If you’re making an insurance claim that’s likely to have a value of more than £3000, your insurance company will probably send out a Loss Adjuster.Many people are unclear on the difference between a Loss Adjuster and a Loss Assessor. In this post, we look at the important points that all policyholders need to know, especially when they’re making a claim.
What does a Loss Adjuster do?
A Loss Adjuster is appointed to investigate your claim by your insurance company. Their first task is to establish whether your insurers are liable for your claim, so that it can be dealt with under the terms of your policy. They then decide what, in their opinion, it should cost to repair the damage or replace any lost or stolen items.
Loss Adjusters are usually members of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters. However, it’s arguable that their independence is compromised by the fact that they are appointed by the insurance company, who the pays their fees. They also submit their report directly to the insurer and policyholders are not usually given a copy.
So, while Loss Adjusters may claim to be impartial, they rely on insurance companies for their business. To win this business they have to follow certain service criteria and they’re partly judged on how much money they save insurers, either by minimising a claim or even rejecting it altogether.
It’s not surprising that settlements where both the policyholder and Loss Adjuster are in total agreement are rare. This can be an issue, as insurers won’t release interim funds or payments until they have been requested and sanctioned by the Loss Adjuster. If policyholders find themselves in lengthy discussions with a Loss Adjuster, it can delay these interim payments, which would assist policyholders in an emergency situation. As a consequence, many policyholders simply accept a Loss Adjuster’s initial settlement proposal to avoid further ‘hassle’ and delays.
Once a ‘Form of Acceptance’ has been signed it becomes a full and final settlement of any liability that an insurers may have. If any further issues come to light after this form has been signed, the Loss Adjuster and insurers will not consider them under that particular claim.
One way to avoid these problems is to employ a Loss Assessor to act on your behalf throughout the process of submitting and agreeing an insurance claim. A Loss Assessor will have the knowledge and expertise to decipher your policy’s complex working, which means they can make you aware of all benefits available. They can also explain the full level of cover your policy provides, including any additional items that could form part of your claim.
What does a Loss Assessor do?
Loss Assessors help ensure that policyholders receive the best and most equitable settlement, rather than the minimum that a Loss Adjuster might propose and an insurer would like to pay.
Many Loss Assessors work on a ‘no win - no fee’ basis and this is usually a percentage of the final amount paid to the policyholder by the insurer. As you can see, it’s in a Loss Assessor’s best interest to ensure that a policyholder receives every penny they’re entitled to under their policy.
The way an insurance claim is prepared and presented is just as important as how it’s negotiated and settled. That’s why it’s important for policyholders to appoint a Loss Assessor as soon as they realise that they have a claim.
Unfortunately, many policyholders wait until things start to go wrong before speaking to a Loss Assessor. This might be when a Loss Adjuster tells them that they’re not entitled to claim, or when the Loss Adjuster tries to reduce the amount they’re claiming, often quoting “small print” in the policy.
Some policyholders may try to negotiate their insurance claim themselves, but they are often unaware of the amount of work and effort that goes into pursuing a successful claim. On the other hand, a good Loss Assessor will be experienced in negotiating hundreds of successful claims over the years. That’s why policyholders enjoy a better final settlement if their Loss Assessor manages their claim.
Key points to remember
When you’re faced by the prospect of dealing with an insurance claim, it’s important to remember the difference between a Loss Adjuster and a Loss Assessor.
A Loss Adjuster’s role is to protect the interests of your insurance company, not yours as a policyholder. The lower the final pay out, the better a Loss Adjuster is seen to have done.
On the other hand, a Loss Assessor acts on your behalf as the policyholder. They are there to provide expert knowledge and help at a time when you may need it most.
It’s easy to believe that your insurance company’s Loss Adjuster is central to a good outcome. In fact, having a professional Loss Assessor acting for you is much more likely to help you receive a full and fair settlement.
About AKA Claims
AKA Claims are a firm of independent Loss Assessors, who work on a ‘no win-no fee’ basis.
If you would like help with an insurance claim, just call us now on 0800 285 1610 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, please just complete our Contact Us form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.