What’s the difference between a loss adjuster and a loss assessor?
Loss adjusters and loss assessors can play an important role in large insurance claims, but what exactly do they do? Here, we take a look at what the differences between them are and how their roles can affect the outcome of your claim.
- What is a loss adjuster?
- What is a loss assessor?
- How much does a loss assessor cost?
- When should you hire a loss assessor?
What is a loss adjuster?
Loss adjusters are employed by insurance providers to assess a claim once it reaches a certain threshold. Their role is to provide an unbiased report on what happened, gather supporting evidence, review policy cover, and if the claim is accepted, help the insurer agree a settlement amount with you. Loss adjusters will typically be looking at the following:
- The cause of the claim.
- The value of the items that have been lost or damaged.
- The terms and conditions of your policy.
- The information previously provided to insurers about a risk
One area that loss adjusters might focus on is underinsurance. This is when you only insure your home, business, or belongings for a fraction of its true replacement or rebuild value. If a loss adjuster determines that you’re underinsured this could lead to a significant reduction in the amount the insurer agrees to pay you for your claim.
It’s common for insurers to use loss adjustors for any large, or complex, claim as they will attend the site and discuss the situation with you in person. A loss adjusters’ primary goal is to ensure that a claimant is given a fair settlement for a successful claim, within the context of their policy. A loss adjuster is instructed by the insurance provider who will pay for any fees charged.
For more information about professional and ethical standards, visit the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters which is the official member organisation.
What is a loss assessor?
On the other hand, a loss assessor works on your behalf and can manage the claims process for you if you feel that your claim is particularly complex and would like external support. Their goal is to work with insurers to ensure you get the best possible outcome. It should not normally be necessary for you to require the services of a loss assessor, particularly when you insure through an insurance broker with their own dedicated claims team to help you through the process.
Your insurer’s claims team may be able to assist you with the same practical details relating to your claim as a loss assessor would. This can include:
- making sure your property is secured after a break-in;
- organising alternative accommodation for you if your home is uninhabitable;
They can also resolve urgent issues such as liability and secure funds for essentials such as stock and equipment.
How much does a loss assessor cost?
Loss assessors usually take a percentage of your final settlement. The amount will vary but it’s often around 10%. Some loss assessors won’t charge for their services directly but instead, you’ll have to agree to use services and firms they recommend (for example, builders). The loss assessor will then take commission from them.
Always double check which payment model is being used and make sure you’re happy with the expectation. Any fees or agreement you pay to a loss assessor will of course reduce the total settlement you are left with and this will need to be factored into your decision.
When should you hire a loss assessor?
Due to the costs involved we do not recommend using a loss assessor unless absolutely necessary. If required, ideally you should hire a loss assessor right at the very start of the claims process or as soon as you realise that your claim is likely to be of high value. Similarly, if you think your claim might be complex it’s worth considering a loss assessor. You can of course employ a loss assessor at any point of the claims process.
Insurance products for peace of mind
At Alan Boswell Group, we have our own in-house claims team who are dedicated to getting the best possible outcome for our clients. We understand how important it is to get the right insurance. That’s why we prefer to take a tailored approach, listening to your needs in order to create a bespoke policy for your peace of mind.
Our advisors can help ensure you avoid pitfalls such as underinsurance – particularly for businesses, where reduced compensation can stop you getting back on your feet.
To see how we can help, take a look at our personal, business, and landlord insurance hubs. You can also speak to an expert member of the team by calling 01603 218000.