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What does an Actuary do?

In a world in which risk and uncertainty are present in all aspects of human life, an actuary is a skilled professional who has been trained in the assessment of those elements to determine their financial impact. Actuaries use their mathematical skills to evaluate the likelihood of certain events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes, then go on to tally the possible outcomes and propose measures to minimize the financial impact associated to them. For example, when a hurricane causes heavy damage to a certain area, an actuary must assess the risk of it happening again over the long term to be able to set prices for property insurance and reserves that will prevent future financial loss.

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an actuary?

Because of the specialization an actuary needs to be able to accurately assess risk and uncertainty, training is extensive and involves several years. When you are looking to become an actuary, you will need to place your focus on subjects such as calculus, probability and statistics, economics, finance, and business.

While courses in finance, math, economics, or statistics are desirable when you want to become an actuary, many different backgrounds can be helpful, including research and physics. This means you will require at least four years of college prior to becoming an actuary. In some cases, a master’s degree in math or actuarial science are a good choice if your undergraduate studies were in liberal arts or other unrelated subjects.

Once you have finished college and earned your bachelor’s degree, you will have to start taking a series of preliminary exams that will determine whether you have the necessary skills to become an actuary. These exams can take place over a span of 6 to 10 years, but passing the first two is the most important step forward into an actuarial career and will allow you to start out as an actuarial assistant. Eventually, with hard work and good skills, you will reach your goal of becoming an actuary and reap the benefits of what has been deemed as one of the most satisfying careers today.

What does an Insurance Adjuster do?

Do you like to help people and have a keen eye for details? Ever want to work in a job where you can apply detective-like skills? As an insurance adjuster, you can help clients after property damage or loss, or bodily injury. In addition, you can investigate these claims to make sure the proper party receives the settlement they are entitled to, or not entitled to. You can determine the validity of the claim and place a set value on what was lost.

insurance adjuster

Detecting the required skills

To be a successful insurance adjuster, you must be able to work with a wide variety of people. You must also be able to gather information, including taking photographs, statements, and write reports about claims that you receive. You can often work with professionals such as architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, and accountants and other professionals who specialize in their field. These people can help you to support your report for the claim. You also might be working with the person who has filed the claim to help them receive what is rightfully theirs.

Fields of opportunity

Because many businesses offer insurance, you could work for several industries, depending on what field fits well with you: property, auto, health and life insurance. Of course, most insurance adjusters work with an insurance company, but the job can vary greatly depending on which company you choose.

Some adjusters report to work every morning, while others call in from home to see what their daily docket holds. Some spend most of their time traveling from place to place and reviewing claims. On some occasions, long travel is needed for claims that involve large losses.

An eye for detail can be learned

There are no official educational requirements for insurance adjusters. Most of the companies that you would work for offer on-the-job training. The more keen an eye for detail and the quicker you pick up on things, could mean the faster you move up in the field. Though there are no formal educational requirements, experience will help you move within the field, and it can be a competitive field.

Helping others is always in need

The insurance adjuster field is growing as fast as the average job. The need for adjusters is expected to grow close to ten percent over the next decade, so if you are wanting to get into the field, start now to get some experience under your belt. The best opportunities within this field fall with health insurance companies.

Adjusting to the pay and perks

Many adjusters can receive bonuses as part of their job. In addition, many adjusters receive laptops, smart phones, and company cars to do their business.

You also may get to travel, depending on what industry you work in. If you show competence in your adjustment field, it can lead to promotion to managerial and administrative jobs within the company you choose. So detailed work and experience can pay off in this field.

What does a Public Adjuster do?

A public adjuster acts as a liaison between insurance policy holders and insurance companies during the claims process. The public adjuster prepares and presents claims to insurance companies, as well as negotiate on the claimant’s behalf to help them receive favorable settlements.

They might help a driver file a claim following an automobile accident, or help a homeowner document property theft and damage. Other types of claims might include damage from such natural and man-made occurrences as:

  • Flooding
  • Fire
  • Hurricanes
  • Vandalism

When helping businesses with claims, public adjusters might assist in determining business income, builder risk, causes for mechanical breakdowns and leaseholder interests, the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters says.

public adjuster

When navigating a claim, a public adjuster often works with professionals ranging from architects to accountants, engineers to lawyers, to help evaluate proper recompense. In this role, you might take photographs, written statements or even record audio and video statements to help establish a claim. If your claims are contested, you might work with attorneys and other expert witnesses to help defend the insurer’s determination of a claim amount.

Education and training for public adjusters

Companies prefer to hire college graduates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, but there are no formal educational requirements. Some college degrees are more suitable for the work than others, however. A degree in accounting or business might be well-suited to claims relating to financial loss due to workers’ strikes, damaged merchandise or equipment malfunctions. A degree in engineering or architecture might be suited to work in claims stemming from fire, flood or earthquakes. A legal background could lend itself to work in claims dealing with product liability, while a medical background could be beneficial to life insurance or medical claims, the BLS says.

Some states do not require much in the way of licensure, while others require adjusters to complete a licensure exam. Continuing education is crucial to the field due to the many-changing federal and state laws and court decisions that affect insurance liabilities and manner in which claims are handled.

Salary expectations and job outlook for public adjusters

Forty-six percent of public adjusters work for insurance carriers, while another 24 percent work for insurance agencies and brokerages. The BLS predicts the largest job growth for claims adjusters in the medical field due to insurance companies’ desire to minimize claims. Jobs also should be more plentiful in regions prone to natural disasters, such as in California where wildfires and mudslides are regular occurrences, Florida where hurricanes have a strong impact, or the south and Midwest, where tornadoes blow through with regularity.