LA 101

Loss Adjusting 101

What does a loss adjuster do?

Loss adjusters are responsible for fully examining the damages on a claim. When someone files an insurance claim after suffering a disaster, car accident, theft or fire, a loss adjuster is sent out to thoroughly inspect the damage and help the insurer determine what should be covered.

If you ever fantasised about being a private eye or investigative journalist as a kid, maybe you should consider becoming a loss adjuster. They do similar tasks, such as interviewing the person making the claim and witnesses, looking at police and medical records, and personally assessing situations in great depth on the site.

What are the important skills required to be a loss adjuster?

• Critical thinking — A loss adjuster deals with many different claims, so it’s important that they are able to fully analyse and evaluate each claim ensuring that both the insured and insurer get the best outcome. 

• People/communication skills — A loss adjuster needs to keep everyone in the loop of how a claim is progressing, so great communication skills are a must to make sure the insured, insurers, brokers, repairers and third parties are all on the same page.

Being sympathetic and patient is also very important because a loss adjuster deals with frustrated people who are coping with whatever misfortune has caused them to make a claim.

• Problem solving skills — A loss adjuster needs to be able to think quickly on their feet, so they can troubleshoot any complications that arise during the course of a claim.

• Organisational skills — Being organised is an important skill with any job but extremely important for a loss adjuster, due to the high number of claims they usually work on any one time. If they’re disorganised, there’s a chance the claims won’t be dealt with in time.

What are the entry requirements to be a loss adjuster?

Loss adjusters aren’t required to take any specific courses but they usually have experience working in insurance or qualifications in accounting, business, construction or science.

Loss adjusters can complete further training to become charted loss adjusters by becoming a member of the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters (AICLA) and completing exams administrated by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).

What are the career paths and progression as a loss adjuster?

After getting some experience under your belt, you can move into management, specialise in a particular type of claim or work overseas for a global business.

If you progress to becoming a chartered loss adjuster, you can set up your own practice and run your own company.