An adjuster, or more properly, a claims adjuster (and in some parts of the world “a loss adjuster”), is someone who is able to assist the policyholder and/or the insurance company in assessing the value of a claim and to investigate the claim itself.
In the auto insurance industry in the US a claims adjuster will have the ability to assess an accident for technical issues to determine cause and effect. They will also prepare documentation for the insurer relating to such things as depreciation, the replacement or repair costs of the vehicle, and the actual cash value many of which may be unknown to the actual policyholder.
Types of adjusters
There are several types of claims adjusters but those that are usually involved in auto insurance claims include:
- Property Claims Adjusters – For when an accident involves damage to buildings or built up structures
- Liability Claims Adjusters – For those occasions where a driving accident involves personal injuries or damage to third parties or their property
- Multi-Line Adjusters – Are adjusters who can handle any or all aspects of claims adjustment and are commonly used in auto insurance
What do they do?
An claims adjuster verifies that your coverage applies to the situation of the accident, and they investigate who (if anyone, and if not – what) is to blame for the accident, and that appropriate compensation will be paid to any party involved which could be based on emotional and/or physical damage or damage to property.
Their specific duties include; making sure claims are responded to in a timely and appropriate manner. They file all the relevant paperwork and communicate with all parties involved in the accident, the insurance, and the repair. They investigate the liability of parties involved and assess the cost and extent of the damages. They also provide research into the detail of every part of a claim in order to substantiate the details. They may also negotiate on behalf of the insurer and the claimant with service providers, in terms of cost and speed of repairs in order to make a settlement offer to the parties.
They also protect the insurance company’s interests by ensuring that a fair and balanced view is taken of each claim prior to financial settlement.
Claims adjusters are a vital part of the insurance process, they protect your interests and your insurer to make sure that every claim is dealt with fairly, reasonably and in a timely fashion.