Insurance Claims Handler jobs(Also known as Loss Adjuster, Loss Assessor, Claims investigator)
Claims handlers are responsible for processing and investigating insurance claims relating to customers' policies. This will involve working with the policy holder, colleagues and other professionals to ensure that the claim is valid. The role of a claims handler is to process a customer's or client's insurance claim. There is a wide range of different insurances available - travel, home and contents, private indemnity etc and the role is likely to change depending upon the area you work in. Most claim handlers will be responsible for the claim from when it is first reported, to final payment or rejection. Claims handlers will therefore be expected to work with a range of different individuals to ensure that a claim is handled properly. This will include liaising with the customer to find out the details of the claim and making sure that all the correct documentation has been filled out, passing the claim on to the relevant internal departments and informing the customer whether their claim has been accepted. Depending upon the size of the insurer, the tasks you will be expected to undertake will vary. Claim handlers working for large global institutions may simply be the policyholder's main point of contact. Claim handlers with more experience will often take on an assessor or loss adjuster role. The loss adjusting side of the business involves a greater responsibility for investigating the validity of a claim. This role can involve visiting the policyholder or their property, liaising with the police, lawyers and/or other professional investigators.
SalaryStarting salaries will normally be between £16,000 and £20,000 although these are likely to vary depending upon your employer and the area of insurance you work in. More specialist areas will likely have higher starting salaries but competition application for places may be higher. With training and experience salaries are likely to increase and it may be possible to move into supervisory or management positions. Salaries for these roles are likely to be around £25,000 to £50,000 depending upon experience, industry and the size of the team.
ResponsibilitiesAs a claims handler you will be expected to:
- Liaise with policyholders, taking information on the nature of the claim and details of their policy.
- Pass information on to other colleagues and professionals including claims investigators and underwriters.
- Update computer and paper records with details of the claim.
- Discuss the claim with suppliers and repairers as necessary. For example, you may have to organise a replacement vehicle to be delivered to a client or for builders to repair damage to a property.
- Keep the policyholder informed both verbally and in writing of the status of the claim.
- Advise clients on general queries and insurance issues.
QualificationsMost employers will require a minimum of 5 grade A-C GCSEs, and you will normally require grades B or above in Mathematics and English. For those looking to take up positions straight from school your chances will be improved if you have A-levels or a recognised HND qualification. However, the majority of larger firms will offer claims handlers' positions to graduates. There are no specific degree subjects required but degrees in business related subjects such as business studies or economics may be favoured. Specialist Courses The insurance industry has ballooned over recent years with both the volume of insurance contracts and different areas increasing greatly. There is a range of qualifications which you may look to pursue, including those offered by universities such as an MSc in Insurance and Risk Management and those offered by specialist providers. These include:
- Advanced Diploma in Insurance
- Lloyd’s and London Market Introductory Test ("LLMIT")
- Certificate in Contract Wording
- Fellowship in Insurance
- Certificate in IT for Insurance Professionals
- Award in Insurance
- Attention to detail - you will need to ensure that all conditions of a claim are met to ensure that the claim can be processed and validated.
- Technical knowledge of the insurance industry
- An analytical mind
- Good numeracy and literary skills
- A working knowledge of computers and computer programmes such as Excel and Word
- The ability to work to a deadline
- Excellent interpersonal, customer care and communication skills
- For specialist areas you may require very specific skills. Lloyds of London is one of the most significant insurers in the world and offers very specific diversification of risks to policyholders. There are opportunities to work in specialist fields and if you do this you may require expert knowledge in specific areas such as medicine, economics or politics.