A crucial trait of an exceptional insurance claims adjuster is understanding the importance of empathy for the insured during what can be an emotional and trying experience. True, a good adjuster must fully comprehend the details of the loss and be able to effectively write a report for the carrier, but an experienced adjuster will take the time to listen and emphasize with the insured.
An adjuster — whether independent or employed by the carrier — is a de facto ambassador of the insurance carrier’s brand and reputation, starting from the first time that he or she speaks with the insured to schedule the onsite inspection and continuing throughout the claim process. This is why experience and professionalism are critical.
Even if an adjuster has seen a certain type of loss a thousand times, it is vital that they not become apathetic or jaded. What seems like a cut and dry event to the adjuster may be exceedingly traumatic to the insured, who likely has both a monetary and emotional investment in their property. An insured might want to share how the loss is impacting their family, finances, or their workload. An experienced adjuster will treat this moment as an opportunity for a caring, positive customer experience.
Adjusters are people too
Almost by definition, claims adjusters are involved only when there is property damage, which means that stress is always part of the job. It can be exhausting to keep a tight schedule while managing expected deadlines and submitting time-sensitive reports.
Understandably, there are times when it is difficult to prioritize the insured’s needs before our own, but an experienced adjuster has learned that they are in a position to demonstrate compassion and serve the needs of the insured.
Because of the differing demands of their roles, catastrophe (CAT) claims and daily claims adjusters typically operate quite differently.
- CAT adjusters are often deployed for months at a time, only seeing their family and friends for a day or two if they are lucky. The rigors of managing 10 to 30 claims a week with a claim cycle of eight days puts significant pressure on a CAT adjuster. They are exposed to high levels of stress that can build through lack of sleep, the logistics of scheduling site visits in restricted areas, and their responsibilities at home.
- A daily claims adjuster may have a lighter claims schedule than a CAT adjuster, but they often travel several hundred miles each week. It is more common for the daily adjuster to interact face to face with the insured during the inspection process, which is where the adjuster must be empathetic, professional, and courteous at every step.