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All Lines Claims Adjusters – Generalist Replaced By The Specialist


All Lines Claims Adjusters – Where Have All The Generalists Gone?

The all lines claims adjusters have now faded into the mist.  I rarely run into these generalists that can adjust all the aspects of a claim or handle auto, workers comp, liability, and the many lines of a personal or business insurance policy.

I was trained in the horse and carriage days of the mid-1980s to handle any insurance claim put before me.  The challenge of handling an auto liability and then switching to another line of insurance such as a business liability policy was immense.

graphic question mark all lines claims adjusters
Public Use License Nevit Dilmen (talk)

Subrogation Suffers

I have written so many times that workers comp subrogation is sorely missing all lines claims adjuster type training.  One of the glaring issues in the file reviews J&L performs for clients remains that workers compensation adjusters are specialists.  There is nothing wrong with being a specialist.  The subrogation is either missed completely or bulk-farmed out to a recovery company that takes a 15 – 33% cut of any recoveries from a responsible third party.

In our reviews over the last 10 years, I have seen one workers comp adjuster understand how the subrogation process works.  The all lines claims adjuster was based in Arizona.

I myself waded into the WC-only scene but then decided to keep up my training as an all lines claims adjuster heavily training in premium audit.  By the way, those two disciplines are interrelated more than one may realize.

All Lines Claims Adjusters – Four Ways To Train Like One

I have always recommended (especially post-pandemic) that an adjuster try to obtain their AIC (Associate in Claims).  One cannot pass through those courses without receiving more of an all lines training.

Most adjusters have to obtain at least a few hours every year to renew their adjusting licenses.  That would be one time to not take Workers Comp courses but look at premises liability, auto liability, or even crop insurance.  The crop insurance one was difficult.

Finding a mentor who is not in the line of insurance that you work in may be one of the more rewarding ways to learn about another line or lines of insurance.  I have had two retired attorneys as mentors over the years.   They both reminded me that not looking at a claim globally (no blinders on) can cost the file enormous amounts of money.

Attending conferences that are not in your wheelhouse can be overwhelming.  The amount of material covered in a small amount of time will turn out to be invaluable – trust me on that one.  Many conferences are priced reasonably for the information provided by the sponsors.

Bottom Line

The all-lines claims adjuster may be dying out as a  profession.  However, training in all lines can make you more valuable to your employer.  That value will pay off for you in the long run and in your bank account.



James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management 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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