Here are the main functions and obligations of claims adjusters:
- Investigate the causes of the loss.
- Confirm the coverages included in the insurance contract.
- Review the police report and other relevant documents, such as the inventory of damaged or stolen goods.
- Take the claimant’s statement as well as those of potential witnesses.
- Estimate the damages and losses suffered in order to settle the claim.
Claims adjusters are also obliged to explain the detailed procedure and the services to be rendered, including:
- Emergency measures to be undertaken, for example, drying walls and floors (done by an insurance restoration specialist that the insured can choose himself).
- The identification of individuals hired to carry out these emergency measures.
- The arrangements he intends to take concerning damaged property, after you give your consent.
- The authorization to purchase of replacement goods.
- The application of coverage for living expenses or payments for business interruption, if a business suffered the loss.
- How the amount of the settlement is estimated (bases of calculation, depreciation method, etc.).
- The timeline for settling the claim.
Mandating one’s own claims adjuster?
Although claims adjusters employed by an insurer are also there to settle your claim, you may, at your own cost, retain the services of a “public” claims adjuster. This adjuster can help you with tasks that the claims adjuster employed by the insurer would not do, for example, helping to make an inventory of property the insured is claiming. However, a public claims adjuster cannot settle the claim. He or she can only negotiate on your behalf with the claims adjuster mandated by the insurer.