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At its heart, insurance is a promise. When something bad happens, insurance companies promise to compensate the customer for that loss. And it’s claims professionals who fulfill that promise.

Insurance claims professionals have a number of job titles, but there are basically two main categories:

  • Professionals who primarily work in offices to facilitate processing of policies and claims
  • Professionals who work in the field to examine losses

Claims professionals who primarily process claims are called claims clerks, claims representatives, policy processing clerks or claims analysts. Claims professionals who work in the field are primarily called claims adjusters or claims investigators.

You might even find some companies who swap out the word “claims” with “resolution” to describe the intended outcome rather than the process. In these cases, the Claims Department might be referred to as the Resolution Department.

Here’s what it takes to enter a claims career.

Undergraduate degree required? Depends on the role. Some claims careers only require a high school degree. For more specialized roles, different undergraduate degrees are preferred based on the types of claims they handle. For example, a business or accounting degree would be beneficial for claims careers specializing in handling financial claims, a legal background would be beneficial for someone handling workers compensation and product liability claims, and a criminal justice degree would be beneficial for a claims investigator.

Advanced degree required? No.

Additional requirements? Different states have different licensing requirements.

Typical career path: Young professionals begin their careers working on smaller claims, under the supervision of more experienced professionals, and progressively handle larger cases and gain more responsibility. Some claims professionals, particularly field professionals like appraisers and examiners, receive additional on-the-job training to understand greater technical details of cases they handle, like damage to automobiles and buildings.

Salary range:

  • Entry level: $45,000 to $55,000
  • Senior level: $60,000 to $70,000
  • Median: $64,000

Entry-level job titles:

  • Claims Representative
  • Claims Processor
  • Claims Adjuster
  • Claims Resolution Specialist
  • Claims Assistant
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