An insurance assessor visits the policy holder to determine the nature of a claimed loss and the extent of insurance coverage. Assessors are also known as insurance claims adjusters. These claims can cover a wide variety of situations, including bodily injury, liability and property damage. Assessors investigate claims to determine their veracity, negotiate a reasonable settlement and oversee the payment process.
Earn a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
Earn a college diploma. Although many companies will hire you without a degree, most employers prefer college graduates. A degree in business, finance, insurance or a related field may be beneficial, especially in specific claims situations. For instance, medical training could be useful for medical and life insurance claims, while legal education would assist you in workers' compensation or liability cases. An assessor who specializes in auto damage would benefit from a two-year degree in auto body repair from a vocational school.
Investigate your state’s licensing requirements for insurance assessors. If your state does not require an adjuster’s license, consider obtaining a nonresident license from another state to give you credibility. Visit AdjusterPro.com to find your state’s requirements.
Take a pre-licensing course or complete an exam study program. These are provided online or in a classroom. Some states do not offer a course; in this case, you can purchase an exam study program from another state. As of 2010, Texas and Florida both offer a license to students who complete the course. In other states, your course must be followed up with an exam.
Apply for a professional license through your state’s Department of Insurance. For example, in Texas this application includes your identification information, a fingerprint card, a $50 application fee and proof you completed the pre-licensing course.
Complete continuing education courses to maintain your license and improve your knowledge. Regularly review court decisions, and new federal and state laws that may affect how you handle claims. New medical procedures and drugs, which are released frequently, may affect health and life insurance claims. Also be aware of new repair techniques and vehicle models when assessing vehicle insurance claims.
Seek a position as an insurance assessor. Life, health and car insurance companies hire insurance assessors, as do independent assessment companies. This job may not require an actual office space, as you will travel to clients’ homes and accident sites.
New insurance assessors work under experienced assessors to learn about investigation and settlement. This type of on-the-job training can last up to two years.
2016 Salary Information for Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators
Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators earned a median annual salary of $63,670 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators earned a 25th percentile salary of $48,250, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $78,950, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 328,700 people were employed in the U.S. as claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators.