Loss adjusters and loss assessors: who pays?

Published August 16, 2013

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I had a conversation with someone recently who wanted to know the difference between a loss adjuster and a loss assessor. It confuses many people, and we frequently have to explain this when we first meet someone who needs to make an insurance claim.

Both of them are involved in the claims process, but their roles could not be more different. So here’s a brief summary of the difference between them – including the answer to a question we are often asked regarding how each are paid.

Loss adjusters are employed and paid by your insurer. Their role is to assess your losses and negotiate the settlement with you on behalf of the insurer. They will decide what will be covered by your claim and what will not.

Loss assessors are independent and work on behalf of the policyholder, negotiating with the loss adjuster and settling the claim. A loss assessor’s aim will always be to ensure the policyholder receives what they are entitled to. Their fees are paid by the policyholder – but only if there are any fees to be paid.

In most cases our services are provided free-of-charge. Many of the claims we handle involve the reinstatement of a property and, if our clients decide to use our combined professional team of loss assessors and approved building contractors, then we won’t charge for handling the insurance claim.

Sometimes, loss assessors are referred to as ‘public loss adjusters’. So this can make it even more confusing. If in doubt, just ask the question: who are you working for and who is paying you?

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