Experts say staff shortage could hurt claims service.

The industry could face a loss adjusting crisis if it does not address a growing shortage of adjusters, according to sector experts.

They fear that a shortage of trained loss adjusters could hurt the industry’s ability to respond to a high volume of claims following a major catastrophe, warning that the market could be counting the cost within the next 10 years.

Robin Hargreaves, active underwriter of the property division of Kiln’s Syndicate 510, said there was a lack of junior adjusters coming through the ranks.

“Claims are becoming more and more complicated and the expertise for loss adjusting is more important,” he said.

Ashley Lawrence, Kiln’s head of claims, said many companies were now handling smaller claims in-house after cutting the cost of third party outsourcing. He said: “This has led to a dumbing-down of loss adjusting expertise which is being replaced by a box-ticking culture that is actually costing companies more in the long run.”

He added that the shortage of loss adjusters could have financial implications for insurers and reinsurers because of the delays it would create in the claims filing process.