What is the difference between a loss assessor and a loss adjuster?
What is the difference between a loss assessor and a loss adjuster?
Loss assessor and loss adjuster are both terms you’ve probably heard before. Although loss adjusters and loss assessors sound similar, they each have very distinct roles. Understanding the difference between the two could have a significant impact on the size and speed of your insurance settlement when making a claim.
In this article, we’re going to go over the key differences between the two roles and answer the questions; What is a loss assessor? What is a loss adjuster? And what is the difference between them?
OK, so what is the difference?
In simple terms, while the loss adjuster works on behalf of the insurance company, representing their interests throughout the insurance claims process – an insurance loss assessor works for you, the claimant, and only represents your interests. Insurance assessors are never paid by the insurance company.
Let’s look at what the job of each one is and how a loss assessor can help you receive the maximum claim you are entitled to.
What is a Loss Adjuster?
Insurance companies will try to pay the minimum settlement to policyholders – they do not help you make a claim. In contentious situations, or ones in which the insurer believe they have a justification for paying below the amount being claimed, they will appoint a loss adjuster to carry out an investigation.
What does a Loss Adjuster do?
An insurance company’s loss adjuster will investigate the cause of the claim and determine whether or not it was covered by your insurance policy. The loss adjuster may visit the site of the loss to assess the damage, take photos and gather evidence. Based on their observations, the loss adjuster will prepare a report for the insurance company detailing their findings.
Loss adjusters’ conduct is regulated by the CILA (Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters).
Chartered loss adjusters are supposed to act impartially but it is important to remember they are insurance professionals contracted by the insurance company. Their fee is paid by the insurer so it is in the interest of the loss adjuster to keep the insurance settlement as low as possible.
When you are making an insurance claim, it is important that you as the policyholder have someone fighting your side too. You need to have someone who is representing your interests and maximising your entitlement. This is where a loss assessor is necessary.
What is a Loss Assessor?
An independent loss assessor is appointed by the policyholder to manage an insurance claim on their behalf. Insurance loss assessors will help with all aspects of the claim, from securing interim payments, to filling out paperwork to meeting and negotiating with the insurance company’s loss adjusters.
Their exact claims management role will differ depending on the claim being submitted. Insurance assessors can even help arrange alternative accommodation if you property is in need of extensive repairs.
Insurance assessors are specialists at negotiations and are well versed in the terms and conditions of insurance policies. They also have extensive experience of how insurance companies process claims and can give you expert claims advice to increase your chances of securing the maximum settlement.
In the process of an insurance claim, the loss assessor is the only party that has your interests at heart. As their fees are paid as a percentage of your final claim, it is in their interests to secure you the best settlement possible for your claim.
Loss assessors are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)‘s codes of conduct.
When Should I Appoint a Loss Assessor?
Often, people will only appoint a loss assessor when they are unsatisfied with their insurance company’s proposed settlement or when their claim has been denied. Though a loss assessor is always useful to have during these times, the earlier in the process a loss assessor is involved, the greater chance of increasing your claim they have.
Many policyholders will go through the entire, arduous process of liaising with the insurance company themselves. After that process, and all the stress it involves at an already trying time, they may still have their claim denied or be paid significantly less than they deserve.
In order to maximise your insurance policy settlement offer, it is important to involve a loss assessor at the earliest possible time. Ideally you should contact a loss assessor as soon as you intend to make a claim. As this article from the Guardian puts it; getting a loss assessor is the best insurance policy.
Appointing a loss assessor early in the process increases the chance of a better settlement, and it also frees up your time. You no longer have to deal with the insurance company personally, as the loss assessor will take care of all the paperwork and negotiations for you. This allows you to get your life back to normal. For many policyholders this alone can be invaluable as they work to recover from the distress of the fire, flood, impact or theft that led to the claim.
While it is possible to reopen and be successful with declined claims, it is imperative to appoint a loss assessor as soon as you decide to make an insurance claim.
Why Choose ICS?
Insurance Claim Solutions (ICS) have a team of experienced professionals with over 30 years of combined experience in dealing with insurance companies and representing policyholders to get them the pay-outs they deserve.
At ICS we understand that the circumstances leading to a claim can often be traumatic. This is why we always take time to listen to your concerns taking them into account when conducting negotiations. We also:
- Help manage the claims process from start to finish.
- Survey and assess property damage.
- Assist with the provision of temporary accommodation.
- Organising clean-up, salvage and security for your premises.
- Present a report to the insurers on the damage.
- Negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get the best contractors for your repairs.
- Deal with claims that have initially been declined by the insurance company.
- Deal with claims which are experiencing delays.
How Can ICS Help You?
Hopefully you are now clear on the difference between insurance assessors and insurance loss adjusters. If you require help with an insurance claim, ICS can help manage the claims process from start to finish. This allows you to begin moving on with your daily life. We will keep you updated on the status of your claim as it progresses:
- After an initial phone call one to discuss your claim and determine how we can best help a loss assessor will conduct a no-charge visit to your home or premises.
- Once there, they can discuss your claim in person and make a preliminary assessment of the damage.
- You will then receive a proposal stating the fee structure and outlining how we intend to progress with negotiating your claim with the insurance company.
- ICS will then manage and negotiate your claim on your behalf, keeping you informed of its progress along the way.
- ICS will present your claim to the insurance company with the goal of maximising the final insurance pay-out.
For more information about the claims process or a free consultation phone call to discuss how to progress with your claim, call 01273 573888