What does a Claims Adjuster do?
Claims adjusters are responsible for evaluating insurance claims on behalf of insurance companies in order to determine who is liable. They investigate the circumstances of insurance claims by consulting with witnesses, reviewing police reports, and compiling evidence from other sources. They will negotiate claim settlements and oversee that claims are paid out to policyholders. Claims adjusters make work for insurance companies, agencies, government organizations, health insurance carriers, or more. Because they must interview and meet with clients, claims adjusters often work irregular schedules and may even be required to visit accident sites, auto repair shops, etc, in person.
Most claims adjusters hold a bachelor's degree, but generally a high school diploma is all the education that is required for this position. Because of the investigative nature of the job, analytical and critical thinking skills are essential qualities for these individuals. They must also be detail oriented and possess strong communication skills in order to provide quality service to their clients.
- Investigate the nature of the damage being claimed
- Interview witnesses to understand the nature of the claim and gain an understanding of what occurred prior to the claim
- Evaluate police reports, video footage, previous insurance claims and other information to further understand the incident
- Create reports detailing the events and damage related to the claim
- Research the costs of repairing the damage
- Review the claim-holder's insurance policy in order to determine what should be covered
- Coordinate the services of mechanics, architects, contractors, etc in order to ensure damage is repaired
- Negotiate claim settlements with claimants and/or their legal teams
- 2+ years prior experience in a similar role is strongly preferred
- Superior communication skills are essential for success in this role as you will be responsible for meeting with everyone from claimants to lawyers and witnesses
- Analytical thinking skills are needed in order to properly evaluate complex claims
- A strong attention to detail is necessary as claims adjusters must carefully review documents and policies
- Solid writing skills are an asset as you will be responsible for creating claim reports
- Skill and experience with negotiations
- Ability to speak a second language is an asset
- Sound computer skills or the ability to quickly learn new software
- A strong work ethic and time management skills in order to efficiently handle a large caseload
Claims Adjuster Salaries
Average Base Pay
Claims Adjuster Career Path
Learn how to become a Claims Adjuster, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Years of Experience Distribution
Claims Adjuster Insights
“And I wouldn't have to do overtime just to make that pay which is also great.”
“10 new claims each day and contact all parties within 24 hours which is unrealistic.”
“I feel appreciated at my job and the staff is helpful and eager to teach me.”
“Training is the best in the industry and the Phoenix office on Happy Valley is nice.”
“A great deal is expected of employees which means its up to you to balance work and life.”
“I’ve worked here 10 years and while times get busy I’ve always had good managers and enjoy working here.”
“There is no career path and no interest in providing any development opportunities to anyone.”
“Pay is decent but should be much higher for how hard you have to work and what is expected.”
Claims Adjuster Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of claims adjusters
Claims adjusters spend their workday speaking with insurance company customers to determine how to pay for property damage or personal injuries. They may interview the claimant electronically, over the telephone, or in person. Once they gather the relevant information, they work with the insurance company to provide reimbursement to the customer.
Becoming a claims adjuster can be considered a good career with a positive outlook, as there is a fairly consistent need for these professionals in the insurance industry. Insurance companies rely on honest claims adjusters to gather all the information about an accident or damaging event to make a fair assessment of how much money the insured customer is due.
On average, claims adjusters are paid $4,000 per year. Experience and expertise can raise annual pay up to $6,400 per year. Some insurance companies may allow for mileage, per diem, and travel expenses on top of the adjuster's annual salary.
Working as a claims adjuster may be considered a difficult job without the proper experience and training. These individuals need to make judgment calls on property damage, which can be stressful. They often travel many miles to multiple locations to assess damage, keeping them away from home and family. They may also find the aftermath of weather disasters difficult to cope with physically and emotionally.