What is an Insurance Adjuster?


A professional who investigates policyholders’ insurance claims, determines whether claims are valid and decides how much money the insurance company will award the policyholder for the claim. Insurance adjusters are also sometimes called claims examiners or claims representatives. Insurance adjusters usually work for insurance companies that provide automobile insurance, homeowners insurance and other types of accident and casualty insurance. Some insurance adjusters are employed directly by a single insurance company, others work independently for a number of insurance companies through claims adjustment agency, and others are self-employed independent contractors. There are also insurance adjusters who represent policyholders; they are called public adjusters.


James is involved in an automobile accident, and his car is totaled. An insurance adjuster, Chloe, who is employed by James’s insurance company, comes to James’s house to examine the car and determine how much the insurance company will give him to replace it. She uses the available data on cars similar to James’s to determine how much it was worth before the accident, arriving at a value of $10,000. James thinks his car was worth more than that and negotiates with the adjuster for a better offer. Chloe is under pressure to close the deal as quickly as possible, since she has a huge caseload, and for as little money as possible, to keep her employer profitable. She agrees to bring the check amount up to $11,000 since James can make a compelling argument for a higher value using Canadian Black Book data.


The requirements to become an insurance adjuster vary by province, but typically entail meeting educational requirements, passing an exam and gaining practical experience. Becoming an adjuster does not require a college degree, but about three-fourths of adjusters do have degrees, according to the Government of Canada’s 2006 census. Independent adjusters must be licensed in every province where they wish to work. These requirements may be waived if the applicant is sponsored by an adjusting company who has investigated the applicant’s background and suitability. There may also be higher levels of licensing for more advanced adjusters.

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Last updated Feb 11, 2019