In a world of risk, it is increasingly common for persons and businesses to buy insurance policies which will protect them from damage due to natural disaster or uncontrollable events, such as a car collision. Insurance investigators and adjusters are the individuals that a claim holder turns to when they require a claim to be processed.
Insurance adjusters are responsible for handling the initial claim that has been filed when an automobile collision takes place, or a hurricane or tomato damage is a person’s home. They will interview police, hospitals, witnesses, and other individuals in order to make sure that the claims are paid out properly and that the victim is compensated adequately.
Claim examiners have the job of reviewing claims in order to make sure that all the paperwork has been filed properly. These professionals will also authorize payouts of insurance claims, and they will make sure that the insurance contract has been followed properly.
Insurance investigators will play a more active role in determining if fraud is taking place. These investigative professionals may take photographs of damage and conduct interviews and stakeouts in order to try to catch a client falsifying disability claims or staging accidents to receive monetary gain.
The working environment for insurance claims agents can be stressful, and most adjusters will be away from their office for days a time, such as in the event of a wide scale flood. Those agents specializing in auto collisions may have to be on call frequently, and most adjusters will have to work 50 to 60 hours a week on average.
The barriers to entry to the profession of the claims adjuster will vary, and there are no formal training requirements in order to enter the profession. Most insurance claims examiners have a bachelor’s degree, and agencies prefer to hire those claims agents with a more advanced education.
In 2006, the individuals in this line of work held over 300,000 jobs in America, with most working for private agencies, brokerage houses, and other financial industries, offering insurance on securities. Job prospects overall for these professionals are good and should keep pace with the average growth of population over the next decade.
In 2006, claims adjusters and claims investigators in the highest paid 10% of the profession earned $80,000 a year, with the median fiftieth percentile earning between $38,500 and $65,200. Most employees will also receive benefits from the firm that hired them, which can include a company car, a laptop, and a cell phone, among other perks.