How To Become A Claims Adjuster and Appraiser

The job of the Claims Adjuster and Appraiser is an interesting one. You can be someone’s biggest blessing… or, someone’s biggest disappointment. When working with an insurance company, you must abide by the insurance commission’s rules and regulations.

With minimum educational requirements, this job can be very rewarding and lucrative, as you work to help others in their time of loss. Check it out!

Related Article: 40 Highest Paying Jobs With A Trade School Education

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What does a Claims Adjuster and Appraiser do?

Claims Adjusters and Appraisers primarily work for insurance companies. When a client has a claim, they work with them to reimburse them for their loss. However, to avoid excessive, unwarranted claims, Adjusters must look at the claim and often appraise the damage, as needed in a fire, weather-related, or auto claim.

They also must be aware of insurance terminology, be familiar with other applicable parties involved, be good at negotiating settlements, work closely with attorneys, determine eligibility according to policy benefits, administer payments, and detect fraudulent claims. 

Is a Claims Adjuster the same as an Appraiser?

Although the job duties overlap, the Appraiser will often go into the field to assess the loss. The gathered information then goes on to the Claims Adjuster to finalize a settlement. However, with some companies, both jobs are completed by the same person. 

What kind of education is required to be a Claims Adjuster and/or Appraiser?

Generally, you can become a Claims Adjuster and Appraiser with a high school or equivalent diploma. In-house on-the-job training can be expected.

If you would like to excel in the industry or obtain a management or supervisory position, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business or accounting is often required. In addition, if you are planning on focusing on automobile damage appraisals, experience in car bodywork is recommended. A degree in engineering or architecture is helpful for Appraisers and Adjusters who need to assess building or equipment damage. A degree in healthcare is helpful in health or life insurance-related claims.

Is there a demand for Claims Adjusters or Appraisers?

The BLS reports that as of May 2020, the field of Claims Adjusters, Appraiser, Examiners, and Investigators is expected to decline by 3% between 2020 and 2030. However, don’t be discouraged. They also predict 25,200 new openings becoming available each year across the country due to retiring retirees and others leaving the industry. 

Other factors may come into play here, such as the number of natural disasters, including tornadoes, floods, and fires, and more. 

How much money can I expect to earn as a Claims Adjuster or Appraiser?

As of May 2020, Claims Adjusters, Investigators, and Examiners earned $68,270 annually. The highest 10% earned upwards of $103,610 per year, according to the BLS

For the same period, Appraisers for auto damages earned $65,550 per year, with the highest 10% earning $95,630 or more per year. 

The top-paying industry was the federal government, followed by direct insurance carriers. 

What kind of work environment can I expect?

Most Claims Adjusters and Appraisers work full-time and sometimes in the evenings or weekends to meet the client’s needs. During natural disaster events, irregular schedules are typical.

How do Adjusters and Appraisers determine damage?

After the damage is assessed, they use computer programs to help them determine the cost of replacement or how much it will cost to repair your damage. In addition, they must be familiar with the client’s policy limitations and benefits.

What are the various types of insurance or investigative-related jobs to consider?

Here are a few suggestions to consider: 

  • Claims Investigator
  • Claims Adjuster
  • Fire Inspector
  • Appraiser
  • Cost Estimator
  • Home Inspector
  • Property Appraiser
  • Building Inspector

Do I need to be licensed to work in the insurance field?

To work in the field of insurance, some states do require licensure; however, some positions, such as that of the Claims Adjuster and/or Appraiser may be covered under the umbrella license of the agency. 

To be certain, you will need to check out your state’s mandates. For more information, check out the National Insurance Producer Registry.