"> Property Loss Professionals: Who Are They and How Can They Help You? - Page 4

Property Loss Professionals: Who Are They and How Can They Help You?


...insurance company by which they are employed, independent adjusters might work for multiple insurance companies at the same time.

What role do they play?

For purposes of the policyholder’s claim, independent adjusters are representing only the insurance company — and therefore are helping the company adjust the claim. However, although the independent adjuster is employed by the carrier, he or she also serves as a liaison in the process between the policyholder and the insurance company.

The independent adjuster is often able to be on site before the insurance company representative can arrive, so during that time he or she is the eyes and ears of the insurance company. They might be there only initially, but there are situations in which the independent adjuster stays involved throughout the process until the claim is resolved. They might have limited authority, but generally report back to someone at the carrier’s office who has been empowered to make final settlement decisions.

How are they compensated?

Depending on the state in which they are working and the company they are working for, independent adjusters are most often paid a specific hourly rate by the insurance company.

Are they licensed?

Over a dozen states currently require independent adjusters to be licensed and that number is increasing due to a recent licensing model act created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

How are they trained?

Many insurance companies train the independent adjusters who represent them on their particular processes and procedures. Independent adjusters also receive training through an outside entity that specializes in training adjusters; from their independent adjuster employer; or simply by being mentored in the field. Organizations such as the Insurance Information Institute also offer educational programs for independent adjusters.

What do they do?

As independent contractors who work for the insurance company, they are the eyes and ears of the property insurer they represent. Often an independent adjuster will initiate the claim process on behalf of the insurer until the staff adjuster arrives and takes over. This means that they can help the policyholder by answering questions and interpreting coverage from the insurance company’s perspective. Policyholders should remember this when making urgent coverage- related decisions in a very stressful situation. Independent adjusters, however, often don’t have the authority to make final decisions in the same manner that some staff adjusters can.

When do they enter the process?

Independent adjusters are often the first insurance company representative to arrive onsite and can be there from the beginning until the conclusion...