What is a loss adjuster and how do they affect my home insurance claim?

When you make a claim on your home insurance, you might get a visit from a loss adjuster. Find out what loss adjusters do and how they can affect the outcome of your claim.

When you make a claim on your home insurance, you might get a visit from a loss adjuster. Find out what loss adjusters do and how they can affect the outcome of your claim.

Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
4
minute read
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Last Updated 20 OCTOBER 2022

What does a home insurance adjuster do?

If you’re the victim of a burglary, fire or flood and make a large insurance claim, your insurance provider will probably hire a loss adjuster.

The job of the loss adjuster is to investigate your claim by assessing the scope of the damage or loss you have suffered and ensure you’re claiming the correct amount.

Although the loss adjuster will be employed by your insurance provider, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their priority is to cut the value of your claim. In some cases they might conclude that you are claiming too little and increase the value of your payout.

What do loss adjusters look for?

An appointment will be made for a loss adjuster to visit you at home, as soon as possible after you have submitted your claim.

Their priority will be to assess whether your insurance policy covers you for the loss. While they’re at your home, the loss adjuster will look at:

  • the cause of the incident
  • the value of the loss or damage
  • whether you’ve met your insurance policy’s terms and conditions

The loss adjuster will often take photographs of any visible damage. This will support their findings and make sure your claim’s validity isn’t questioned later on.

Are loss adjusters impartial?

Loss adjusters work for your insurance provider. However, there are impartial industry bodies who set out codes of conduct they must adhere to. These are the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters, the General Insurance Standards Council and the Association of British Insurers.

What’s the difference between a loss adjuster and a loss assessor?

While loss adjusters are appointed by your insurance provider, a loss assessor is someone you can appoint to liaise with the loss adjuster on your behalf. Every policyholder has the right to appoint a loss assessor, although they normally only tend to come on board when people aren’t happy with the way a claim is going.

What can I do to speed up the claim process?

You can speed up the claim process by giving your loss adjuster receipts for any lost or damaged items, as well details of any emergency repair work you’ve had done.

It’s important not to throw anything away until you’ve spoken to your insurance provider and the loss adjuster has visited. Every example of damage is evidence supporting your claim.

What can I do if the loss adjuster makes changes I’m not happy with?

If you don’t agree with any changes a loss adjuster makes to your home insurance claim, you can hire a loss assessor to investigate the claim on your behalf.

Rachel Lacey

Insurance expert

“Loss adjusters aren’t here to invalidate your claim or cut your payout. Their role is to find the quickest, fairest way to settle the claim. If you’re not happy though, you can appoint a loss assessor to manage the claim for you.”

Can a loss adjuster mean my claim is rejected?

In some cases, a loss adjuster can collect information that results in your insurance provider rejecting your claim.

Reasons for this might include:

  • Not having the right level of insurance cover
  • Withholding information
  • Damage being the result of wear and tear (which isn’t covered by home insurance)
  • Not adhering to the terms and conditions of your policy

To avoid having your insurance claim rejected, it’s a good idea to read your policy documents to ensure you know what is and isn’t covered. You should also check that you have enough cover to meet your needs.

Frequently asked questions

Who pays a loss adjuster?

Your insurance provider pays for the loss adjuster. Their role is to assess your claim and agree a settlement between you and your insurance provider.

How do I find a loss assessor?

You can appoint your own loss assessor to work on your behalf. The Institute of Public Loss Assessors is the professional body representing UK loss assessors. They can link you to an experienced assessor in your area. 

Before appointing your own loss assessor, check how they charge for their services. Some charge a percentage fee based on the value of your claim, others don’t charge any fee but you’ll need to use their recommended contractors for any necessary work.

Can I hire a loss adjuster, rather than a loss assessor?

Yes, you can. Chartered loss adjusters are highly qualified, so this may cost you more. You can find loss adjusters who work with policyholders through the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters.

Who decides how much my claim should be: the loss adjuster or the insurance provider?

That depends. In some cases, the loss adjuster may be authorised to settle the claim. In other cases, they simply make recommendations to your insurance provider.

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