Some people say being a claims adjuster is the toughest job in the insurance industry. It’s easy to see why. Dealing with people who have suffered loss is not easy. The job often attracts lots of anger and animosity from people who, expecting to get huge payouts, find that they are being offered less than they expected. Then there’s the large caseloads, length of time it sometimes takes to complete an insurance claim and general occupational stress. All of these taken together help explain why this job is challenging.
Challenges of Claims Adjusting
Being a claims adjuster is a different sort of job in itself, but insurance is like any other career. You’re going to start out at the bottom level and your workload is going to be very high. You will have 200-300 cases on your desk during busy seasons (winter and summer) and you will be responsible equally for each one. It can be highly stressful and people in crisis situations aren’t always the nicest. It can be tempting to throw in the towel. However…
If you’re dedicated to your job and keep a positive attitude, you will move up fast. The people who aren’t very good get weeded out fairly quickly, usually quitting within six months to a year. If you do your best and make a real effort to learn how to do your job well, the workload is manageable. You’ll learn time management skills, organization, and how to prioritize what needs to be done today and what can wait until tomorrow. You’ll learn how to deliver bad news, how to analyze a situation quickly and efficiently, and how to say no.
Staff vs. Independent Adjusting
While larger insurance companies typically have claims adjusters on staff, smaller insurers or companies often rely on independent adjusters. Each of these has pros and cons, and it is best to weigh each before deciding what is best for you.
Benefits of being a staff claims adjuster:
- A steady paycheck that does not fluctuate from month to month.
- Employment benefits like health insurance, dental coverage, paid vacation and company contributions towards your retirement (401K) plan.
- Work a fixed number of hours per week.
- Training and professional development paid for by the company.
- Company-issued laptops and possibility of a company car.
However, there are cons and these include:
- Less money than the independent claims adjuster in the long run.
- Less flexibility in your time and the type of assignment you accept.
- Lots of overtime work and short vacation allotted.
- College degree typically required.
Working as an independent claims adjuster also has its benefits and these include:
- Freedom to choose who to work for and the kind of assignment or location.
- Earning more income than a staff adjuster based on fee schedules.
- Freedom to work from home or elsewhere.
- More downtime for vacations between assignments.
- More employment options since adjusting firms do not require college degrees but often hire based on experience and training.
The cons include:
- Lack of stability in working hours. Sometimes there will be lots of work, while other times will be slow.
- No benefits. Your health insurance and 401K are your responsibility
- You pay for your own computers and other required equipment. This may include your transportation costs and maintenance of your own vehicle.
Start Your New Career with 2021 Training
If you are looking for an exciting new career path as a property damage inspector, 2021 Training can help you take the first steps. Our New Adjuster training modules for the state of Texas can help you. Visit our courses page to get started today!