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Insurance Adjuster

Insurance adjusters investigate insurance claims, make recommendations regarding the payment of benefits from insurance policies, and negotiate payments and settlements.

  • Avg. Salary $59,508.00
  • Avg. Wage $31.92
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook below avg
Also Known As

Adjuster, Investigator

NOC & Interest Codes
The Insurance Adjuster is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Insurance Adjusters
NOC code: 1233.1
METHODICAL

Interest in analyzing information when inspecting automobile, home and other property damage and when examining records and reports

SOCIAL

Interest in negotiating the settlement of claims

directive

Interest in recommending settlements or legal action

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Insurance adjusters may be employed by insurance companies, work independently or under a fee-for-service agreement. Those employed by insurance companies are called staff or company adjusters. Independent adjusters who are self-employed or work for an independent adjusting firm may represent an insurance company or an insured person.

Insurance claims may be the result of events such as auto accidents, fires, industrial accidents, theft, product defects, professional errors or aircraft mishaps. In general, adjusters:

  • investigate the causes and origins of an insurance claim
  • determine whether the event giving rise to the claim is covered by the insured person's policy
  • obtain evidence that there has been, in fact, a loss covered by the policy.

When insurance claims are presented, adjusters:

  • determine whether or not the policy holder's claim is valid (for example, who is responsible for an accident?)
  • obtain evidence that the amount being claimed is proper
  • advise the parties involved
  • negotiate settlements.

Determining and documenting the validity of a claim often involves interviewing or corresponding with policy holders, claimants or witnesses. It also involves obtaining statements and copies of documents from police officers, medical personnel and others who have specialized expertise.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Experienced adjusters work alone most of the time. While they are training, they work under close supervision. They may work primarily in an office environment writing reports and making phone calls, or often work away from the office interviewing people and gathering evidence. Depending on the nature of the claims they handle, adjusters may be required to do a significant amount of travelling to inspect damage and interview claimants, witnesses and police officers. Having to defend their decisions in mediation, settlement conferences and mini-trials can be stressful.

Evening and weekend work is sometimes required. Adjusters may be on call after regular office hours.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Insurance adjusters need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to remain calm and impartial when they are dealing with people who may be excited or under extreme stress
  • the ability to put claimants at ease
  • the ability to work on several projects at the same time
  • strong organizational skills.

They should enjoy analyzing information and taking a methodical approach to their work, negotiating with people and making decisions.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Insurance adjusters need a combination of related education and on the job experience.

Employers prefer to hire people who have at least a high school diploma. Some post-secondary education is a definite asset. Adjusters who do out-of-the-office investigations need a driver's license.

People already working in the insurance field normally take training offered by the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC). The ICC offers two designation programs, the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP). ICC courses are available in class, virtually and through distance education by designated post-secondary institutions. Information on requirements to earn a Fellowship CIP designation can be found at the IIC website.  

Before enrolling in an education program, prospective adjusters should discuss their training options with potential employers.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Insurance Adjuster

Insurance adjusters investigate insurance claims on behalf of insurers or individuals, make recommendations regarding the payment of benefits from insurance policies, and negotiate payments and settlements.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Insurance Act and Insurance Agents and Adjusters Regulation, you must be must be licensed by the Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) to work as an independent insurance adjuster in Alberta.

What You Need

There are three levels of certification in Alberta. Level 1 applicants must: (1) pass an examination, (2) submit a security clearance document, and (3) be recommended by an authorized person. Level 2 applicants must: (1) have 24 consecutive months of claims adjusting experience, and (2) successfully complete six courses, including certain specified ones, offered by the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC). For Level 3 certification, which is required to work without direct supervision, applicants must: (1) meet Level 2 requirements, (2) hold an appropriate professional designation from IIC, (3) successfully complete specified IIC courses, and (4) have acted as an adjuster for at least 60 months within ten years prior to application. All certificate holders must carry Errors and Omissions Insurance. For official, detailed information about licensing requirements, visit the AIC website or contact AIC.

Working in Alberta

Insurance adjusters who are licensed by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for licensing in Alberta if licensed adjusters in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Insurance Council
500, 222 - 58 Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta  T2H 2S3
Phone number: 403-233-2929
Fax number: 403-233-2990
Website: www.abcouncil.ab.ca

Alberta Insurance Council
Suite 600 Bell Tower                                                                                                                 10104 - 103 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 0H8
Phone number: 780-421-4148
Fax number: 780-425-5745
Website: www.abcouncil.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Some insurance adjusters begin as clerical workers or telephone adjusters in the claims departments of insurance companies or in independent adjusting firms, and gradually expand their knowledge and experience in the field.

With additional training, telephone adjusters can be promoted to claims examiner, field adjuster, supervisor or claims manager positions.

Insurance adjusters are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1312: Insurance adjusters and claims examiners. In Alberta, 95% of people employed in this classification work in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,000 Albertans are employed in the Insurance adjusters and claims examiners occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 39 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As insurance adjusters form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for insurance adjusters.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Insurance adjusters are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1312: Insurance adjusters and claims examiners. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Insurance adjusters and claims examiners occupational group earned on average from $26.14 to $38.61 an hour. The overall average wage was $31.92 an hour. For more information, see the Insurance adjusters and claims examiners wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Alberta Insurance Council website: www.abcouncil.ab.ca

Insurance Institute of Canada website: www.insuranceinstitute.ca

Career Connections website: www.career-connections.info

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Nov 01, 2012. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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