Insurance Claims Adjusters
Inusrance Claims Adjusters Overview: Among career paths in insurance, insurance claims adjusters
determine whether a party claiming loss due to property damage, bodily injury, etc., is owed a payment
under an insurance policy, and in what amount. Most insurance claims adjusters are employees of
insurance companies, but some are independent consultants who represent claimants. Closely allied
occupations are insurance claims examiners, insurance appraisers and insurance investigators.
Education: Educational requirements vary greatly, depending on the position and the employer.
Normally, a bachelor's degree is sufficient.
Certification: There are no formal certification processes, but many larger insurance companies have
in-house training programs. However, previous experience in allied fields is often an important
consideration in hiring. For example, insurance companies look to hire people with legal experience to
be adjusters for liability claims, people with engineering or architectural backgrounds to be adjusters
for industrial claims, etc.
Duties and Responsibilities: Insurance claims adjusters require a mix of analytic and people skills. To
evaluate a claim, an adjuster may have to interview numerous people (such as the claimant, witnesses,
law enforcement, expert consultants, etc.) and examine numerous documents (such as police reports,
court records, medical records, etc.). Coming to a settlement with the claimant may require negotiation
or even legal action, in which the insurance claims adjuster must work with lawyers on behalf of the
Typical Schedule: Insurance claims adjusters have a mixture of office and field work, sometimes
requiring out of town travel. Workweeks can be highly variable, based on the need to meet clients in
evenings and on weekends, or to handle a rash of claims pursuant to a natural disaster or severe
weather event. Weeks of 50-60 hours are not unusual.
What's to Like: The job has variety, and tests your analytic and people skills. No two claims are quite
alike, so the job rarely becomes mundane.
What's Not to Like: Unhappy or demanding claimants can be taxing to deal with on a regular basis.
Doing the job requires the ability to say no on a regular basis, which can be unpleasant for some
Salary Range: Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual compensation was about $51,000 as
of May 2006, with the top 10% earning over $79,000.