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Claim Adjusters In Demand, Despite Economy

Date: August 25, 2009

IAS Claim Services is looking for adjusters. And according to its chief executive officer, others in the claim field are looking as well -- demand for quality adjusters remains high, despite the struggling economy and 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

Citing U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, IAS noted, "There will be a nine percent growth rate in claim adjusters, examiners, and investigators through 2016."

Part of the reason, IAS said, is an aging workforce in this field. IAS stated that 70 percent of the claim workforce in the industry is over 45. "The pool is aging, so the market is still very robust," CEO Larry Cochran said.

He added that claims are not going away with a slower economy, but rather they are growing, and there is a need to refresh the pool of adjusters.

While he acknowledged that some companies may be cutting back on more seasoned or experienced adjusters on internal payrolls due to the economy, he said that if claim volume is not decreasing, those companies have to replace the lost individuals with new workers.

He noted that some companies that have shed workforce have turned to third-party administrators. "We're seeing more of that type of business coming from companies that are cutting back on their internal staff."

This trend is leading to a demand among TPAs to recruit adjusters, he said.

Two other TPAs contacted by National Underwriter indicated that while they are hiring adjusters intermittently, they did not believe there was a trend to read into.

But Jeff Carter, president and CEO of CE Insurance Services, a Florida-based recruiter specializing in insurance jobs, said he has had more business on the claims side from TPAs in the last 12-to-18 months than he has in the past 20 years.

Part of the demand among TPAs, he said, is that property and casualty companies do not want the payroll and benefit expenses of full-time adjusters, so those jobs are shifting to TPAs.

He also echoed Mr. Cochran, stating that demand is high for adjusters, because claim activity has remained consistent or even picked up some recently.

Phil Gusman is an associate editor at National Underwriter, a member of Summit Business Media's P&C Magazine Group, which includes Claims.