What Is an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster, sometimes called a claims adjuster, independent adjuster, or company adjuster, is the person who investigates claims for an insurance provider. The investigation may include interviewing witnesses, inspecting property damage, and reviewing police and hospital records.
What Does an Adjuster Do?
When you file an insurance claim, your insurer has a claims adjuster look into the events surrounding the loss. Typically, this means the adjuster:
- Collects information about the event.
- Assesses the damage and liability.
- Ensures your claim isn’t fraudulent.
- Determines if the loss is covered under your policy, and if so, the amount your insurance company should pay.
For small claims, an adjuster may only contact you by phone. But for something more costly, like a fire claim, an adjuster may need to come to your property to survey and record the damage.
5 Tips for Working with an Adjuster
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about a claims adjuster is their first job is to find coverage. Below are five tips to help the adjuster promptly review your claim and make a quick coverage decision.
- Document your possessions. Before you experience a loss, spend a little time creating a home inventory. This can help the adjuster verify your losses and speed up the claims process. You can use a written list, but you might also want supporting documentation, like receipts, photographs, video, or warranties. Store these items somewhere secure and accessible during an emergency.
- Review your home insurance. Do this before you experience a loss. Read your policy to see what events are covered, what property is covered, and what your limits are. Most policies also list steps for filing a claim.
- Make a list of questions. A major loss can be overwhelming. Take a moment to write down the things you want to know before you meet with your claims handler.
- Be honest about the loss. Overstating the extent of the damage can send up red flags. Be straightforward about your loss so the adjuster can evaluate it fairly.
- Avoid altering the condition of your property. Insurance adjusters need to see the scene as is, so do not clean up or fix your damaged property unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make repairs, take photos of the property, all of the damages, the cause of loss, the repairs and mitigation process, and keep receipts for the materials you use.
You have a better chance of receiving an appropriate settlement when you’ve done your research and can assist the claims adjuster.