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Mastering the art of claims adjustment: 7 key skills for success

By Nathan Guss|6 min|April 2023

Being a successful claims adjuster requires a diverse range of skills. By honing these essential skills, they provide high-level service to their clients and achieve professional success.

What does it take to be a successful claims adjuster? The job usually entails much more than sitting behind a desk and crunching numbers all day. They must often hit the road and investigate disaster sites. As a claims adjuster, you’re essentially a detective who investigates insurance claims, determines the extent of the damage and assesses the compensation the policyholder should receive. Think Sherlock Holmes, but with more paperwork.

To succeed in this demanding, engaging field, claims adjusters need a broad range of skills related to empathy, analysis, communication, time management, negotiations, attention to detail and stress management.

1. Empathy: seeing things from the client’s perspective

Why do claims adjusters need empathy? Well, imagine being the person responsible for telling someone that their claim has been denied or that they’re not getting the payout they were hoping for. That’s not exactly the part of the job that screams, “fun!” Adjusters also regularly deal with people undergoing serious hardships.

But in high-stress situations, listening can make all the difference. That’s why claims adjusters need empathy—it helps them understand and relate to the policyholders they’re working with. When clients experience loss or damage, they need support, compassion and understanding. This helps adjusters connect with clients on a human level, allowing them to see things from their perspective and provide them with the support and guidance they need while going through the claims process.

2. Analytical thinking: investigating claims with a critical eye

Claims adjusters need strong analytical skills to evaluate and investigate claims effectively. Such skills are critical for reviewing documentation, examining evidence and making informed decisions. Moreover, adjusters must assess the extent of the damage and determine its cause. They must also figure out whether the claim is valid and assess the compensation that should be paid to the policyholder. Essentially, they’re like a one-person CSI unit, but instead of solving crimes, they’re solving insurance claims.

3. Communication skills: explaining policies and building rapport

Claims adjusters rely heavily on their communication skills. They’re the ones who talk to policyholders, witnesses and other parties involved in an insurance claim. They need to be able to ask the right questions, listen actively and concisely convey complex information. They explain insurance policies and procedures to clients, build rapport and negotiate with other professionals. Effective communication ensures that clients understand the claims process, which can nip disputes in the bud.

4. Time management skills: juggling multiple claims

Time management skills are a claims adjuster’s bread and butter—and without them, they’re toast. That’s because they often need to manage multiple claims simultaneously, which makes strong time management skills crucial. They must be able to prioritize tasks and manage their time effectively to ensure that they meet deadlines. Ensuring that claims are processed efficiently can help minimize the financial impact of the loss or damage.

SiniSTAR’s time-saving platform gives a time management edge to adjusters who need to relocate clients. It provides them with an automated system to manage the entire insurance housing process, from sourcing temporary housing to monitoring expenses. This streamlines the process, allowing adjusters to focus on other aspects of the claim. With SiniSTAR’s platform, claims adjusters can save time and improve the overall efficiency of the insurance housing process.

5. Negotiation skills: resolving disputes fairly

Claims adjusters must be skilled negotiators. They negotiate with policyholders, third-party claimants and other professionals. Adjusters with strong skills build positive relationships with clients. By understanding the needs and priorities of all parties involved in a claim, adjusters can find solutions that satisfy everyone’s interests. This helps minimize the costs associated with claims by reaching fair settlements that avoid unnecessary legal expenses.

6. Attention to detail: making sure nothing falls through the cracks

Attention to detail is the name of the game for claims adjusters. They must have a keen eye for detail to review all documentation thoroughly. Adjusters must also be able to identify and address any potential issues that could arise during the claims process. Even the smallest oversight can lead to errors with significant consequences. Being able to identify inconsistencies, mistakes or omissions can shape the claim outcome.

Furthermore, insurance companies rely on claims adjusters to protect their financial interests. Detail-oriented adjusters can detect fraudulent or exaggerated claims, which can help prevent insurance fraud and reduce financial losses for insurers.

7. Stress management: avoiding mistakes and burnout

Managing stress is critical for claims adjusters, who face constant pressure to handle claims, communicate with clients, and make accurate settlement decisions. When adjusters are overwhelmed with stress, they can make costly mistakes. They need to be the eye of the storm when they arrive on the scene after a disaster. That’s why it’s important for claims adjusters to take care of their mental and emotional health and develop strategies for coping with pressure to ensure they perform their duties effectively. Plus, managing stress helps prevent burnout and improve job satisfaction.

The best claims adjusters bring together a unique combination of skills from many spheres. These versatile professionals provide both insurance companies and their clients with outstanding service that makes a real difference for both parties.


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