An insurance adjuster, also referred to as a claims adjuster, typically represents the insurance company. Claims adjusters apply their knowledge and training to determine whether a party claiming a loss is owed payment under the terms of an insurance policy, and what that payment should be.
Adjusters are used for all types of losses, including property damage and bodily injury. The majority of insurance adjusters work directly for major insurance companies. Other adjusters may work as independent contractors who represent claimants.
The Specific Duties of an Insurance Adjuster
A claims adjuster’s job begins once a claim is filed against an insurance policy. The adjuster’s responsibilities often play out as follows:
Three Types of Claims Adjusters
Corporate/Traditional Claims Adjusters: Typically employed by a single insurance company. These adjusters may focus on handling only property damage claims (buildings, vehicles) or liability claims (personal injury, third-party). Adjusters may also handle multiple areas of claims; they are known as “Multi-Line” or “All-Lines” adjusters.
Public Adjusters: They represent policyholders, or the individual filing the claim. Personal injury attorneys may hire a public adjuster to provide an objective evaluation of an injury claim as a safeguard against a low-ball settlement offer from the opposing insurance company. A public adjuster can also be called upon to present industry-recognized findings on behalf of the claimant in cases of litigation.
Independent Adjusters: These individuals work as consultants or contractors, and they may service multiple insurance companies. They are often brought in to supplement large field claim efforts, including times following large natural disasters like hurricanes or flooding. State licensed independent adjusters tend to be revered within the industry as high-level loss experts in their preferred line of adjustment.