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What is a loss adjuster?

Find out how loss adjusters can affect your home insurance claim

Collette Shackleton
Written by  Collette Shackleton
Alicia Hempsted
Reviewed by  Alicia Hempsted
5 min read
Updated: 29 Feb 2024

If you need to make a home insurance claim, you might get a visit from a loss adjuster. Find out exactly what a loss adjuster does and how they can affect the outcome of your claim in this guide.

What does a loss adjuster do?

If you've been burgled or experienced a fire or flood and need to make a significant home insurance claim, your insurance provider may hire a loss adjuster.

A loss adjuster's main purpose is to ensure you're claiming the correct amount on your home insurance. They investigate your claim by assessing the extent of the damage or loss, and how much it will cost to fix it.

Once they have checked the authenticity of your claim and have negotiated a payout amount, they will report back to the insurers with their recommendations.

Just because the loss adjuster is employed by your insurance provider, it doesn't necessarily mean they will decrease the amount you will be paid. In some cases, they might suggest that you're actually underclaiming and increase the value of your final payout.

man catching water

Are loss adjusters impartial? 

While loss adjusts work for insurance companies, their job isn't to reduce your claim intentionally in an effort to save your insurer money. They must remain impartial.

They are professionals with their own codes of conduct, who are governed by these organisations:

They must also adhere to the rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

What will the loss adjuster be looking for?

Loss adjusters are employed to establish how the incident that led to the claim occurred. When they visit your home, they will look for:

  • The cause of the incident

  • The value of damage or loss

  • If the damage is actually covered by your home insurance policy

  • Whether you've met your policy's terms and conditions or not

  • If the amount you're claiming for is accurate and reasonable

Loss adjusters often take photographs of any visible damage to include in their report. They may also ask you some potentially uncomfortable questions to rule out fraudulent claims.

After they have identified the cause of your claim and calculated the cost of repairs, a loss adjuster will assess how much you have asked for and see if it matches their amount.

Once they have completed their visit, they will write up a report and send it to your insurer, and you will also get a copy.

Can a loss adjuster refuse a claim?

Yes, in some cases, a loss adjuster has the final decision on your claim, and they may reject this based on their findings. This all depends on the agreement they have with your insurance provider.

Your insurer may immediately accept the loss adjuster's report, whereas others may treat it more as a recommendation, which is considered in addition to their in-house expert's conclusion.

You claim may be refused if:

  • You don't have the right level of home insurance cover

  • The damage is a result of wear and tear

  • You're withholding information

  • Your claim hasn't met the terms and conditions of your policy

What if I don’t agree with the loss adjuster’s assessment?

If your insurance provider rejects your claim as a result of the loss adjuster's report, you can appeal their decision. To do this, you'll need to prepare and present reasons why you believe the loss adjuster's and insurer's decision is incorrect or unfair.

Make sure you're as accurate as possible and include details such as the timeline from the incident that prompted the claim, up until their decision to reject it.

If your appeal fails and you're still unhappy with this, you can inform the Financial Ombudsman Service within six months of the insurer's decision. The Ombudsman can evaluate both sides as part of an independent investigation and will issue an outcome.

You can also legally hire a loss assessor via their trade body, The Institute of Public Loss Assessors. They will act on your behalf and deal with all the paperwork and proceedings.

If you're recommended a loss assessor, ensure they are authorised by the FCA by searching The Financial Services Register.

What’s the difference between a loss adjuster and a loss assessor?

Loss adjusters are employed by your insurance provider, whereas a loss assessor is someone you can hire to liaise with the loss adjuster on your behalf.

You have the right to appoint a loss assessor at any stage of the process, although most people only tend to do this when they aren't happy with the loss adjuster's report or their insurer's decision.

How can I speed up the claims process?

You can speed up the claims process by assisting your loss adjuster as much as possible. Provide them with any information they require, ideally before their visit. This includes any receipts or paperwork that will support your claim.

Plus, be honest and helpful when answering their questions, and forward any information such as your own photographs of the damage as soon as possible. Try to avoid cleaning up any mess or throwing anything away before the loss adjuster has seen it.

If you need to do any emergency work, such as replacing windows and doors, make sure you visually document this and forward this onto your insurer, and keep any receipts for the work.

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