Employment as an insurance claims adjuster or a workers comp adjuster is generally found more in the insurance industry than the medical billing industry, although the skills needed in each industry are closely related. Those with experience in the health care industry, and those who hold a college degree are usually the most marketable job candidates.
An insurance claims adjuster or a workers comp adjuster typically works primarily for property and casualty insurance companies. Their main role is to plan and schedule the tasks necessary to process an insurance claim by the policy holders. Adjusters may investigate claims by interviewing the claimant and any witnesses, reviewing hospital or police records, and consult with various professionals such as doctors, lawyers, or other experts who are well versed in evaluating such claims.
After gathering information, which may include written statements, photographs, audio or video documentation, the adjuster creates a report which is used to evaluate the claim. When the policyholder's claim is approved, the adjuster negotiates and settles the claim. If the claims are disputed, the adjuster will work with lawyers and other experts in the appropriate field to defend the insurance company's position.
Though many claims adjusters examiners employed by life and health insurance companies work a standard 5-day, 40-hour week in a traditional office environment, adjusters sometimes must arrange their work schedules to accommodate evening and weekend appointments with clients to gather the necessary information to evaluate a claim.
Though a high school diploma is typically the minimum requirement, most employers prefer to hire college graduated or people who have experience in the insurance industry. A degree in a medical field, and/or a medical background is a plus for those working on medical and life insurance claims.
Licensing requirements vary by state; some states have minimal requirements, while others require a specific licensing exam or additional coursework, or both. In addition, a number of states require a specific number of continuing education credits per year in order to renew the license. Some companies require applicants to pass specific written tests which measure their communication, analytical, and general mathematical skills.
Although job growth will be moderate in the insurance industry in general, the best opportunities as claims adjusters will be with health insurance companies. Workers with a college degree and either previous experience in the insurance field or a medical background will have the best opportunities as an insurance claims adjuster or workers comp adjuster.
According the the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of insurance claims adjusters and workers comp adjusters was $55,760 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,400 and $70,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $84,260.
A number of claims adjusters often receive additional benefits of a laptop computer, company car, or smart phone
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