So what exactly is a loss adjuster?

Insurance might not be the sexiest industry but there are probably a ton of insurance roles that you never knew existed. For example, say your house has been broken into, your house has been trashed and some of your stuff has been stolen. How does the insurer work out how much to pay you? Enter the loss adjuster.

It might seem like a straightforward job, but it was tough enough to make Daniel Day-Lewis back out of a movie role. Intrigued? Tulay, who's been a loss adjuster for over 4 years, shared details of a typical day.

Age – Mid-30s

Location – Melbourne, Australia

How did you get the role?

I responded to a job advertisement on Seek simply calling out to “all insurance professionals”. It turned out to be recruitment consultant in Sydney, a one man band who was a semi-retired ex-insurance professional. I explained to him that I was trying to find a job in which I could utilise both my educational background (engineering) and work experience, and loss adjusting was his answer. He sent my CV to a loss adjusting company in Sydney, who subsequently passed on my details to our Melbourne office and here I am 4.5 years later!

What does a typical day look like for you?

On a good day: I get up bright and early, get ready and run out the door by about 6.45am. Then coffee!!

On a bad day: My kids will get up before I leave and interrupt me a minimum of 50 times while I’m trying to get ready (to clarify - on the days that I work, their dad gets them ready and takes them to kinder/school). I’ll leave by 7.30am if I’m lucky and get stuck in heavy traffic!  Then coffee!!

We don’t really have specific “start” times in our office; everyone is treated as an adult and responsible for managing their own time. Most of us are early starters, so will start our day at around 7.00-7.30am and leave when we’ve achieved what we wanted to for the day or simply had enough!

Once I’ve had my coffee, I’ll get cracking on my claim files and work on each as required. Typically, I may conduct a site visit (or two), send off requests for information, review/analyse any information which may have come though, send any outstanding first or final reports or analyse and prepare settlement proposals.

As we are consultants, we have to record our time, which gets entered on a daily basis. Therefore, the end of my day will comprise of tidying up my timesheet and submitting it to our amazing administration staff for entering.

At the end of a good day: I’ll go to my parents’ house, they would have cooked dinner for us and we’ll sit down and eat as a family. Then I’ll skip off home, get the kids ready for bed and have some me time to wind down.

At the end of a bad day: I’ll pick up my kids from my parents' house, rush home, cook, wash the dishes, bath the kids etc. etc.  – I don’t think I need to bore you with any more details concerning household duties. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to enjoy some me time before simply crashing!

What do you love and not love about the job?

I love the fact that every single claim is different. The circumstances, type of insurance policy etc. can be similar but they are never the same. Therefore each assessment is ‘an individual’ and tackled based on the circumstances. Believe it or not, there isn’t anything that I don’t love about the job!

Credit: CiteHR

Credit: CiteHR

What’s something that people may not know about the job?

Aside from the fact that not many people know what a loss adjuster is (!!), I think people don’t realise how challenging it is from a ‘people skills’ perspective. Whilst we are (mainly) engaged by insurers and ultimately report to them, we have to ensure that all parties (the insured person, their insurance broker, possibly a third party or two) are satisfied with the outcome achieved, which can be quite challenging at the best of times!

Tell me a funny story from work.

There are many but one that jumps out at me involves a situation in which the person making the claim submitted two quotations for review, for repairs required to their property as a result of the incident. The two quotations were so different in both their scope and pricing, I was going to need to obtain a third quotation. Prior to doing so and in order to finalise the matter in a more timely manner, I sent the insured person a settlement proposal. After reviewing our settlement proposal, they asked if we could obtain a third quotation but if it was less than our settlement proposal, if we could revert to that figure without telling their insurers...need I say more?!