Talented Workers Comp Adjuster – Do They Have IT?

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The Talented Workers Comp Adjuster – What is IT? 

IT Applies To Any Line of Adjusters – Not Just WC 

Many discussions on a talented workers comp adjuster (or any insurance line) begin something similar to this.  Wow, we are searching everywhere for talented adjusters.

sight guide talented workers comp adjuster
Wikimedia Commons – Usper

I have attended many conferences where the presenters were worried about “brain and experience drain” not being replaced in the areas of safety, risk management, and especially claims.   

One presentation that stayed with me over the year came from the NWCDC Annual Conference session. The session consisted of one presenter with a moderator.  The presenter worked in HR for a midwestern regional carrier.   She delved into millennials and their psychological wants and needs.  The presentation was interesting.  The one-hour speech left out one thing – IT.

IT is not information technology.  

IT and the Talented Workers Comp Adjuster 

What does this talent consist of and how do you know if the adjuster is going to make it in a very challenging field?

Many years ago, when I worked with Lumbermen’s Underwriting Alliance (now defunct) in Boca Raton, FL, a sage experienced claims person (Irv Wicknick) presented three one-half day seminars on claims adjusting tips and traps. 

The Claims VP and Mr. Wicknick both said that IT was what made an adjuster stand out in a somewhat crowded field.  Thirty attendees brought up such attributes such as:

  • Timeliness
  • Attention to detail 
  • Empathy
  • Follow-through
  • Investigative ability  
  • Willing to work long hours and possibly weekends
  • And many others 

IT = The Talent to Adjust 

Most commonly talented workers comp adjuster is IT
Wikimedia Common – HSGTalents

Strikingly and memorably – Mr. Wicknick wrote IT on the presentation chalkboard.  He wrote nothing under it or beside the acronym just IT as representing the talented workers comp adjuster. 

Irv wrote IT is IT.  For an intense half-hour, all the attendees (adjuster trainees up to Claims Managers) asked what is IT?  We were told you will know IT when you see IT.   No definitions or attributes were given to the group on what was IT other than without IT, most adjusters will struggle with the normal heavy workload. 

You can see here the most common duties of an adjuster. 

Undefined IT 

Over the last 30 years since I heard that term, I always tried to look for IT when I moved up through the ranks and now as a consultant.  You cannot:

  • Train IT
  • Work longer hours to get IT
  • Memorize your claims manual to have IT 
  • Further your education to acquire IT – this one possibly moves you closer to IT 
  • Attain it through experience – you can hone IT with experience. 

IT vs. Talented Workers Comp Adjuster 

I have reviewed policies, claims, and the adjuster’s handy work on over 10,000 files, closer to 20,000.   I see IT in some files – usually the same adjusters.   

IT to me means “the ability to adjust and expeditiously close out files to the satisfaction of all parties involved in a claim.”  The term “all parties” covers many people and organizations in every claim – not a simple task.  

One Little Secret 

 IT or a talented workers comp adjuster can do workload
Wikimedia Commons – Colin

The one attribute to all adjusters in all lines of insurance is file documentation.  Being able to pick up a file and understand where it has been; where it is now; and where it is headed in a short amount of time remains the best way to give off “a good first impression.”   IT starts with a good first impression.  Two to three-line statutes look great in a file.

Caveat – over-documentation can cause the time management abilities of an adjuster to suffer greatly.  If one piles on the documentation, when can anything else be accomplished on the file? 

Always consult your claims manual – one of those IT things with a talented workers comp adjuster.  

 

©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice

 

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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