Insurance claims inspectors are the Jacques Clouseaus, Hercule Poirots and Jimmy McNultys of the insurance industry. Okay, they might not be responsible for foiling jewel thieves or busting drug dealers in ‘the projects’ of West Baltimore, but insurance claims inspectors play a vital role in combating insurance fraud and saving insurance companies lots of money.
Essentially, these dynamic insurance investigators are responsible for scrutinising claims on behalf of insurance companies.
In a nutshell, an insurance claims inspector’s job involves collecting all the information required to assess the policyholder’s liability and then making a decision on whether or not their claim will be accepted.
As part of the information gathering process, an insurance claims inspector will contact the policyholder and any witnesses to confirm the particulars of the claim.
They will also visit the scene of the accident or crime; and liaise with any other people who may be able to provide additional information, such as police officers, doctors, lawyers and loss adjusters.
Insurance claims inspectors 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. If the claim is rejected, the insurance claims inspector will inform the policyholder and explain the reasons for the claim being denied. If the claims inspector suspects anything dodgy is afoot, they will notify the relevant authorities.
If the claim is accepted, the insurance claims inspector will bring the matter to a conclusion, agreeing on a settlement with the claimant, organising any necessary payments and arranging any additional services which are mentioned in the insurance policy.
The final step will be for the insurance claims inspector to write and log a detailed report of the investigation.
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Salary & benefits
Entry-level insurance claims inspectors tend to earn between £15,000 and £18,000 per annum. Once you have gained a few years of experience, you could earn up to £32,000 a year.
Some senior insurance claims inspectors can earn salaries of up to £80,000 a year.
Insurance claims inspectors are also usually entitled to discounts on the insurance products offered by their company.
Insurance claims inspectors tend to work from nine-to-five. However, extra evening work may be required from time to time, especially when meeting with policyholders and liaising with the police or other possible sources of information.
Understandably, travelling around the country is also a regular fixture. Consequently, you may be given the use of a company car.
To enter this line of work, you will need an undergraduate degree or HND in any discipline. However, studying a subject such as economics, maths, business studies or law may boost your chances of securing an entry-level position.
It is possible, however, to become a claims inspector without a degree. Indeed, you can enter the industry through a lower-level administrative position and then work your way up the career ladder.
Training & progression
When you first enter the profession, the majority of your training will be completed whilst on the job under the supervision of a senior claims inspector. You may also be required to attend in-house training sessions from time to time.
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 Insurance Institute or the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters. This can be highly beneficial for career progression.
Eventually, you may progress into a senior claims inspector position with added team leading responsibilities.
Alternatively, you might decide to move into a different area of the insurance industry; for instance, you might decide to become a risk manager or loss adjuster.