Insurance Claims Investigator
Insurance claims investigators are employed by insurance companies to look into and validate claims made by policy holders. They check that each claim is covered by the terms and conditions of the policy, and investigate the cause of loss or damage.
Also known as
- Claims Assessor, Insurance
- Negotiator - Insurance Claims
Video: - David: Insurance Claims Inspector
As an Insurance Claims Investigator, you will be responsible for investigating claims which are submitted from policy holders.
Insurance cover is available to help customers who have suffered losses caused by events such as theft, accident or illness. You pay a set amount each month called a premium and you will get a written policy document. This sets out the conditions under which the insurance company will provide a settlement by way of repairs, replacement or reinstatement of items.
If you file a claim to the insurance company, this is because you have had an event that needs attention. These claims could be from:
- An accident
- If you have lost an item
- Your possessions being stolen
- Your house suffering from fire damage
- Flood or storm damage
- Large scale disasters.
When a customer contacts their insurance company to register a claim, they are likely to speak to a Claims Handler. In some cases, the Claims Handler will deal with that case all the way through to a settlement. In other cases, the Claims Handler will ask an Insurance Claims Investigator to check the case.
Insurance Claims Investigators also collect evidence in order to check that the claim is genuine, and to assess the level of the settlement. You might have to interview claimants who are upset, shocked or distressed, especially if death or injuries are involved.
The Insurance Claims Investigator might need to visit damaged buildings or vehicles in order to gather the evidence needed to determine a settlement. This means collecting evidence by talking to Solicitors, the Police, employers and eye-witnesses.
Throughout each case, you must be aware that the claim could be false or exaggerated.
Some claims need to involve an Independent Loss Adjuster who acts as an impartial link between insurer and claimant, and helps to organise assistance such as building or repair work.
Some insurance firms, and many Insurance Claims Investigators and Loss Adjusters, specialise in a particular type of insurance such as personal injury, aviation, motor or marine.
Insurance Claims Investigator might need to visit a place of work to speak to employers and witnesses, examine accident records, photograph and measure sites and equipment, and collect exhibits for use in evidence. You might give health and safety advice to an employer to try to stop further incidents.
Many Insurance Claims Investigator are based at home. They use a laptop, digital camera and digital voice recorder to keep records and prepare reports; these are sent electronically to their head office.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
As an Insurance Claims Investigator, you'll need:
- To be thorough, methodical, confident and decisive.
- Communication skills.
- Negotiating and interviewing skills.
- To be able to show tact, sympathy and patience when interviewing claimants who are upset, shocked or distressed.
- To prioritise and manage a busy case load.
- Report-writing skills.
You are very likely to need a full driving licence.
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Inexperienced Insurance Claims Investigators can earn £14,000 - £18,000
- Experienced Insurance Claims Investigators may earn £18,000 - £25,000
- Senior Insurance Claims Investigators could earn more than £50,000
If you are self-employed, you could be paid a hourly rate of around £15 per hour.
Hours of work
Investigators usually work 35 hours, Monday to Friday. Occasional evening or weekend work might be required.
Where could I work?
Employers are insurance companies.
Opportunities for insurance claims investigators occur in towns and cities throughout the UK. 24% of financial services industry employees are based in London.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on employers' websites, through the Chartered Insurance Institute careers website, on Universal Jobmatch, at Jobcentre Plus, and on job boards, such as:
- Online Insurance Jobs.
- Insurance Times Jobs.
Entry Routes and Training
Some trainee Insurance Claims Investigators might spend several years doing office-based claims handling work before moving into this area.
Most employers also recruit graduate trainees from a wide range of academic subjects. Some degree and HND business studies and economics courses include insurance options. There are several degrees and postgraduate courses in risk management available, for example, the MSc in Insurance and Risk Management.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
An Intermediate, Advanced or Higher Level Apprenticeship is also a great place to start.
Take a look at our information article
Insurance claims investigators might study for the professional exams of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) or the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA).
With a degree, HND, A levels or BTEC level 3 qualifications, you can register for the CII Advanced Diploma exams.
Some degrees could give exemptions from certain of the CII exams.
Entrants without the recommended prior learning can take the CII Certificate and Diploma in Insurance before starting the Advanced Diploma.
Holders of the Advanced Diploma can apply for election to Associateship of the CII.
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) offers both the International Certificate and Diploma in Enterprise Risk Management by flexible distance learning.
Insurance Claims Investigators can progress to management posts. Some might move into loss adjusting.
Previous experience working in a background in financial or business-related work. A clean, current driving licence is usually necessary.
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
Working as an insurance claims investigator could be an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to. This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.
For direct entry to the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Advanced Diploma exams, the recommended prior learning requirement is either 3 A levels or equivalent, or the Diploma in Insurance.
Entry to insurance claims careers is also common for those with higher education (HE) qualifications such as an HND, foundation degree or degree.
For entry to a degree course in any subject, the usual minimum requirement is:
- 2/3 A levels
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects.
UCAS tariff points from the ifs Certificate or Diploma in Financial Studies might be accepted in combination with other qualifications.
Alternatives to A levels include:
- BTEC Level 3 qualifications (A subject such as 'Insurance Claims Handling' would be great, although this is not widely available)
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and Maths.
To get onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship, you will need at least two A Levels, or an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A-level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Some entrants have a background in financial or business-related work. A clean, current driving licence is usually necessary.
Some employers prefer to recruit people with a higher education (HE) qualification.
If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in. These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) might relax the usual academic entrance requirements for adults who wish to take their exams.
Distance learning is available from the CII for professional qualifications.
Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Leicester and the University of Reading all offer an MSc in Risk Management by distance learning.
- 9% of people in occupations such as insurance claims investigator work part-time.
- 12% have flexible hours.
Professional institutesProfessional institutes have the following roles:
- To support their members.
- To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.
For more information on the institute(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.
Publisher: Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)
Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ
Tel: 0845 2573772
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)
Skills for the financial, finance and accountancy sectors
Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ
Tel: 0845 2573772
London Institute of Banking and Finance
Address: 8th Floor, Peninsular House, 36 Monument Street, London EC3R 8LJ
Tel: 020 7444 7111
Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
Address: 42-48 High Road, South Woodford, London E18 2JP
Tel: 020 8989 8464
Worshipful Company of Insurers
Address: The Insurance Hall, 20 Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HY
Tel: 020 7600 4006
Institute of Risk Management (IRM)
Address: 6 Lloyd's Avenue, London EC3N 3AX
Tel: 020 7709 9808