Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert 5 Jul 2019
A Claims Handler is the person responsible for receiving, verifying and awarding insurance claims. They are responsible for the whole claims process; from the initial notice and reporting stage up to issuing the final payout to clients. They also have the responsibility of looking into instances of insurance claim fraud and rejecting any claims that do not meet the criteria.
Day-to-day activities and responsibilities
- Taking new claims (First Notification of Loss)
- Monitoring the progress of a claim
- Providing advice to clients on making an insurance claim
- Identifying and inspecting suspected insurance claim fraud
- Rejecting potential claims that do not meet rules or criteria
- Liaising with lawyers and legal experts
- Noting down claimant details and issuing claim forms
- Taking statements from clients and witnesses for official records
- Researching policy and assembling data such as receipts
- Arranging payments on claims that are easy to verify
- Negotiating with insurers
- Talking to customers on the telephone about the present or future claims
- Maintaining quality customer interaction and making sure legal compliance is achieved
- Validating claims and adjusting international claims to fit national laws
- Liaising with relevant third parties to settle certain claims in an effective manner
- Reporting claim findings and other data regularly
- Travelling to visit clients, brokers, or lawyers across the country
- Dealing with consumer complaints related to insurance claims
- Ensuring proper data protection, bookkeeping and data entry procedures are followed when handling personal information
Workplace and working hours
Roles are usually based in an office or call centre. Most Claims Handlers work an average of 37-40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. However, there may be cases where they work longer hours, weekends or evening shifts.
Some travelling may be required to meet clients or other professionals.
The starting salary for this position is between £14,000 and £18,000 per annum, depending on the location, size of the employer and previous work experience.
More experienced Claims Handlers can earn about £25,000, increasing even further depending on the individual’s qualifications, length of experience in the industry, and area specialisation.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
There are no formal entry requirements for this position.
Depending on the exact job specifications, one or more of the following would support a strong application:
- GCSEs English and Maths at grades A-C (minimum)
- Good A-Levels
- Undergraduate degree
- Previous work experience in the insurance industry
- Previous work experience in customer service
Skills and personal attributes
- Communication Skills: This role involves a lot of interaction between the Claims Handler and customers, lawyers and policymakers. Therefore, it is important to have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Detail-oriented: Attention to detail is an important skill to have for this role as the job holder is required to handle many claims simultaneously and analysing their accuracy.
- Up-to-date Industry Knowledge: It is extremely important to have a lot of knowledge about insurance claims legislation and even more important to keep up to date on any changes in policy or law so that any advice you are giving to clients is timely and accurate.
- A professional attitude: In a role such as this, maintaining professionalism when dealing with difficult clients or complex claims will ensure success for all parties involved.
- Organisational Skills: As a Claims Handler you must excel at managing your time and priorities as there are a wide range of tasks and projects to be completed in a short period of time.
Job likes and benefits
- Customer focused: In many ways, Claims Handlers have a lot of interaction with customers and so for individuals with a passion for customer service this is a great career path.
- Responsibility: This is a role where in most cases you will be given a fair amount of responsibility and therefore someone who is comfortable with being self-sufficient will be suited for this job.
- Opportunity for Travel: A Claims Handler may have the chance to travel to meet clients, lawyers and other stakeholders.
- Training: Many companies are willing to offer training towards a qualification from the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Job challenges and disadvantages
- Long hours: Although this role tends to be an average of 40 hours per week there may be several instances where you will be required to work longer hours when dealing with intricate situations or unprecedented circumstances.
- Could be stressful: Individuals must be resilient and able to communicate with customers effectively even when the customer might not seem receptive. Job holders must also be able to handle the high workload with tight deadlines.
- Understanding legislation: It is a role which requires you to understand complex information and legislation as giving out the wrong advice to a client can have major ramifications for everyone involved.
Job progression and career prospects
Most Claims Handlers will have the chance to move on to become a Claims Manager.
Some Claims Handlers will complete a qualification such as a Diploma from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) which will allow for further career progression.
With additional experience and knowledge, there are also other opportunities to progress to various others jobs within the finance and business industries.
The Chartered Insurance Institute