Inside Claims Adjuster Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Adjusters Wear Many Different Hats...
It may be surprising to learn just how many different facets there are to being a claims adjuster; it is not simply a matter of gathering a few facts and then cutting a check. The job involves lots of investigating, analyzing, and negotiating. On any given day, you may find yourself evaluating damages, taking recorded statements, drawing diagrams and reviewing police reports, among other tasks. It may also be surprising to learn just how stressful this occupation can be, as adjusters typically handle heavy, sometimes complex caseloads and must adhere to strict procedures and deadlines." (Claims Adjuster; 2014)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, female
School: Studied Political Science at University Of Oklahoma in Oklahoma; completed Bachelor degree in 2009

Best & Worst Things About This Career

No Fault Claims Adjuster: "The best parts of this job are helping people that would have otherwise not known how to deal with a very tragic life situation. Also, the rules and guidelines of the No Fault world are always changing. Therefore, not only is the learning unending, but also no day is ever the same. I would have to admit that one of the worst parts of the jobs is the high stress/intensity level that goes along with dealing with very serious and tragic situations." (2011)

Claims Examiner: "The best part of the job is that it is not fast-paced. The worst part of the job is that it can get rather tedious at times. The hours are good and having a fixed schedule is usually a good thing. It makes it easier to plan things and lets me have time to go to the gym. We do have flex hours which means you can start any time before 9AM and leave any time after 3PM." (2010)

Senior Claims Examiner: "The best part of the job is that I get to set my own priorities. I am able to decide how to manage my day and how to get my work done in a timely manner. There are two things that make the job frustrating: after spending days on a claim and coming up with questions to ask, I often have to wait months to get a response and by that time I have forgotten what the claim was about and have to re-examine it. The other frustrating part is getting calls from brokers or companies wanting their money." (2010)

Claims Examiner: "The best part of my job is its diversity; I'm able to work on different tasks depending on the day and the correspondence received. You never know everything in this job, and it keeps you thinking and planning ahead on a regular basis. Worst part? There are times I'm very busy, but it can be hard to predict when those will be. I try to prioritize my workload, instead of taking on everything in exactly the order that it crosses my desk." (2010)

Worker'S Compensation Adjuster: "The best part of the job is dealing with various people, trying to explain benefits to the employee attempting to obtain a wage statement. The worst part of the job is dealing with medical providers who submit their bills and believe that they should be paid in their entirety. In Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents set rates for different procedures and medical appointments. Most of the time the medical providers do not agree with the rates." (2010)

Career Background

Claims Adjuster

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Getting Started As An Adjuster...
If you are interested in a career in claims adjusting, you will find that many companies are willing to hire recent graduates, even if they have a limited job history. A Bachelors degree in any subject, combined with good customer-service and problem-solving skills, will usually get you in the door. Many adjusters begin by handling less complex cases (for example, a beginning auto adjuster may handle only non-injury cases) and work their way up to more complex (and usually higher-paying) roles, such as an auto adjuster who handles cases with injuries." (Claims Adjuster; 2014)

"Be Willing To Learn...
If you are going to pursue a career in No Fault, I would recommend that you obtain your degree, and never be afraid to take on challenges and move ahead. When I started my career in the insurance business, I basically started from the ground up. However, the reason I was so successful is that I was never afraid to learn something new. And, I had the confidence that there was nothing I couldn't learn to do with hard work." (No Fault Claims Adjuster; 2011)

"Leverage Learning Opportunities...
I would advise students to take advantage of any educational opportunity after school that they can get. You have to constantly keep up-to-date with your skills and knowledge of whatever industry you're in. If you find an employer that offers job training or will pay for further education, it is wise to take advantage of that. My own employer has paid for my MBA as well as two professional certifications that I received. It is hard work but well worth the effort." (Claims Examiner; 2010)

"Six Months To Learn...
The main thing is to realize that it can take six months to a year before you are comfortable with knowing most aspects of the job. I have been doing it for a decade, and there are still things I don't know. You have to be patient and be willing to accept constructive criticism during your training period." (Senior Claims Examiner; 2010)

"Take Insurance Courses...
1. Be open to learning as much as you can at your own pace. Taking insurance courses provides a background that is invaluable and gives you a perspective for your job and for your personal finances. 2. Be receptive to suggestions and assistance from your co-workers. Make every effort you can to be a team player." (Claims Examiner; 2010)

"Work Your Way Up...
Anyone who would like to become a worker's compensation adjuster has to work his way up. You can start as a clerk who types state forms for the adjuster and move to a "medical-only" position which entails working with the employer making sure that the employee is working and not losing any time from work. A medical-only adjuster does the same kind of work that a lost-time adjuster performs, but the employee does not receive any wage differential for working. The next level is a lost-time adjuster level 1. These adjusters handle claims where an employee is out of a work for a certain period of time. The final level is a complex adjuster who handles death claims, severe injury claims and very complex claims." (Worker'S Compensation Adjuster; 2010)