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Jobs Outlook: Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners and Investigators




Employment of claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations over the 200212 period. Opportunities will be best for those with a college degree. Numerous job openings also will result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

Many insurance carriers are downsizing their claims staff in an effort to contain costs. Larger companies are relying more on customer service representatives in call centers to handle the recording of the necessary details of the claim, allowing adjusters to spend more of their time investigating claims. New technology also is reducing the amount of time it takes for an adjuster to complete a claim, thereby increasing the number of claims that one adjuster can handle. However, as long as more insurance policies are being sold to accommodate a growing population, there will be a need for adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators. Further, as the elderly population increases, there will be a greater need for healthcare, resulting in more claims.

Despite recent gains in productivity resulting from technological advances, these jobs are not easily automated. Adjusters still are needed to contact policyholders, inspect damaged property, and consult with experts. Although the number of claims in litigation and the number and complexity of insurance fraud cases are expected to increase over the next decade, demand for insurance investigators is not expected to grow significantly, because technology such as the Internet, which reduces the amount of time it takes to perform background checks, will allow investigators to handle more cases. Competition for investigator jobs will remain keen because the occupation attracts many qualified people, including retirees from law enforcement and military careers, as well as experienced claims adjusters and examiners who choose to get their investigator license.

As with claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators, employment of auto damage appraisers should grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Insurance companies and agents continue to sell growing numbers of auto insurance policies, leading to more claims being filed that require the attention of an auto damage appraiser. The work of this occupation is not easily automated, because most appraisals require an on-site inspection. However, employment growth will be limited by industry downsizing and the implementation of new technology that is making auto damage appraisers more efficient. In addition, some insurance companies are opening their own repair facilities, which may reduce the need for auto damage appraisers.