Take a second look at a claims job

The unexpected rewards of a career path in claims

3 min read

Rare is the interview that a candidate tells me their childhood aspiration was to become a claims adjuster. I don’t fault them for this, as most of us start with career goals we can comprehend, like athletes, entertainers and astronauts. When those dreams fizzle, we start to self-examine our strengths and weaknesses, and seek guidance about where we might be able to successfully apply ourselves.

In my experience, claims handling is a career field that many individuals haven’t considered. For most people, “sales” is likely the first word they associate with insurance. But insurance is complex, and provides a plethora of career paths associated with helping customers that makes a claims career rewarding in many ways.

An opportunity to help others through difficult times

For those with a passion for helping people, claims is an opportunity to educate, as an accident can be an overwhelming time for an individual. Claims representatives are challenged with decoding coverages and liability for a customer. Admittedly, insurance is an industry where distrust exists when customers feel they weren’t fully made aware of their rights and options during a claim. When done correctly, a claims representative explains the claims process to a customer each step of the way, and that transparency can create a positive experience for a customer, despite the circumstances. The claims role is a rewarding opportunity to assist people during their time of need.

An opportunity for continuous learning

Before you assist in a claim, you have to “speak the language.” Each state has an intricate set of rules and regulations that, when applied appropriately, make sense. Applying these rules isn’t always easy and unique circumstances can make the job challenging. That challenge is one of the enjoyable parts of the role; one that makes claims representatives feel like they’re learning something new every day. A claims representative’s career tends to be the constant building of experiences, applied to unique situations with every claim. Tenured claims representatives are often called upon to share their knowledge with newer claims representatives, which provides another rewarding opportunity to act as a resource, sharing knowledge and mentoring peers.

An opportunity for growth

If career growth is your priority, claims adjuster jobs offer no shortage of possibilities. I’ve found that people’s unfamiliarity with claims seems to extend not only to what claims representatives do, but what other opportunities they can pursue within the field. To give you an idea, there are claims representatives for property damage claims and injury claims. Within property damage, there is commercial lines, personal lines, and estimatics. Within injury, there’s handling claims when our own insureds are injured, or when we’re liable for the injury to someone else. There is another claims process called subrogation, which deals with payments owed to and received by other insurance companies. There are claims representatives that handle special investigations, and representatives that handle catastrophe claims. There are still many more claims subsets, and within all of these roles are levels to grow based on the complexity of the claim. Of course, there are leadership opportunities for all of these roles, as well! And, if you think those paths are limited to claims roles, think again. Progressive’s CEO started her career as a claims adjuster. Again, if career growth is your priority, claims provides you numerous paths to pursue.

An opportunity that rewards

I wanted to be a baseball player growing up. As the likelihood of that faded, I started looking for a career where I could excel. Claims offered an opportunity for continuous learning, and to apply that learning in a way that helped others. Claims consistently provides new avenues to apply my skills, and the rewarding opportunity to share those experiences with others. If you’ve never considered claims before, or were unaware of the opportunity that exists within insurance, you should look at claims for your next career.

Discover more about a career in claims

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Cole Jansen is a Corporate Recruiter for Progressive Insurance. Starting with Progressive as a claims representative, he leverages his prior experience to help him determine job fit for various claims roles across the company.

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