If you are ever involved in a substantial insurance claim, such as a flood or burst pipe, then chances are you will experience a loss adjuster in your home. These professionals are hired on behalf of insurance companies to review your claim and roughly assess the amount of compensation you are entitled to after an accident. Here we explain the role and responsibilities of a loss adjuster, what their job is, and who pays them.

What is a Loss Adjuster?

Home made of wood with coins next to them

A loss adjuster is an insurance professional, who investigates impartially the extent and cause of damage done to a property, in order to determine the amount you get reimbursed from the insurer. There are two kinds of loss adjusters: a traditional loss adjuster who is paid by the insurance company, and a public loss adjuster, also known as a loss assessor, is paid for by the policyholder.

Loss adjusting began in 1666 when, after the Great Fire of London, a large number of people sought independent surveyors and constructors to review claims of fire damage. By the late 1700s, fire insurers were appointing loss adjusters on a regular basis to examine insurance claims. In 1941, a group of men formed the Association of Fire Loss Adjusters, which a few decades later gained a royal charter and became The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters.

All loss adjusters are qualified individuals who are required to be impartial when making their assessments by the Codes of Conduct set out by The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA), the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Furthermore, many loss adjusters working for insurance companies recommend a loss assessor to represent the policyholder – even though all loss adjusters make a pledge to impartial decision making based on the evidence, the ability to talk about complex situations regarding engineering and insurance with another expert can smoothen and expedite the whole process.

Ultimately, a loss adjuster looks at how and why your property has experienced the damage it has and evaluates whether the damage is caused by something which you have insured against.

 

What Does a Loss Adjuster Do?

Calculator and pen on worksheet

First and foremost, loss adjusters are to establish whether and to what extent the insurance company must pay out to you for your suffering. As such, the loss adjuster might check the following things:

–    That the proper insurance is in place to reimburse you for your losses.

–    That all the conditions and requirements in the policy have been or are being met.

–    That any damage or loss to the house is within the terms covered by the property you signed.

–    That you are claiming the right amount in insurance.

–    That they are the only valid items put in the insurance claim.

In other words, a loss adjuster makes sure everything is above board on both sides of the table, and the insurance company pays the policyholder a fair amount of money.

 

Who Pays for a Loss Adjuster?

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Typically, an insurance company will appoint a loss adjuster to handle your claim, who the insurance company will pay for themselves. However, you usually can instead hire your own loss adjuster to put forth a claim on your behalf, at the cost of a monthly rate or a percentage of your settlement figure. Your insurance might cover the cost of paying for your loss adjuster, depending on your policy.

If you think you might want a loss adjuster, or you need any loss adjustment advice, as structural engineers in Cornwall we have worked with leading loss adjusters and insurance companies as well as the general public on the diagnosis and correction of problems in policyholders’ homes including subsidence, landslip, flood, fire damage and other insurance claims. Get in touch, and we will be more than happy to provide you with our expertise.