Loss adjusters are kind of like the older, cooler cousins of insurance claims inspectors – the kind of older cousins that you simultaneously envy and admire because they always get to do the most exciting things.
Just to be clear: we’re not undermining the work of insurance claims inspectors here. We’re just saying that loss adjusters are the expert claims investigators who get to work on the most complicated and controversial cases.
These independent insurance whizz-kids act on behalf of insurance firms, visiting crime scenes and sites where accidents have taken place. They investigate claims, gather information, evaluate damage and conduct interviews with policyholders.
During this investigation process, loss adjusters record their findings by making notes, taking photos and filming bits and pieces on handheld camcorders. They also liaise with other people who may be able to provide additional information, such as police officers, firefighters, doctors, lawyers and building surveyors.
Loss adjusters will then analyse the details of the claim and the information that they have amassed against the terms of the policy before making a decision.
The loss adjuster will write a detailed report and present their conclusions to the insurance company, explaining the reasons for why the claim should be accepted or rejected, and making recommendations with regard to payment.
If the loss adjuster suspects anything dodgy is afoot, they will notify the insurance company and any relevant authorities.
Chartered loss adjusters aren’t only there to catch out fraudsters and verify the validity of insurance claims. They are also there to provide assistance to policyholders who have been affected by events beyond their control, such as robberies, fires and other distressing incidents.
Indeed, loss adjusters are also responsible for making recommendations to policyholders who need to refurbish and renovate their properties. They also offer advice on different methods to enhance the safety and security of policyholders’ properties in the future.
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Salary & benefits
Entry-level loss adjusters tend to earn between £18,500 and £25,000 per annum.
However, with a few years of experience under your belt, your annual salary can increase up to £42,000.
Senior loss adjusters can earn up to £65,000 and beyond.
Evening and weekend work is common, as loss adjusters have to respond quickly to emergency situations.
Travelling around the country is a regular fixture for loss adjusters, and site visits will be made in all kinds of weather.
To enter this line of work, you will need an undergraduate degree or HND in any discipline. However, studying a subject such as economics, business studies, maths, surveying, construction management or law may boost your chances of securing an entry-level position.
It is possible, however, to become a loss adjuster without a degree. Indeed, you can enter the industry through a lower-level claims handling position and then work your way up the career ladder.
Training & progression
Many loss adjusters start their career as part of a graduate scheme. These training programmes tend to last around two years. If you are accepted onto a graduate scheme, the majority of your training will be done whilst on the job, under the supervision of a senior insurance underwriter.
As part of your training programme, you may also be given the opportunity to complete the professional examinations required to become a member of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA).
Once you have achieved chartered status, you may decide to specialise in a particular area of loss adjusting, such as fraud investigation.
Alternatively, you may simply progress into a senior loss adjuster position with added team leading responsibilities. Freelance work is another option.