Tips from Our Adjusters of the Roundtable

board room 5th postOur Adjusters of the Roundtable series is going great and the ladies have really offered up some valuable information on what goes on in the life of an adjuster. These conversations give adjusters the chance to speak to us and to each other at a more in-depth level so we can further understand what goes on in the world of adjusters. Keep a look out for our continued posts of the roundtable discussion and one-on-one interviews so we can truly make this the Year of the Adjuster!

We’re still looking for nominations for our “Star Adjuster” series as we continue to learn great things from talking to some of our adjusters. We can’t wait to see what else is in store for us, so be sure to keep submitting your nominations!

Our group comes to us from AMERISAFE, a specialty provider for small to mid-sized employers in hazardous industries in over 30 jurisdictions. They utilize Field Case Managers, who carry low claims workloads in order to spend more time with employers and their injured workers, facilitating prompt resolution of claims. Our four adjusters are in different jurisdictions and have different responsibilities, but we still see a similarity in the way they spend their time and what they think is important about their job

We all know that new workers’ comp adjusters have a lot to learn when they start in the industry. It is a good idea for companies to take some time to train new hires on the ways of the job but we also know there are just certain things that adjusters have to experience to learn. We asked our experienced adjusters to offer some starting advice to new employees who are just starting out.

What is a tip you would give to new adjusters?

Nancy:  Be honest with everybody you’re dealing with. I have insurers that don’t really want you to repeat something to a claimant or vice versa, claimants who don’t want you to repeat something to the insurer. I like to be upfront with everybody about the process, because we don’t have anything to hide if we do what we’re supposed to do and that includes evaluating claims. Don’t try to deceive an injured worker on what a case could be worth- honesty goes a long way.

Sometimes in order to settle a claim you have to be creative and think outside the box. But your overall goal should be to look at the big picture and always look towards resolving the claim.

Anna:    It can be difficult to set aside your personal feelings when you’re dealing with some of these claims, because they can become very frustrating. At the same time you also have to look at what may happen with the claims, especially if it’s in litigation. You have to kind of weigh everything out- understand what your liabilities could be if things did not go very well for you at a hearing and understand what the value of the claim may be, regardless of what your personal feelings might be. You have to kind of set that aside even though it may make you sick at times to pay certain dollar amounts to people. You have to understand the laws of your jurisdiction. You have to understand whether you have liberal or conservative judges, those sorts of things. All of that comes into play when you’re talking about trying to get that claim resolved, especially the ones that may be in litigation.

It’s a very hard thing to learn. It takes a long time to set aside your personal feelings about a claim and get that claim resolved.

Tabitha:   There are two things I would offer as advice. Do a thorough investigation, and then from there learn to recognize red flags from the beginning. Know when it looks like a claim may go south. Learn to know when to settle that claim, we all know some of those claims don’t get better with time. I think that’s something that adjusters will acquire over time, to wait for the most opportunistic time to be able to settle. Make sure you’ve got all your evidence and the facts together. You do a cost-savings analysis in accordance with the law and the statues on your area but try to avoid negative outcomes.

Karen:   I would tell them to leave no stone unturned in their investigations. Don’t believe everything the claimant tells you. I always try to put myself in the shoes of any legitimately injured claimant, and treat them like I would want myself or my family member treated in the same type of situation. I try to be compassionate and make them feel like they are not just a number. This job allows us to forge those types of in-person bonds with them, and through their positive feedback I know I and Amerisafe made a difference.

Got any other tips for adjusters? Let us know on our LinkedIn group!

What's your take? Continue the discussion with others over at the WCInsights LinkedIn Group.
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