Property representatives can work independently or for insurance companies and are the main point of contact when someone experiences damage or theft of their insured property.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, this is a highly competitive industry, and having an in-depth knowledge of the types of property you will be inspecting, for example, houses, automobiles, or boats, will give you a greater advantage in securing a job in this field.
Investigate claims and evaluate facts
When damage or loss to property occurs, the property representative will inspect the damage to determine the value of the loss. They will review the claimant's insurance policy to see if the loss is covered by the insurance company and what part is the responsibility of the property owner.
Maintain complete and accurate records
A property representative must possess excellent attention to detail and be very organised. This position involves maintaining thorough documentation of all claims and creating an organised system to easily access this documentation whenever a customer calls to discuss the claim. Paperwork must include complete facts of the event, along with photographs of the damage and any other information that the claimant can provide. The property representative must also be adept at separating fact from opinion and be sure to only report the known facts pertaining to the claim.
Communicate and negotiate effectively
Communication with all involved parties must be accurate and concise. It's important that a property representative convey only relevant facts and remain consistent in their communication with all involved parties. There may be cases involving negotiation and settlements between parties, and in these cases the property representative must be properly educated on all facts and policies pertaining to the matter. They must be able to clearly articulate the case as it relates to the insurance policies and negotiate the settlement for the proper payment amount.
This job requires the ability to think quickly and be assertive. Confrontations are likely to occur, and a property representative must be able to handle and verbally diffuse a potentially negative scenario.
Written communication skills are also essential to this role. Property representatives often communicate with their customers via e-mail and have to maintain a professional image. They also have to draft official letters such as denial letters explaining why a loss was not covered.
Perform math and general analysis
Property representatives also perform math and data analysis. A person in this position must be able to give cost estimates for repairs and be comfortable working with databases to locate information.