Claims handler job description

When people take out insurance, you probably assume the minute any damage is done that a sizeable payout is put straight into their bank account without delay.

But the payout process can be lengthy, especially if the insurance company decides to investigate or feel the policy conditions haven’t been adhered to. Claim handlers are responsible for helping claimants get their cash.

 

So, what will I actually be doing?

Working on behalf of individuals or large companies in need of insurance compensation, you’re there to get the claim processed quickly and correctly, ensuring the insurers hand over money if your clients are within their rights to claim it.

Working on the case throughout the whole process, claim handlers are there every step of the way, from the first notice to the insurance company right up the minute the cash is put into the claimant’s bank account.

As you’re probably expecting, there’s lots of paperwork to be done, but your day job will also include:

  • Liaising with the claimant and advising them on any issues that arise
  • Help the insurer investigate the claim to ensure it’s genuine (sadly some people do lie)
  • Working with risk analysts, brokers and underwriters
  • Ensuring a fair settlement and good customer service for the client

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The nitty gritty

Looking for a regular 9-5 job so you can have a healthy work/life balance? Then you’ve chosen the right career. While you may have to work the odd overtime during busy times, you’ll have a set routine with the possibility of flexible hours too.

Expect to spend a lot of time in front of the computer and on the phone though, there’s lots of talking and negotiating to be done in this job.

Your working environment will be fairly traditional as you’ll be based in an office. Although expect to do some travelling when you visit insurance brokers and clients to discuss the case.

If you decide the job isn’t quite for you, the skills you’ve learnt as a claim handler can also be applied to other insurance roles including risk analysis and broking.


Money, money, money

So while you’re helping other people claim money, how much can you expect to take home?

Typical starting salaries for trainees and junior roles range from £14,000 to £18,000. But as you grow in experience and responsibilities, more senior roles can earn between £40,000 and £100,000. Cha-ching.


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The good points...

Knowing you’re responsible for a happy customer because their claim was dealt with professionally and ended with a good settlement at the end; there’s no feeling like it.


...and the bad

It’s not the easiest of jobs to do, and it can get particularly stressful and complex if claimants have broken the terms of their insurance policy. Telling people they won’t be getting any money will never be easy to do.


Is there study involved?

Good news for graduates, you can become a claims handler with pretty much any degree, although the more relevant it is, the more you’ll stand out to employers. Useful degree or HND subjects include:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Accounting/finance
  • Business/management
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Maths/statistics


As with any job, any work experience you can get will only benefit your career, whether it’s in a graduate training scheme or if you choose to work your way up internally (ideally from an administration or underwriter position).

If you choose to enter the profession in a training scheme, expect to be learning on the job and attending courses for up to two years, with an additional two years study if you’re looking to become a specialist.


OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?

There’s a lot of liaising in this job, so you’ll need to enjoy working with others and be a great communicator in order to win a settlement for your client. Other useful skills include:

  • An analytical mind
  • Good decision maker, even when under pressure
  • Numerical skills 
  • Good at absorbing information
  • Ability to hit deadlines
  • Good negotiator
  • Ability to use own initiative and still work in a team

 

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