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What is an adjuster?

Auto Insurance

By Anne Valentino | December 21, 2017

In the world of insurance, there are a number of terms and roles that most people just don’t really understand. We have found that many people aren’t sure what an adjuster is and what their exact role is in the insurance industry. This article has the answers!

An adjuster is responsible for estimating the extent of damage to your property and how much it will cost to repair it or replace damaged property. You will encounter an adjuster if you have a claim – they are essentially an investigator and will help determine the amount your claim is settled for or what will or won’t be covered by your insurer.

Will I Ever Have to Interact with an Adjuster?

If you have a claim, you will interact with an adjuster. The insurance company will put you in touch with an adjuster who will work with you to understand what happened and determine the extent of the damage. You will likely have at least one conversation with the adjuster and may be asked by them to provide documentation such as a written statement, police report, photographs, inventory list and receipts. They’ll review all evidence as part of the process. The faster everything is provided, the faster the claims process will be.

For example, if you’re involved in a car accident, you’ll call your broker or insurer to open a claim. An adjuster will then call you to arrange an interview. They’ll ask you about the accident and gather documentation such as the police report, medical invoices and damage estimates.

What Types of Questions Will an Adjuster Ask Me?

It is important to prepare yourself prior to discussing your claim with an adjuster. Keep in mind that most such interviews do take place via phone, although some take place in person. They will have a list of questions to get the details about the claim, including what happened and when and what was done.

For example, here are some questions you might be asked if you’re involved in a car accident:

  • Where did the accident ocurr?
  • What time of day was it?
  • What was the weather?
  • Was there a lot of other traffic?
  • What happened?
  • What did the other driver(s) or passenger(s) do?
  • Was anyone hurt?
  • Did the ambulance take anyone to the hospital?
  • Were the police involved and if so, do you have a copy of the report?
  • Was your vehicle driveable? If no, where was it taken?
  • Have any repairs been done to your vehicle or have you had an estimate done?
  • Were there any witnesses to the accident?
  • Did you get the other driver(s)’s insurance and contact information?
  • Did you receive any follow-up medical care or have you had any subsequent medical issues?

If you have a property insurance claim, your adjuster may ask:

  • When did the claim occur?
  • What happened?
  • What was damaged?
  • Do you have any photos or videos of the damage?
  • Have you received any estimates for repair or replacement?
  • Do you have an inventory of lost or damaged items?
  • Has any cleanup or remediation happened?
  • Have any temporary repairs been done?
  • Are you able to live in your home?

Of course, the questions asked will reflect the type and severity of your claim.

The more detailed you are with your answers, the more knowledge the adjuster will have in trying to sort out your claim. We encourage you to be honest and willing to work with your adjuster.

If you do run into a situation where you feel the adjuster is not doing a good job or is difficult to work with, you should speak to your broker and explain the situation. They may be able to help facilitate the relationship or speak to your insurer on your behalf.

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