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Insurance Career Path: Claims

Find out if a career in insurance claims is right for you. Learn about claims adjuster jobs, claims examiner jobs and insurance claims investigator careers today!

By Lisa Nichols

Some of the best insurance jobs are in the claims department. Insurance claims examiner jobs, claims investigator careers and insurance adjuster jobs all relate to investigating and paying customers for claims submitted to an insurance company. Depending upon the specific job, you may be called upon to provide appraisals, investigate people or events related to a claim or to negotiate a settlement. Some of the most common insurance claims careers are adjusters, examiners and investigators:

* Claims adjuster jobs involve evaluating, investigating and settling claims. There’s a great deal of training involved for this insurance claims career. Claims adjusters have to learn the policy backwards and forwards and they must also learn a great deal about the items insured.

* Claims examiners review the work of the people who work in the claims adjuster jobs, making sure all policy guidelines have been followed throughout the claims process. People who work in claims examiners jobs provide a helpful bird’s eye view to average costs for hospitals, doctors and repair work that helps keep reported claims manageable and reasonable.

* Folks who have decided upon a claims investigator career usually only step in when fraud is suspected or something seems unusual about a claim. Claims investigators often work closely with law enforcement officials and private investigators, and do a lot of the investigative legwork themselves, too.

It takes a unique, strong-willed individual to work in one of the best insurance claims careers. Some things you can expect from a career in insurance claims:

* You’ll have a lot of paperwork in a claims adjuster or claims examiner job. You’ll typically spend several hours a day completing out claims reports and some occasional weekend or evening work playing catch-up is not uncommon.

* A claims examiner job requires some restraint and thoughtfulness. As hard as it seems to do, you can’t sympathize - or empathize - with everyone who calls into the claims department with a claim. You can apologize for their loss and tell them you hope everyone gets through it ok. That’s allowed. But you have to be wary of policy language and the legal department’s concerns regarding language you can use on the phone with a claimant. In other words, you can’t promise anything before the claim has been investigated.

* All states require some kind of licensing for insurance claims jobs. No matter what the state requirements are, plan on spending time getting a license and completing annual continuing education for a career in insurance claims.

* Quickly advance your career when you work in the insurance claims department. Choose insurance claims careers and you’ll always have opportunity to move into a supervisor or manager role. You might also choose to move from one specialty to another specialty (property to casualty, for example), thereby increasing your knowledge and overall value to the company, too.

What you can expect to earn from a career in insurance claims.

Depending upon which insurance claims career path you choose, you might start around $28,000 - $32,000 and over time advance to the $70,000 range or higher, if you choose to move into management. In addition, bonuses, expense accounts and company cars are not uncommon for these insurance claims careers.

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