is provide detailed descriptions of all the items lost and make sure to create a home inventory, especially through photographs and videos. Get your own estimates for repairs, and make sure to do your due diligence.

How Long Does an Insurance Adjustor Have to Respond?

It depends on the state; each state will issue different guidelines for insurance adjusters to respond to a claim.

Claims Adjuster: Definition, Job Duties, How To Become One (2024)

FAQs

How to answer why do you want to be a claims adjuster? ›

Answer: 2. I pursued a career as a Claims Adjuster because I enjoy problem-solving, helping people, and working in a dynamic environment. The most rewarding aspect of my role is helping claimants navigate difficult situations and ensuring they receive a fair settlement in a timely manner.

What are the job duties of a claims adjuster? ›

Duties
  • Investigate, evaluate, and settle insurance claims.
  • Determine whether the insurance policy covers the loss claimed.
  • Decide the appropriate amount the insurance company should pay.
  • Ensure that claims are not fraudulent.
  • Contact claimants' doctors or employers to get additional information on questionable claims.
Apr 17, 2024

What are the 3 key goals of a claims adjuster when settling claims? ›

Claims adjusters have three main goals when settling claims: accurate claim assessment, timely settlement, and customer satisfaction. They investigate and evaluate claims, ensuring that the claim amount accurately reflects the covered losses.

What makes you a good match for a claims role? ›

Example: “Working as an insurance claim handler requires a broad range of skills. The most important of these skills is probably attention to detail. You also have to be methodical, a good communicator, a good observer, and possess a great deal of patience.

Why are you interested in this position? ›

I am interested in this position because it aligns perfectly with my skills, experiences, and career aspirations. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my expertise to [Company Name] and make a meaningful impact in [specific area or industry]. What interests you about this position?

What is the job of the adjuster can be best described as? ›

The adjuster's primary responsibility is to investigate and evaluate claims on behalf of the insurance company. They gather information, interview witnesses, assess damages, and negotiate settlements with the claimant.

What skills does a claims adjuster need? ›

Insurance carriers, auto claims, and customer service are all important technical skills for a claims adjuster. They must be able to understand policy coverage, multitask, and use tools like Xactimate. They also need to be able to handle bodily injury claims, litigation, and police reports.

How do I prepare for a claims adjuster? ›

How to Prepare for a Meeting with an Insurance Adjuster
  1. File Necessary Reports with the Police or Fire Department. ...
  2. Take Clear Photographs of the Damage. ...
  3. Make Temporary Repairs that Prevent Further Damage. ...
  4. Create or Submit Your Home Inventory. ...
  5. Gather All Documents and Receipts. ...
  6. Showcase Evidence for Your Claim.

What are the responsibilities of a claims job? ›

A claims specialist goes into action when a client files an insurance claim, like those made on a homeowner's, health, or car insurance policy. The specialist reports and processes these claims by researching the policy and accumulating evidence regarding the claim.

How to prioritize as a claims adjuster? ›

Each day, decide what tasks you need to complete for each claim and prioritize them. Complete tasks that are important and urgent first. Next work on important tasks that are not urgent and can wait until later in the day. For everything else, assess whether you need to do them at all or whether you can delegate them.

Why is a claims adjuster job stressful? ›

Claims adjusters often work long hours, handle difficult clients and situations, and have to manage multiple claims simultaneously. All of these factors can lead to stress and burnout.

What is an example of a claims adjuster? ›

For example, if a homeowner makes an insurance claim due to a tree falling on the house, a claims adjuster would interview the claimant (homeowner), along with any witnesses, and inspect the property to determine the extent of the damage and the costs of repairing the property.

How to answer why are you a good fit for this job? ›

I believe I'm the best fit for this job because of the skills and expertise I've gained in [FIELD/INDUSTRY] over the past [NUMBER] years. I think my solid foundation of skills coupled with my passion for learning and innovating, can help me thrive in this role and benefit [COMPANY NAME] at the same time.

Why should we hire you for this role? ›

A: When answering, focus on your relevant skills, experience, and achievements that make you the best fit for the role.You should hire me because I am a hard worker who wants to help your company succeed. I have the skills and experience needed for the job, and I am eager to learn and grow with your team .

Why am I interested in this position as a claims adjuster? ›

``I am a loyal and passionate person who likes to make a difference. That is why I became an adjuster. I can see the problems and the people in need and that is what drives me. Working to solve the issue and help people.'' Excellent. You come across as genuine and passionate about this job.

Why are you interested in this position as a claims specialist? ›

When answering, try to choose an example that highlights your problem-solving skills, communication abilities and ability to work with others. Answer Example: “In my previous role as a claims specialist, I was tasked with resolving a complex claim involving an automobile accident.

Why do you want to work in insurance claims? ›

You Can Help Others

A good insurance professional has the potential to help those in need, such as victims of natural disasters and people enduring a health crisis. Insurance professionals also help make it possible for an individual to buy a home or start a business. Wherever there is value, you can help protect it.

What do you like about being a claims adjuster? ›

Rewarding. Overall, being an insurance adjuster can be both rewarding and challenging. The job requires a unique skill set of empathy, communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. It offers the opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment, and you will never be bored.

Why does insurance adjuster want to meet with me? ›

The insurance adjuster wants to talk to you before you hire a lawyer to represent you. After you have hired a lawyer, the insurance adjuster will not be able to legally speak to you. The insurance adjuster also wants to obtain as much information from you as possible.

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