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Qualifications ‘key’ in bringing on the next generation of loss adjusters

Posted on 09 August 2021

Like many sectors, the impact of the pandemic on loss adjusting has been unprecedented. Insurers have been in the media spotlight for perceived failings in paying out business interruption claims.

The Court of Appeal ruling in January this year marked the start of a surge of claims for among thousands of policyholders for coronavirus-related business interruption losses.

These claims are often complex and need sensitive handling in light of the potential for reputational damage to insurers, and the imperative of making sure policyholders are adequately compensated for their losses.

Helping their insurer partners process BI claims has been front and centre for Woodgate & Clark, yet the surge in BI has come on top of business as usual, ranging from household escape of water claims to major and complex commercial losses.

With media and regulatory attention focused on how the insurance industry navigates its way through BI claims, experience and professionalism in loss adjusting have never been more important.

Woodgate & Clark has long argued that professional qualifications are the bedrock of its insurer proposition and has made it a priority to ensure as many of its adjusting professionals have the right qualifications to give confidence that the right judgements are being applied to cases.

Managing director Phil Scarrett wants to make Woodgate & Clark the UK’s most qualified loss adjuster.

According to company figures, more than 80% of Woodgate & Clarks 77-strong team of adjusting professionals (not including desktop) have industry qualifications, and of those, more than 60% are chartered, a level of professionalism that compares highly with its peers.

Indeed, the company believes the proportion of qualified adjusters on its team is higher than any other medium to large adjuster in the UK.

From the entry-level CILA Certificate to CILA Associate membership, there is a well-trodden qualifications path for adjusters through the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA) training and development programme, or alternatively the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII).

Currently, 62% of loss adjusters at Woodgate & Clark have either ACII or ACILA qualifications, and another 25% have diplomas, advanced diplomas or certification from the CII or CILA.

Recently, Luke Crowe a member of the adjusting team was featured in Post Magazine’s ‘Rising Star’ column, and pointed out that qualifications are ‘key.’

He said: “you can be an adjuster without being qualified, but to gain recognition and the confidence of clients and policyholders alike, you need the letters after your name.”

Luke is currently studying for his CII Associate qualification, and Phil is keen to mirror his progress with other young recruits to the business, especially as a major challenge for the whole sector is finding the next generation of adjusters.

Experience is vital, but with 64% of Woodgate & Clark’s adjusters over the age of 50, and 17% in the thirties, new blood is another top priority.

The business has been on a recruitment drive, with 24 new roles across its UK Offices, although training has been difficult because of the pandemic restrictions.

As the restrictions ease, senior management is launching a new programme of training and development for younger adjusters, including a pathway to qualifications and one-to-one mentoring.

The programme is designed to appeal to younger professionals seeking a career in loss adjusting as well as existing younger members of the team.

As loss adjusters continue to leave the industry through retirement, this investment cannot come soon enough.

For more information email Amanda Ball.