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If you have ever filed an insurance claim for damage to your car, home or business, you may have dealt with an insurance claims adjuster. This professional investigates insurance claims by inspecting property damage, interviewing claimants and estimating the financial settlement due the policyholder. The work of a claims adjuster requires frequent travel to various locations to inspect property that has been damaged. To effectively accomplish her work, the claim adjuster relies on sophisticated electronic equipment as well as a few simple tools.
Claims adjusters must frequently measure angles in space or on the ground. In investigating an auto accident, for example, claims adjusters need to calculate the angle at which one vehicle struck another. To obtain this information, they use a theodolite, or total station. Similar to a surveyor's transit, a theodolite is a telescopelike measuring tool on top of a tripod. It displays angular measurements on an attached ocular device or via a digital screen on the telescope.
Indispensable in investigating property damage, measuring wheels help claims adjusters measure long distances accurately and quickly. Also called measure markers, measuring wheels are essentially digital rulers attached to the end of a wheeled pole. To use one, the claims examiner simply rolls the device along the surface that she wishes to measure. Measuring wheels come in a variety of sizes and adjusters may have more than one in their tool kit. To measure short distances, they rely on a standard tape measure.
Claims adjusters who examine property damage cases may find it necessary to climb onto roofs or other elevated places to investigate damage. To do this they use a folding, telescoping or traditional wood step ladder.
Portable Electronic Devices
As claims adjusters spend most of their time in the field, they need to bring their office with them in the form of a laptop computer or tablet loaded with specialized software programs such as CGI-AMS BureauLink Enterprise and QwikQuote. To manage their busy appointment schedules they frequently use a personal digital assistant or some other form of electronic organizer.
Besides documenting their examinations on computer, claim adjusters collect physical evidence using a digital camera. They may take hundreds of photos to accurately capture large or complex situations, such as in the case of home damage resulting from hurricanes or tornadoes.
Since 1995, Jan White has written instructional pieces in the areas of career development, higher education, and accounting and finance. She utilizes her professional expertise as a career counselor in writing and editing career-related articles online. She has a master's degree in career development from JFK University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Concordia College.