There are many integral roles within the insurance industry, but none affect a business’ profitability and success quite like the role of a claims adjuster. Adjusters, Investigators, and Estimators are your organization’s gatekeepers; they protect your business from fraudulent claims and ensure that payout is in line with a policy’s coverage.
When hiring new claims adjusters, industry experience, licensure, and other hard skills help hiring managers find top performers. However, in entry-level adjuster roles, where previous industry experience isn’t always a realistic prerequisite, identifying candidates’ who will grow into top performers can be more challenging.
When looking to hire new talent for your claims adjuster roles, it is important to assess the aptitude of your interviewees against the following 10 soft skills.
Many times, claims adjusters are investigating claims where hardship has fallen on the policyholder. When working with these clients and investigating their claims, it can be difficult not to let emotion color the assessment. Being compassionate to the policyholder’s strife while maintaining objectivity during the assessment process is a fine line to walk. Top-performing claims adjusters know how to walk that line gracefully.
2. A Strong Communicator
Professional and clear communication is vital to a claim adjuster’s success. In addition to taking clear, well-documented notes on site, insurance claims adjusters also communicate with policyholders, relevant experts, and legal counsel regularly.
Inside your organization, claims adjusters work closely with the claims account manager, risk analysts, and other team members assigned to the account. Not only do clear communicators have a positive impact on company culture, but effective communicators are also able to settle claims faster. This means your adjusters will be able to take on more volume, and you will see a larger ROI from your team over time.
3. Socially Perceptive
In addition to taking air-tight notes and keeping documents and records organized, claims adjusters must prioritize their responsibilities. Organization is critical to preventing oversight, lowering risk, and creating efficiencies that allow your team to produce accurate work faster.
The margin for error for a claims adjuster is very thin. Attention to detail is tantamount to your team’s production. In the interview room, inquiring about a candidate’s ability to stringently review documents and take detailed notes about damaged property is a must.
The negotiation and payout aspect of the claims adjuster job requires that your new hire must have sound judgment and feel confident about the monetary sum they are negotiating/approving. Though greener claims adjusters will need supervisor approval for a while, a candidate that does not demonstrate sound judgment and/or accountability in the interview room will not perform as effectively as the candidate that possesses these traits.
7. Takes Initiative
No top performer does the bare minimum. High-performing adjusters have developed their appraisal style by taking their training and building additional processes on top of that –processes that ensure the highest quality of work is always delivered.
A candidate who conveys they take pride in their work and iswilling to go the extra mile will be the kind of insurance adjuster who will save your business money in the long run.
8. Analytical Mindset
Not every claim is black and white. There will be times when your claims adjusters will run into cases that have some grey areas in terms of policy coverage and liability. In these instances, it is important to have an adjuster who has an eye for analytics.
Candidates who have a natural aptitude for taking multiple pieces of information and account for all of these moving parts within their final decision make for claims adjusters who can make sound decisions that are compliant with policy coverage – regardless of the unique circumstance of their case.
Sometimes claims adjusters need to be the bearer of bad news. Knowing how to talk to people who, because of recent circumstances, aren’t always the most level-headed is a must. Maintaining a firm yet professional demeanor during these conversations is one soft skills that is a must for your next claims adjuster.
Every case that your claims adjuster takes on will be unique. Because of this, the best claims adjusters are ones that can think outside the box and adapt to the circumstances (and personalities) of the case.
There may be times where –to fully investigate a claim –your adjuster may need to do a little more research than what they were trained to give. In these instances, it is helpful to have a personality that views these moments as opportunities to enrich their knowledge base.
Professionals who need every step in a process listed out for them may find this added work to be arduous and are more likely to cut corners to close a case as quickly as possible.
When interviewing candidates, start a dialogue about professional advancement and continuing education. Listen for subtext to glean if this is something your interviewee genuinely takes pleasure in.
The position of claims adjuster can be a great way for professionals to gain exposure to the insurance industry. However, not everyone who applies to this role will have an aptitude for it. By focusing your interviews for entry-level claims adjusters around these 10 soft skills and a candidate’s potential to be successful at your business long-term, not only will you find top-performing claims adjusters, but you will also find professionals who will positively impact the success of your business for years to come.