The Compact Book of Adjusting Property Claims Third Edition: A Primer for The First Party Property Claims Adjuster (Paperback)
What Is an Adjuster?An "adjuster" or "insurance adjuster" is, by statutory definition, a person, co-partnership or corporation who undertakes to ascertain and report the actual loss to the subject-matter of insurance due to the hazard insured against. Insurance companies create, by issuing an insurance policy, a contractual obligation to pay valid claims from those insured. To do so insurers understand that the person insured is not able to prove the cause and extent of loss without assistance. Therefore, insurers dispatch a person with special knowledge - the adjuster - to separate fact from fiction, to establish cause and origin of the claimed loss, and determine sufficient information to enable the insurance company to determine the amounts necessary to indemnify the insured as the policy promised. The adjuster is also present to distinguish the valid claim from a claim for which the insurance company is not liable under its policy, whether due to the terms and conditions of the policy or because of attempted fraud. Some policies, like those issued under the National Flood Insurance Program Act (NFPA) specifically state that the claimant must use his own judgment in estimating the amount of loss and that the assistance of an insurance adjuster is a "courtesy only." The insured must still send a proof of loss within 60 days after the loss even if the adjuster does not furnish the form or help the insured complete it. Most insurance policies issued by commercial - non government supported - insurers accept substantial compliance with the policy conditions and require their adjusters to assist the insureds to fulfill the conditions.The insurance adjuster is seldom, if ever, mentioned in a policy of insurance. The strict wording of the first party property policy sets the obligation to investigate and prove a claim on the insured. In order to fulfill the covenant of good faith and fair dealing insurers created the insurance adjuster to fulfill its obligation to deal fairly and in good faith with the insured. The adjuster was created to assist the insured to comply with the material conditions of the policy, to thoroughly investigate the policy and the claim, and to protect the interest of the insurer and protect against claims that were not due to a peril insured against or were false and fraudulent.