A crucial trait of an exceptional insurance claims adjuster is understanding the importance of empathy for the insured during what can be an emotional and trying experience. True, a good adjuster must fully comprehend the details of the loss and be able to effectively write a report for the carrier, but an experienced adjuster will take the time to listen and emphasize with the insured.
An adjuster — whether independent or employed by the carrier — is a de facto ambassador of the insurance carrier’s brand and reputation, starting from the first time that he or she speaks with the insured to schedule the onsite inspection and continuing throughout the claim process. This is why experience and professionalism are critical.
Even if an adjuster has seen a certain type of loss a thousand times, it is vital that they not become apathetic or jaded. What seems like a cut and dry event to the adjuster may be exceedingly traumatic to the insured, who likely has both a monetary and emotional investment in their property. An insured might want to share how the loss is impacting their family, finances, or their workload. An experienced adjuster will treat this moment as an opportunity for a caring, positive customer experience.
Adjusters are people too
Almost by definition, claims adjusters are involved only when there is property damage, which means that stress is always part of the job. It can be exhausting to keep a tight schedule while managing expected deadlines and submitting time-sensitive reports.
Understandably, there are times when it is difficult to prioritize the insured’s needs before our own, but an experienced adjuster has learned that they are in a position to demonstrate compassion and serve the needs of the insured.
Because of the differing demands of their roles, catastrophe (CAT) claims and daily claims adjusters typically operate quite differently.
Our sweet spot for hiring experienced adjusters
Mason Claims has found that adjusters who have actively worked claims for a minimum of five years and have inspected both large and small claims will have the working knowledge and ability to understand the needs of both the policyholder and the insurance carrier.
In addition, our experience with managing the claims process has shown the importance of not only the adjuster having the right skillset for the assignment, but the importance of using daily adjusters for day claims and CAT adjusters for catastrophe claims.
And this has served our customers well.
With two hurricanes hitting the US coast at the same time in 2017, it became clear that we had adopted the correct business model by only deploying our CAT adjusters to Texas and Florida and keeping our daily adjusters in place to service the day-to-day needs of our carrier customers.
And because Mason Claims meticulously screens all of our independent adjusters for not only experience with job-related skills but also interpersonal skills, carriers know that their insureds are going to receive the professional service and compassion they expect and deserve.
>> Learn more about how Mason Claims handpicks the most professional and experienced independent claims adjusters.
>> Contact us today to discuss how Mason Claims can assist with your claims needs.
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Why is it becoming costlier to close a property claim in Texas and other heavily litigated states?
In part, it is because the lengthy appraisal process of settling property claims has become an opportunity for everyone involved — from policyholder attorneys to restoration contractors to the professional appraisers themselves — to legally grab as much of the settlement money as possible.
Unfortunately, the appraisal process is the norm in Texas, causing the lifecycle of many claims to be lengthened by weeks and sometimes months. The longer the loss file is open, the more money both the insurance company and the policyholder stand to lose.
What is the appraisal process?
If the insurance cash payment of a property damage claim is disputed between the insured and their insurance carrier, then the claim can move to the appraisal process. Each party then will hire an independent professional appraiser who is competent in their understanding of the loss value and evidence, and who is disinterested from both parties. You can learn more about the appraisal process here.
Under normal circumstances, policyholders have 60 days from the date they receive their claim disposition letter to request appraisal if they want to dispute the amount of loss their carrier will pay for the claim. (Of note, this deadline was recently extended in Texas for Hurricane Harvey-related claims.) But here’s the kicker: If the adjuster did not perform a thorough initial inspection of the claimed loss, evidence/damage could easily have been discarded, making any appraisal inaccurate or even impossible.
Why experience is crucial for appraisal claims
An experienced adjuster will know to treat each loss assignment as if it will go to appraisal; this is one of the many reasons that Mason Claims uses only seasoned claims adjusters. A skilled and knowledgeable adjuster will record, photograph, and expertly examine any and all possible related property losses, compiling the data he or she collects into a comprehensive report and uploading it into the carrier’s claims tracking system.
Mason Claims’ experience in states where it’s the norm to take property losses directly to the appraisal process — such as in Texas —helps the carriers we work with move through the appraisal process more efficiently, thus saving them both time and money. Our carrier-clients know that our team of experienced independent adjusters will have meticulously recorded all damage and done thorough due diligence from the commencement of Mason Claims’ involvement.
The future of the appraisal process…and how to fix this problem
The good news is that many state legislators are aware of the burden the current appraisal process is having on their constituents, and they are working to simplify the process. But until legislation is passed to make the appraisal process simpler, faster, and more transparent, you must ensure that your reports and claim files are thorough and all relevant information and evidence is correctly documented.
With a long history of working claims associated with public adjusters and the Texas appraisal process, Mason Claims knows that the best way to build a strong claim file is to utilize experienced property adjusters. A knowledgeable adjuster will make the difference between a long, drawn-out appraisal process — due to a poor inspection and sub-par documentation — and a factual report with extensive supporting evidence showing a detailed loss report.
Ready to get started? Contact Mason Claims today to learn how our experienced claims adjusters can simplify the appraisal process for you and your company.