Choosing an insurance adjuster

When you need someone to investigate insurance claims, negotiate settlements or authorize payments.
If you need an insurance adjuster, chances are you've run into some bad luck with property, either through a theft, accident or act of nature (a tornado or earthquake, for example).

What is an insurance adjuster?

Adjusters investigate insurance claims, negotiate settlements, authorize payments and deal with claims where there is a question of liability and where fraud or criminal activity is suspected.

Insurance adjusters work primarily for property and casualty insurance companies, and they determine whether a customer's insurance policy covers the loss for which they are applying. They also calculate how much of the loss should be paid by the insurance company.

What working with an insurance adjuster is like

When you choose your insurance company, you essentially choose your insurance adjuster. Should you need an independent adjuster, see our listings on to start.

For and foremost, it's important to understand how your claim will be processed before you actually need the service, as you (understandably) may not be thinking clearly when something catastrophic happens.

Here is a general overview of how an insurance adjuster works with a car accident that was another driver's fault:

  • Once an insurance claim is filed, the adjuster interviews the claimant and witnesses, consults police and hospital records, and inspects the car's damage to determine liability.

  • Adjusters also may consult with other professionals, such as accountants, mechanics or physicians, who can offer a more expert evaluation of a claim.

  • All the material — interviews, photos, taped statements, etc. — is put into a report.

  • The claim is evaluated by the adjuster. When the policyholder's claim is deemed legitimate, the adjuster negotiates with the claimant and settles the claim. When claims are contested, adjusters work with attorneys and expert witnesses to defend the insurer's position.
How adjusters are licensed

Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but continuing education is extremely important. If you have questions about the adjusters that work for your insurance company, contact your company for more information.

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