Difference between Loss Adjusters & Loss Assessors

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Have you ever wondered what a Loss Adjustor is?  What about a Loss Assessor?  Perhaps you already know roughly what they both do but would like to know more?

The following article will attempt to elucidate!

Contents

  1. What is a Loss Adjuster?
  2. What does a Loss Adjuster do?
  3. What is a Loss Assessor?
  4. What does a Loss Adssessor do?

What is a Loss Adjuster?

Loss adjusters are independant claims specialists who investigate complex or contentious claims on behalf of insurance companies.

All fees are paid by the insurance company in addition to the claim settlement.

What does a Loss Adjuster do?

The Loss Adjusters first role is to establish the cause of the loss and whether it is covered by the insurance policy.

They then write a report to the insurance company assessing the validity of the claim and recommending appropriate payment.

The main roles of the Loss Adjuster are to ;

a) visit the site of a loss to survey and assess the damage
b) Record details of the loss with photographs if possible
c) ensure that the site is secure after the loss by having doors and windows boarded up. This is vital to prevent any further losses occurring which might increase the claim still further
d) Recommending local repairers
e) Advise the policyholder and the insurance company on the most suitable way to carry out repairs by issuing a full report
f) Investigate and suspicious claims by inspecting records to establish that the property being claimed for existed
g) Liaise with other insurers to negotiate the spread of liability

What is a Loss Assessor?

A Loss Assessor is appointed by the policyholder when they need to submit a substantial or complex claim.

All fees are paid by the Policyholder.

What does a Loss Assessor do?

Loss Assessors will handle all aspects of the claims process, including;

a) Meeting with insurance company representatives or their appointed Loss Adjusters
b) Preparing the claim
c) Negotiate the best possible settlement of the claim
d) Deal with cases where a claim has initially been declined by the insurance company or where problems or delays have occurred in agreeing settlement

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23 comments

  1. Great article – the difference between a loss adjuster and a loss assessor is very subtle. Whilst they carry out similar tasks, who they do it for makes a mjor difference. I believe all businesses should know the difference between the two roles and understand how it can help their business recover from a major disaster like fire or flood.

  2. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am an independent insurance loss adjuster, would you kindly advise me if i can find guide books how to write insurance claims loss adjuster reports in order to help me writing my reports.

    will be thankful.

    Nasser

      1. Your kidding, you claim to be a loss Adjuster and need “books” on how to do reports? In my country a Loss Adjuster is a professional that has to comply with certain qualification standard to be a member of the professional institute governing a professional Loss Adjuster, you are not allowed to be called a Loss Adjuster unless you are a member.

        On going development is also a requirement where a certain number of “points” have to be gained annually to remain a member of the professional institute, these are called CPD points (Continued Professional Development).

  3. Hi,

    I run a major building company nationally servicing Insurance Companies and Loss Adjusters for Causation and Rectification reports, as well as the building rectifications required.

    Does anyone know if the Canadian system is similar, where by they have national or local building panels? And who are those players.

    Hoping that you can help, finding many dead ends and no one can really tell me how the Canadian system works and if there are oportunities in Canada similar to Australia?

  4. You could also point out that a Loss Assessor is likely to be with a client within 24 hours whereas an insurance appointed Loss Adjustor could take weeks to get things moving.

  5. I am a practising Chartered Loss Adjuster of 36 years standing – a dying breed (literally), sad to say. Your article is good, concise and describes the respective roles of the loss adjuster and public loss assessor very well indeed. However, it will be potentially misleading to the ordinary domestic customer or small business person and needs to be modified slightly. It indicates that an assessor’s fees are met under the claim, which is rarely the case. Claims presentation expenses have never been included in the indemnity provided by any kind of domestic or commercial property insurance and many policies expressly exclude such (just to emphasise the point), but in some cases businesses may have paid in advance for dedicated claims presentation cover from a small number of agencies who provide same as an add-on to commercial only property insurance policies. I’ve never come across one sold to domestic property risks, but we live in interesting times, and maybe there is such a scheme in place which has not yet come to my attention. The concept of insurers paying fees to a party whose sole responsibility was to protect the interests of the claimant was long in coming and met a lot of resistance from traditional quarters. It works perfectly well in most instances and is worth paying for in the majority of business situations for many and varied reasons which I don’t have time to explain. The claims presenter used in such schemes have to be accredited Chartered Loss Adjusters and there are good reasons for this too, which I also do not have time to explain.

    A loss adjuster, chartered or otherwise, has a professional duty to balance the respective interests of the insurer who is paying their fee as well as the customer, who is the end receiver of the service and has paid for it too in their premiums and the most severe and justified criticisms levelled against loss adjusters from the likes of the Financial Ombudsman Service tend to arise when the adjuster has fallen short in this respect (often due to poor training, inexperience or overwhelming day-to-day pressures exerted by the dumb process-driven systems which lie at the heart of so many modern IT heavy businesses who provide what passes for customer services in these troubled times).

    Public Loss Assessors can provide a first-class and invaluable service for those afflicted by disaster and, believe it or not, the really good ones even save the insurance companies a lot of unnecessary expenditure (this has to be seen to be believed, of course). They lack a chartered body to oversee their activities (thus no Disciplinary / suspension mechanism etc) and have no recognised dedicated qualifications or examination structure, which can enable folk of doubtful character and technical ability to claim professional status which they have neither earned by study not can demonstrate by their conduct. That said, some of the most brilliant assessors I have encountered didn’t have a recognised insurance qualification (or any other for that matter) to their name – these too are a dying breed, which is also a sad loss.

    1. Hi Sean,

      Many thanks for your update on this article – there are some very interesting background comments in there.

      I will change the article re Loss Assessors fees – thank you for pointing that out.

      Regards

      colin

  6. This article sums it up.
    If only all Policy holders were made aware of this from the start!
    Although Adjusters are independent they are still incentivised by insurers on keep keeping claim costs down. This then in turn affects the quality of the works provided.
    Loss assessors are made out to be against insurers/adjusters but this is not the case. Assesors simply try to work with the adjuster to achieve a fair settlement for the policy holder.

  7. Loss Assessors truly make a huge difference. But it is good to use the smaller firms as you will get more attention to detail on your claim as the larger outfits operate just the same as large adjusting firms. this something that should be pointed out too,

  8. I have tried making contact previously but no reply I need some advice regarding a claim on a new build within the two year period.
    If you cannot help can you please advise.
    Regards
    Colin

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