Careers in Loss Adjusting Offered For most claims involving domestic or commercial property, insurance companies are able to make a payment immediately, or they may send a claims inspector to investigate the circumstances. For larger or more complicated claims, insurance companies employ the skills of a loss adjuster. Loss adjusters are experts in many fields and in addition to a thorough knowledge of insurance, they advise both the insurance company and the policyholder on repair and replacement techniques. The loss adjuster will visit the policyholder as soon as possible after the claim has been lodged to discuss the circumstances of the claim. He will check that the loss or damage falls within the terms of the insurance policy, that the sums insured on the policy are adequate and that the amounts being claimed are fair and reasonable. After discussions with the policyholder, the loss adjuster's report to the insurance company enables the company to process the claim without delay. At the same time, the loss adjuster will advise how exposures to loss can be improved to avoid further incidents and he will often point to aspects of the claim which the policyholder may have overlooked. He will advise on repair and replacement techniques, such as the matching of a damaged carpet or bathroom suite and will know of specialist firms who can undertake the work. In regard to commercial claims where the losses are substantial and interrupt the business, loss adjusters help policyholders to prepare their claims, so that they can be properly compensated for their loss. It stands to reason that to do this they must also have considerable knowledge of business practice. From the above, it will be readily seen that to be a loss adjuster takes not only skill and knowledge, but also a high degree of professionalism which is why the average age of a loss adjuster in South Africa is well over 45 years. Loss adjusters are impartial claims specialists whose fees are paid by the insurance company who rely on them to check claims for quantity, description and pricing. Each loss adjuster works for a number of insurance companies all of whom rely on his skill, knowledge and impartiality to enable them to appropriately indemnify their policyholders. Under the auspices of the Institute of Loss Adjusters, a few loss adjusting firms have taken the initiative to register learnerships for 2006, and are looking for previously disadvantaged persons to enter into a 12 month learnership, with the intention of becoming fully qualified loss adjusters in the years to come. If you have a B. Com degree, are under 30 years of age, presently unemployed and would like to apply for one of these learnerships, kindly send your cv to Peter Veal, Skills Development Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org who is acting as learnership coordinator for this project.