People working in the insurance industry have a multitude of career paths to select from. Some go into sales or service, while others choose to work with claims. An insurance claim is defined by Investorwords.com as, "Notification to an insurance company requesting payment of an amount due under the terms of the policy." Claims can be made on health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, home insurance, business insurance and other policy types. The claims handler works on behalf of his client to process those claims.
A claims handler is primarily responsible for guiding claimants through the claims process and liaising with insurance company representatives to ensure claims are fully and properly adjudicated. Specific duties include interviewing claimants to glean information about the claim, completing and filing complex documents, analysing information and specifics and sharing information with claimants and company representatives.
The claims handler may need to get in contact with the broker who sold the policy and/or the underwriters who wrote the policy. In some cases, the handler might need to work with an adjuster to determine whether a claim is real or fraudulent. He handles administrative tasks, such as updating client files, typing documents and working office equipment like fax machines, copiers and scanners.
A claims handler works in an office environment, though on occasion she might travel locally to meet with claimants. She spends a significant amount of her workday on the phone and in front of the computer. The work hours are generally kept to 40 per week, during normal business hours, though overtime can occur.
In some cases, a person can secure a claims handler job with a high school diploma; however, most employers seek out applicants who possess a bachelor's degree, preferably in subjects like business, management, economics or statistics.
A claims handler must be good at dealing with stress and pressure. He could regularly deal with difficult or demanding claimants, and he works multiple claims at once, suggesting he must be adept at juggling competing demands and shifting priorities. He should additionally possess an eye for detail, good critical-thinking skills, strong organizational skills and the capacity to take initiative and make independent decisions.
According to Indeed.com, claims handlers earned an average salary of £16,900 as of March 2010. This is usually a salaried position with benefits, and some employers may offer bonus pay as an incentive for goal achievement.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects average job growth in the claims industry between 2008 and 2018. The best chance for growth, according to this body, is in the health insurance industry.