Insurance loss adjusters specialise in investigating difficult or complicated insurance claims on behalf of insurance companies. They must negotiate on an impartial basis between the company and the policyholder making the claim.
You could be:
working for several insurance companies at once
investigating claims, possibly large or complex, such as theft, flood or fire damage to property, and air, rail, road and sea accidents
acting as the link between the insurance company and the claimant (the person or organisation making the claim)
visiting the site to examine the damage, taking any action to arrange repairs or make sure the area is safe
collecting information by interviewing the claimant, taking photographs or reading reports
liaising with other adjusters and professionals including accountants, surveyors and engineers
checking the claimant’s policy to make sure that the loss is covered
advising the claimant on cost-effective ways to repair any damage, or how to avoid future loss or damage
writing a report for the insurance company recommending a suitable payment amount.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The starting salary for graduate trainee loss adjusters is between £18,000 and £25,000 per year. Experienced loss adjusters earn up to £45,000 a year or more.
Senior loss adjusters or managers earn around £60,000 or more.
There may also be benefits such as bonuses, cheap mortgages and insurance, a pension scheme and a company car or allowance.
You would work from an office, or possibly from home. You would spend much of the day making visits and attending meetings.
You will sometimes work outside office hours, such as being on call for emergencies during evenings, weekends and public holidays.
You would visit accident sites, such as crashes and fires. The work would sometimes be dirty, unpleasant or upsetting.
You may spend time away from home if you are called to attend a major national or international incident.
You may have to wear protective gear on sites, such as boots, a fluorescent jacket and a hard hat.
Most entrants are graduates in related fields such as accountancy, business, engineering, insurance, law or surveying. They gain work experience before training in loss adjusting.
Larger insurance companies run graduate training programmes, employers usually look for a 2:1 degree or higher. Applicants with a good degree in a business, finance or engineering related subject are usually preferred.
Alternatively, you could first work in the field of claims settling or management with an insurance company and study part time for the Certificate, then the Diploma of the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII), taking the option in claims management. (See the job profile ‘Insurance Claims Handler’ for details). The Diploma qualifies you to train in loss adjusting.
The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA) also offer qualifications at certificate and diploma level.
Some opportunities are in providing risk management services to organisations including local authorities, health services and brokers as well as traditional insurance companies.
What Does it Take?
You need to have:
excellent written and verbal communication skills
good negotiating and influencing skills
good attention to detail
good IT skills
excellent ability with figures.
You need to be:
alert and observant
methodical and well-organised
able to write clear and accurate reports
tactful and professional towards clients
fair and impartial
responsible and aware of health and safety issues
able to work to deadlines.
You would normally train on the job, supervised by an experienced loss adjuster. Large firms usually provide well-organised training programmes.
You would study part time for the professional examinations of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA). The levels start at certificate and go though to associate and fellow.
CILA approves qualifications in the fields of accountancy, engineering, law and surveying, including the CII Diploma in Insurance (Claims).
You study to become an Associate of CILA. With further experience you can progress to become a Fellow of CILA.
To become a CILA Associate and get Chartered Loss Adjuster status you must hold the CILA Advanced Diploma qualification, pass an assessment process called Accreditation for Chartered Status (ACS) and have five years' experience as an independent loss adjuster (reduced to three years if you hold a professional qualification approved by the institute).
Once you achieve associate status, you can take the MRes Professional Development (Loss Adjusting) to top up your existing CILA qualifications.
You might specialise in particular areas of insurance, such as aviation, marine or motor insurance.
After gaining experience, you could work up to management and eventually become a partner in a firm.
You might move into other areas of the insurance industry, such as insurance surveying, claims management or fraud investigation.
There are opportunities to work abroad, or to become self-employed.
The FCA is the regulatory authority for the financial services industry in the UK. Their aim is to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.