Loss Adjusters are responsible for investigating, negotiating and settling a variety of insurance claims resulting from incidents like fires, floods, accidents and theft. They ensure that people receive the compensation required to return them to where they were before the incident.
After evaluating the claim, Loss Adjusters must review witness testimony, police or medical reports, and other documents, to determine what caused the damage and calculate the amount covered by the insurance policy. They propose a solution and participate in mediation, court proceedings or other methods of conflict resolution.
What are common job titles?
According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, there are 37 titles for people who investigate insurance claims and determine the amount of damages covered by insurance policies. Some of these titles include:
- Settlement Specialist
- Claims Examiner, Investigator or Representative
- Loss Examiner
- Insurance Inspector
- Adjuster Trainee
Roles may vary depending on the type of insurance claim being investigated, which can include automobile, disability, fire, marine, medical, motor vehicle, railroad and property damage to name a few.
What are the working conditions like?
There isn’t a 9-5 workday for a Loss Adjuster, as some are required to meet with clients at night and on weekends. They might work in an office or from home. If a serious natural disaster or accident occurs, an Adjuster may be investigating the claim in the field for weeks. This would require them to use a heavy ladder, move pieces of debris and stand for long periods of time. Adjusters sometimes also have to travel to see a client or disaster sites.
What skills are required?
- An understanding of criminal or civil investigations and legal proceedings
- Working knowledge of insurance-related legislation
- Ability to analyze medical and police reports
- Negotiation and conflict resolution skills
- Keen attention to detail
- Strong intrapersonal and communication skills
- Patience and empathy
- Analytical reasoning
- Able to use a computer and a camera
- Fluency in more than one language is an asset
- Valid driver’s license
Are Loss Adjusters licensed?
A high school diploma is required, a university degree or college diploma in business is preferred, and previous claims adjusting experience is often required to be promoted to mid-level positions. Nevertheless, recruiters tend to hire people with a commitment to continuous learning and personal development. That’s why you should consider pursuing the General Insurance Education (GIE) or Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designations offered by the Insurance Institute of Canada.
Adjusters that work for an insurance company do not require a license. And while independent Loss Adjusters \require a provincial license, the number and type of courses a person must take varies on the province/territory they want to licensed in. For more information, contact your provincial regulator or local Insurance Institute of Canada office.
Your salary and position at a company often depends on whether you’ve completed an insurance-related post-secondary program, obtained your license or earned (or actively pursing) your designation, however you can expect salaries for this role to start at $35,000 per year.
Which schools offer training programs?
A number of Canadian universities and colleges offer insurance-related degree and diploma programs that prepare students for a career in loss adjusting, including the University of Calgary, Wilfrid Laurier University, Algonquin College, MacEwan University, BCIT and many more. Here is a list of schools compiled by the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association.
Who hires Loss Adjusters?
Insurance companies, the government or independent adjusting firms hire Loss Adjusters. Depending on who hires the Adjuster, they can represent insurers (insurance company adjusters), policy holders (public adjusters) or both (independent adjusters).
Take the Career Connections Quiz to find out if being a Loss Adjuster is the insurance career for you.
Photo credit: Joshua Neff