They say that where there’s blame, there’s now a claim. With a world full of accident prone people, a claims investigator sorts the fraudsters from the real injuries.
So if you feel like becoming a modern-day Sherlock Holmes of the insurance sector, then this is the job for you.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Using some detective-like methods you’ll be investigating the validity of insurance claims and deciding who gets the money and who gets shown the door.
As well as assessing whether the claimants are telling porky pies, you’ll also be determining the level of liability and negotiating the figures once you’re satisfied that a pay-out is required.
You’ll be investigating different types of insurance claims, which could relate to:
- Property damage
- Bodily injury and medical issues
- Work compensation
Although these are the most popular things to claim on, there are many more to deal with.
Be prepared for lots of paperwork, as you’ll need to write some seriously detailed assessments to be sure that fraud isn’t being committed. Your daily tasks might include:
- Visiting the accident scene and investigating the circumstances
- Assessing a range of factual information including claimants background
- Checking details with policy holders, witnesses and other professionals (e.g.- police)
- Writing reports and collating information
- Protecting insurance companies from paying out to invalid claims
- Arranging payments and any other required services (e.g. builders, plumbers)
Giving advice on claims
- Liaising with solicitors and negotiating a payment
- Deciding who’s liable
Due to the nature of the job, you’ll be expected to make the right decision in a short amount of time. No pressure then…
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The nitty gritty
Normally your working day will be the regular 9-5, but don’t expect the traditional office surroundings to accompany it. Most of your job will involve visiting claimants or solicitors, so you’ll mainly be working at other people’s homes and workplaces.
Money, money, money
Since you’re dishing out money to other people, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to take home.
When you first start out, you can expect to earn between £11,000 and £26,000.
Once you’ve got some experience, you could earn anything from £40,000 to £60,000.
Of course this can vary depending on your company, your location and your role.
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The good points...
Alongside a good salary, many employers offer additional perks such as a company car, low interest on loans, profit share and cheap insurance.
...and the bad
Don’t get too excited about the regular working hours just yet. Sometimes you’ll have to work overtime, often at unsociable hours for investigating purposes (i.e. if you have to interview police that only work night shifts).
Just like being a real detective, there can be a dangerous element to the job. Because your workplace is always changing, visiting strangers that want money can put a slight risk on your own personal safety, so be careful out there.
Is there study involved?
Employers like to hire graduates that have studied subjects like:
As these subjects teach you some of the most important skills you’ll use in the job. However, don’t panic if these qualifications aren’t sitting on your CV as some of the larger companies offer graduate management schemes.
Don’t panic if you avoided the university campus, employers will also offer training for non-graduates too.
Alternately you can work your way up the insurance ladder by working in junior and clerical positions first, where you’ll learn some of the vital transferable skills and earn the role through promotions.
Previous experience in general insurance is always a bonus to have as there’s plenty of competition out there for this role.
Once you’ve got the job, most employers will give you further training for several years, where you’ll gain experience in underwriting, risk, personal safety and negotiating claims.
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Still fancy yourself as a claims investigator? Then you’re going to need some of these skills if you want to succeed in the job:
- Good communication skills
- An enquiring mind
Good numeracy and literally skills (remember, paperwork)
- Ability to adapt quickly to any situation
- Organised with good time management skills
- Able to deal with people in a compassionate manner (some will be in difficult circumstances)
- Negotiation skills
- Knowledge of insurance law
- Good decision maker, even under pressure