Insurance claims handlers are familiar to anyone who has suffered an insured loss of property. They are the individuals who investigate the validity of clients' insurance claims and help determine the compensation paid by the insurer. They look into the claim itself, and then work alongside the insurance agent and underwriters to determine the amount of covered damage and the proper amount to be paid to the policy holder.
Although the customer may be the first contact to a claims handler in smaller insurance claims, it is typically the broker or insurance agent who brings the handler's attention to a claim. Normally, the agent has already made a preliminary assessment related to the event which caused the claim and related damages; the claims handler then investigates the event itself, as well as the causes, insured property claimed, and value of that property. He/she not only searches for accuracy in loss assessment, but also works to determine and eliminate any fraud from the claims process.
In this investigatory process, the claims handler will typically review official reports from any emergency personnel, police, or other first responders. The handler should expect to make on-site visits for property damage, and will typically document his/her findings with cameras and drawings. He/she will then assess claimed property damage values and determine the level of compensation as stated by the insurance policy. The handler works with the underwriter and any loss adjusters within his/her insurance company to assess the extent of the claim to be paid and will eventually provide a recommendation for the amount of the loss covered and the insurer's required compensation.
To work as an insurance claims handler, a person must typically have at least an associate's degree in a business-related field with an emphasis on assurance or actuary study. Many insurance companies prefer applicants with junior-level experience in claims adjusting or handling for these positions, as practical experience is held in high regard. Insurance claims handlers should expect to work primarily in office environments, but frequent and possibly-extended travel is also a necessary part of the job.
Insurance Claims Handler Tasks
Records first report claim details and information via telephone or mail.
Processes basic claims within policy guidelines.
Answer coverage and claim questions for policyholders.
Maintains claim logs and subrogation files and case files.