Becoming a claims adjuster is a great career choice for almost anyone. Whether you are just starting out or embarking on a second career, there is a path and a place for you in insurance adjusting. However, if you are pursuing a second career, there are some backgrounds that are particularly well-suited for the demands of a career as an insurance adjuster. A law enforcement background is one of those previous careers that is very desirable and sets you up for success.
What is a Claims Adjuster or Fraud Investigator?
Adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators deal with claims made to insurance companies. They decide whether the customer’s policy covers the loss that he or she is claiming and how much the insurance company should pay.
The roles of adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators are different but overlapping: Adjusters plan and schedule the work required to process a claim. They interview all the parties involved, gather information, write a report, and negotiate with the claimant to settle the claim. As a retired police officer these are practices you have been doing for years.
Claims examiners do similar work, but also make sure that all guidelines have been followed in the filing of claims. In health insurance companies, claims examiners review claims to see whether costs are reasonable given the diagnosis. This too would fall in the line of administrative work you performed as a police officer.
Appraisers estimate the cost or value of an insured item. When adjusters or examiners suspect fraud or criminal activity, they refer the claim to an investigator who can find out whether fraud has occurred.
As a police officer, you work crazy hours and work many nights and weekends. As a claims adjuster, you will work varying hours, but you get to make your hours, for the most part. Most claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators work full time. However, their work schedules vary.
Adjusters often arrange their work schedules to accommodate evening and weekend appointments with clients. This requirement sometimes results in adjusters working irregular schedules, especially when they have a lot of claims to review.
Insurance investigators often work irregular schedules because of the need to conduct surveillance and contact people who are not available during normal business hours. Early morning, evening, and weekend work is common.
In contrast, auto damage appraisers typically work regular hours and rarely work on weekends.
Important Qualities for Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators
Analytical skills. Adjusters and examiners must each evaluate whether the insurance company is obligated to pay a claim and determine the amount to pay. Adjusters must carefully consider various pieces of information to reach a decision.
Math skills. Appraisers must be able to calculate property damage.
Detail-oriented. Adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators must carefully review documents and damaged property, because small details can have large financial consequences.
Communication skills. Claims adjusters and investigators must get information from a wide range of people, including claimants, witnesses, and medical experts. They must know the right questions to ask in order to gather the information they need.
Interpersonal skills. Adjusters, examiners, and investigators often meet with claimants and others who may be upset by the situation that requires a claim or by the settlement the company is offering. These workers must be understanding, yet firm with their company’s policies.
Start Your New Career with 2021 Training
If you are looking for an exciting new career path as a claims adjuster or investigator, 2021 Training can help you take the first steps. Our New Adjuster training modules for the state of Texas can help you. Visit our courses page to get started today!