What does the insurance adjuster jog entails? This is a very diverse profession as there are many duties that the adjuster must fulfill. When I was hire in one of the biggest insurance companies of the U.S., one thing was made very clear to me: “the job would be demanding and stressful”. They were not kidding!
There are many types of claim adjusters in the business. I was originally trained as a total loss adjuster. I was an “inside adjuster” and did not have to go out of the office to inspect vehicles. I had the ability to set up tasks for insurance field representatives to do that. My responsibility was to negotiate and settle for the fair market value of the car. After handling this type of claim, I was promoted to liability claims. I handled car accidents where fault was in dispute. From there, I was later promoted to handle bodily injury claims.
I still had to determine the liability of the accident. It was up to me to decide who was at fault, and what percentage. After that, I had to evaluate the medical bills, assess pain and suffering values and settle the
The responsibilities were many. I had to dispute with other insurance companies, attorneys, arbitration panels, the department of insurance, evaluate medical bills, dispute medical bills with medical providers, negotiate fault, negotiate with attorneys, evaluate injury settlements, evaluate pain and suffering, study statutory law, report every claim within seven days to my supervisor, and then every month. I had to receive new claims and do the entire investigation: get recorded statements, get the police report, photos, diagrams, emergency room reports, and witness statements. The job was simply drilling.
This was a very stressful time. Winter time was the very worst! I was handling so many claims that I was afraid to go to the restroom. It just seemed that every time I went, I would have fifteen claims waiting for me!
This job requires very good negotiation skills and very good time management skills. There was no time for nonsense. Managers want their units to settle for lower amounts. They call this “Lost Economic Opportunity” or LEO. All this meant was that if you settle for more than you should have, then your bonus would be reduced at the end of the year. I was never compensated directly for a “good settlement”, there was no commission. Commissions for claim adjuster are consider illegal in many states. However, insurance companies compensate those with strong results at the end of the year.
Those that cannotperform very well are simply fired.
With experience and time more responsibilities are given to the adjuster. The adjuster will be soon handling permanent injuries, and eventually fatalities. Adjusters are given a “settlement authority”. This
settlement authority is different for every adjuster and for every insurance company. The settlement authority is a way to rank adjusters. The higher the authority, the more respect and the more recognition the adjuster has.
Knowing the insurance adjuster settlement authority or her “rank” can tell what the insurance company thinks your car accident is worth. The higher the rank the more complicated the claim is (and probably more value). Note that if you are dealing with a very experienced adjuster, you might want to consult with an attorney at that point. This should tell you that your case is worth more than you think. Adjusters will not come out and tell you that they have a high settlement authority. This information is “secret”. However, there are some things you should know to “guess” who you are dealing with:
- The title of the adjuster. Senior, specialist, analysis, are some of the titles that should tell you that this adjuster has higher settlement authority.
- How many years has this individual been doing this specific insurance adjuster job. Not how long in the insurance business.
- How much education does the adjuster posses. Bachelors degree v. Doctoral Degree (or on degree at all).
- How much insurance education does the adjuster posses. ACI (equivalent to B.A. in insurance) or a CPCU (equivalent to a master’s degree in insurance).