Partnership and sharing of skills and knowldege within the loss adjusting community is essential if we are to save the profession, says Michael Burnett

The Chartered Loss Adjuster and adjusting in general must over the last few weeks have thought that it has been open season in the press, such is the degree of sensationalised headlines commenting on the potential demise of the profession, or, indeed, dumbing down.

There are clear financial pressures that must be recognised realistically but partnership and sharing of skills and knowledge clearly are the way forward as I believe that fundamentally the insurance market, be it within insurers or brokers, values and relies upon the adjuster.

Within the very specialised, almost departmentalised, skill areas within adjusting, the calibre of staff remains high. From the high volume lower value end of domestic claims, where the detailed individual briefings from each insurer are extremely complex and subject to audit as never before, to the middle to high ends of adjuster specialisms in subsidence, liability, engineering, major fire and business interruption units.

In response to the requests of many who already hold third level qualifications, we at the Cila have tailored our examinations to allow the individuals concerned to utilise their existing knowledge by qualifying in their specialised area as well as taking our compulsory subjects.

At the more foundation level we have agreed to migrate our Society of Claims Technicians (SCT) qualification into the newly formed CII faculty of claims. Going forward, as a joint venture, we will be addressing not only the adjusting market, but the wider financial services family. This is particularly appropriate, as many insurer customers have already embraced the SCT qualification.

Furthermore, in the face of FSA regulation the number of candidates from within adjusting firms is very much on the increase. It has always been true, but now more so, that there is no place for any individual within adjusting who does not add value to the process.

The widening claims services dimension delivered by adjusting firms reflects the versatility and management capability that exists and with broader multi-skilled personnel being attracted into the profession it remains a challenge to both employers and the Cila/CII to address the needs and deliver.

  • Michael R Burnett ACII FCILA FUEDI-ELAE is president of The Chartered Institute of Loss
  • Adjusters