What’s the Difference Between an Automobile Insurance Adjuster and Appraiser?
Day after day, millions of vehicles travel our roads, resulting in thousands of accidents and the claims that go along with them. This creates job security for those working in processing automobile damage claims.
Automobile and motor vehicle property damage claims are handled by two different professionals, both of whom may be subject to various licensure requirements in the states in which they work: Automobile Physical Damage Adjusters and Automobile Physical Damage Appraisers. If you are considering a career change, which one is right for you? Let’s explore the differences between these two roles and how they work together within the insurance industry.
What Does an Automobile Physical Damage Appraiser Do?
Appraisers are a specialized group of professionals who inspect and appraise vehicle damage caused by an automobile accident or other incident and then forward the information to the adjuster for handling to conclusion. This can include reviewing photos of a vehicle’s damaged parts, researching replacement parts costs, determining labor rates, and ensuring that all repairs meet industry standards. They also provide estimates for repair costs for insurers to review before deciding about how much to pay out on a claim. The appraiser then works directly with insurance companies to make sure that all repairs are completed correctly and within budget. This means they need excellent research skills and knowledge about appraisal techniques and methodologies. The auto appraiser serves as the adjuster’s best resource for information, especially considering that they can make physical inspections of the vehicle and many times will talk directly with the parties involved in the claim.
After providing the initial estimate of damage to the adjuster, appraisers are frequently asked to assist in resolving various issues relating to a vehicle’s pre- and post-accident condition, performance, and value.
What Does an Automobile Physical Damage Insurance Adjuster Do?
The Automobile and Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Adjuster evaluates a claim, handles the investigation, evaluation, and ultimate conclusion of a loss in accordance with the insurance contract or issues of liability. They investigate the claim, contact relevant parties (such as claimants, witnesses, repair shops etc.), review photos or videos related to the incident in question, and then determine if coverage should be granted or denied based on their findings. All of this requires good communication skills, problem-solving abilities, strong analytical skills and knowledge of relevant laws and regulations pertaining to the type of claim being handled.
Typically, the adjuster will have the responsibility to:
* Verify the facts involving the loss.
* Research and confirm the availability of coverage and any loss payees.
* Determine the disposition of the auto and arrange an inspection of the vehicle by the auto appraiser.
* Secure and explain the repair estimate with the customer.
* Negotiate equitable settlements.
* Prepare various insurance forms and/or document the claim.
* Issue payment
* Provide customer service
The functions of appraisers and adjusters are highly specialized, and therefore each professional must understand the work and business needs of the other. Both an insurance adjuster and an appraiser play important roles in the insurance industry. While both jobs involve some investigation work in order to arrive at a conclusion regarding a claim, there are still some key distinctions between these two professions that must be considered when deciding which one is right for you. Consider your current skill set and interests before making your decision.
When considering a career in Auto and Motor Vehicle Property Damage Adjusting, sign up for AE21’s Automobile and Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Adjusting course. This course teaches both the art and the process of Auto and Motor Vehicle PD claims adjusting under the various insurance coverage you will encounter, and the preferred claims practices for adjusting and concluding those claims. You can enroll in Automobile and Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Adjusting at our eLearning platform HERE. If you already have an account with us, simply log in and select the course from the course catalog. If you do not already have an account, begin by creating an account and selecting your licensing state. You will then have access to our full course catalog for your state of licensure. For more assistance with creating an account and purchasing courses, please watch THIS VIDEO.