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Like most industries, the world of insurance possesses a language all its own. While most corporate jargon rarely interferes with everyday life, the insurance industry directly involves itself with common day-to-day activities. Dealing with insurance policies and companies often requires a familiarity with strange terms and words, among them “PIP adjuster.” Understanding the nature of a PIP adjuster requires an examination of PIP, a form of insurance, and the insurance-adjusting profession.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) constitutes a form of auto insurance. Companies generally include PIP in your auto insurance policy rather than creating a separate policy for PIP. Basically, PIP helps pay medical bills in the event of a car accident. It also covers passengers in your car and, in some instances, people driving your car with your permission. Some states, such as Maryland, require you to purchase PIP insurance, while others, such as New Jersey, make it optional. PIP constitutes a form of no-fault insurance in states with no-fault laws, such as Florida. This means you can use it regardless of who causes an accident if you live in such a state.
Insurance adjusters handle claims. When a policyholder makes a claim, the adjuster conducts an investigation into the matter in question. This process includes a variety of facets, including interviews, evidence collection and consultation with experts. Adjusters contact claimants upon the conclusion of an investigation, negotiate the amount of a claim and settles the claim. If an adjuster decides to contest a claim based on available evidence, she works with insurance company lawyers and attorneys representing the claimant in an effort to settle the issue.
A PIP adjuster constitutes an insurance adjuster working on personal injury protection accounts. If you hold PIP insurance and end up in a collision, the PIP adjuster monitors your case with regard to your policy. The adjuster decides how much the company pays out to cover your medical bills and any wages lost from not working as a result of the accident. In no-fault states, PIP adjusters bypass extensive investigations of fault in cases of auto accidents, though they may take measures to ensure against insurance fraud before approving payments. In states without no-fault laws, PIP adjusters conduct such investigations.
Skills Required of a PIP Adjuster
According to job postings by insurance companies such as the Hanover Insurance Group and information provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, PIP adjusters must possess the ability to synthesize large amounts of information quickly and efficiently and maintain healthy working relationships with policyholders, co-workers and attorneys despite the alternative perspectives and opinions of all parties involved in settling claims. Other requirements include strong written and verbal communication skills, bargaining skills, familiarity with basic office software, proficiency with claims systems, critical thinking and problems-solving skills, the ability to develop and maintain amicable negotiations and an extensive knowledge of laws relating to insurance policies and claims.
- Bankrate.com; Car Insurance Basics; Michael Abramowitz; May 2002
- Goldberg, Finnegan and Mester Attorneys at Law: Personal Injury Protection Benefits in Maryland
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition -- Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners and Investigators
Will Gish slipped into itinerancy and writing in 2005. His work can be found on various websites. He is the primary entertainment writer for "College Gentleman" magazine and contributes content to various other music and film websites. Gish has a Bachelor of Arts in art history from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
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