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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 insurance 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 insurance loss adjusters do and how they can affect the outcome of your claim.

Written by
Helen Phipps
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
3 min read
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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 loss adjuster’s role is to investigate your claim by assessing the scope of the damage or loss you’ve suffered and to 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’re claiming too little and increase the value of your pay-out.

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 submit 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 with codes of conduct that loss adjusters 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 insurance loss adjuster receipts for any lost or damaged items, as well as details of any emergency repair work you’ve had done.

If you have any photographs of your items before they were damaged, that could also be helpful.

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 an insurance loss adjuster makes to your home insurance claim, you can hire a loss assessor to investigate the claim on your behalf.

Author image Rachel Lacey

What our expert says...

“Loss adjusters aren’t there to invalidate your claim or cut your pay-out. Their role is to find the quickest, fairest way to settle the claim. But if you’re not happy with how your claim is going, you can appoint a loss assessor to manage the claim for you.”

- Rachel Lacey, Insurance and money expert

Can a loss adjuster mean my claim is rejected?

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

Reasons for this might include:

  • Not having the right level of insurance cover
  • Withholding information
  • Damage from wear and tear (home insurance doesn’t cover this)
  • Not adhering to your policy terms and conditions.

To avoid having your insurance claim rejected, read your policy documents so you know what is and isn’t covered. You should also check 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?

To find a loss assessor, contact The Institute of Public Loss Assessors, the professional body representing UK loss assessors. They can link you to an 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 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 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 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.

Can I see the loss adjuster’s report?

Not usually. But you can ask the loss adjuster what conclusion they’ve reached and for an explanation of their findings.

How to deal with loss adjusters

When dealing with loss adjusters, it’s important to have all the necessary information to hand. That may include your insurance documents, any receipts, or photographs and other evidence.

Beyond that, it’s a case of being honest, polite and knowing your rights.

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Helen Phipps - insurance expert

Having worked in both sides of the industry, Helen’s a real insurance expert. She’s worked directly with several insurance providers and now Compare the Market. She’s always searching for the cheapest prices for customers and is passionate about saving people money. Being married with two kids, Helen knows all about the cost of living and the benefits of having the right products and insurance for the whole family.

Learn more about Helen

Rachel Lacey - Insurance and money expert

Rachel’s a self-confessed money nerd who’s been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She spent 17 years writing for Moneywise, including a few years as Editor, and likes making complicated subjects like insurance, pensions, investing and tax, easy for people to understand.

Learn more about Rachel

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