Loss Adjusters

Unlike a loss assessor, a loss adjuster works on behalf on the insurance company, although they go to great pains to appear impartial. At the end of the day however, their bill is paid by your insurance company and they are duty bound to keep costs reasonable if they want more work from the insurer. Having said that, the loss adjusters I used to work with were very professional and were as impartial as they possibly could be. In contrast the loss assessor can be employed by you to negotiate the claim on your behalf but in my opinion, unless your claim is very complex, it's not worth the expense.

In the insurance industry in my day, loss assessors didn't have a very good name, in fact we called them 'ambulance chasers' as they started out by following injured persons to hospital and then trying to enrol them as a client while the patient was being treated, giving them all sorts of horror stories as to how they might not be covered or how the insurance company might shaft them or how much cash they could get them in compensation. Vulnerable patients did sometimes employ their services and end up out of pocket when the loss assessor's bill took almost all of any settlement received and sometimes more.

Loss adjusters are normally used by insurers in household and commercial property claims. Small claims do not normally require their services unless their is some doubt as to the validity of your claim. It's important to list everything that has been damaged and/or stolen and get a replacement value from catalogues etc., plus you should provide as many original receipts as you can and or photos of the items, although this is not always practical. You might find that the loss adjuster asks you to produce replacement receipts for items before the insurers settle but you can negotiate this with them and perhaps ask for an interim payment in the meantime.

You should also check your policy to see if you have replacement cost cover as you may find that your insurer will only settle after a deduction for wear and tear e.g. if your carpet is burnt but is 5 years old, then you are not going to receive the full cost of a new carpet unless you have replacement cover in your policy.

Always remember it is better to try to stay calm and negotiate, as if you get upset straight away, this erodes your chances of getting a fair settlement. Understandably, claims can be very traumatic for the individual and loss adjusters and insurers do understand this but screaming at them doesn't help.

Uninsured Losses

Basically, uninsured losses are those out of pocket expenses that are not covered by your insurance policy. Normally in the case of a car accident claim where you were not responsible ... More…