The Fight Goes On for Loss Adjusters as the Pandemic Continues
The insurance industry in the UK is no stranger to dealing with unexpected circumstances impacting their services. In the last 20 years, insurers in the UK have had to deal with the aftermath of claims filed by businesses and individuals following natural catastrophes.
While insurers absorb the impact of such events as a whole, loss adjusters are the ones that often face the brunt of groundwork. Their responsibility grows tenfold in the face of an event such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re talking about the challenges that these loss adjusters are facing and will face in the coming months as the UK continues to fight the fight against the virus and its new variant.
Generally, a loss adjuster is responsible for assessing, investigating, and then eventually settling claims on behalf of the insurer they’re representing. You can consider them as a part of the on-field team in the general insurance industry.
They are tasked with the responsibility to establish the root cause of the loss an individual or businesses incurred and whether it validates the claim they have filed. They determine whether their claim is covered by their policies and how they can access it.
In the wake of COVID-19, challenges facing loss adjusters in the UK have complicated their business-as-usual processes. Unable to conduct physical inspections, loss adjusters have to shift to virtual site investigation.
The first challenge in conducting inspections through virtual means is technology. In order to be accurate in their assessments, it’s imperative that loss adjusters have sufficient technology to do due diligence.
Secondly, virtual assessments may not always translate the whole picture. What we mean is that loss adjusters are trained to detect fraud and dishonesty in what may seem like exaggerated claims.
This is a very present issue as research shows fraudulent claims rising during times of economic distress. In fact, there have been reports where insurers witnessed up to 40% increase in fire claims in the UK during the lockdown. Approximately 36% of those claims were later considered as arson.
Without the ability to meet the claimant in person, adjusters might not be able to gauge imperceptible behaviours and physical signs of fraud.
If there comes a situation where the adjuster was unable to provide an accurate assessment of potential fraud, the adjuster might be liable for recovering the insurer’s outlay.
But the loss adjuster’s fight doesn’t end here during the pandemic. They are at risk of facing scrutiny and potential claims against themselves if they neglect to apply exclusions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to the fact that insurers have increased the level of meticulousness when it comes to the analysis of policy wording.
Lastly, there is a high possibility that businesses and individuals in the UK might be underinsured and unaware of it. Loss adjusters will have to take these circumstances into account when they hand out assessments for claims made in the following year.
With the challenges for loss adjusters still, a present reality, insurers and loss adjusting firms need to be very careful with how their teams handle claims. Trained loss adjusters with experience in handling claims during unprecedented circumstances will add much-needed expertise to your team.
This is where Adjusting Appointments can be of assistance, recruiting the best candidates that simplify the process for your organisation.
Writen by: Nick Fraser on 2021-03-02
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