More often than not, when you contact your insurance company, you're contacting a claims representative. These knowledgeable individuals use their communication and collaboration skills--typically honed on the job--to help policy holders better understand the specifics of their respective policies.
A claims representative works with insurance policy holders as intermediaries in the insurance business. Those interested in the vocation may work in a variety of industries associated with insurance coverage and protection. Educational requirements are generally undefined, though college-level training may offer greater job and salary offers.
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Additional Requirements||On-the-job training; optional certification available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||10% for customer service representatives*|
|Average Salary (2015)||$34,560 annually for customer service representatives*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Claims Representative Career Options
Claims representatives typically work for insurance companies in a variety of industries. Working as liaisons between policy holders and insurance specialists, claims representatives are often the initial contact point during an insurance-related event. The job typically requires a thorough understanding of a specific industry, as well as in-depth knowledge of the types of policies offered through an insurance company. Several types of insurance companies employ claims representatives, including:
- Medical and healthcare
- Property and automotive
- Business and financial
- Workers Compensation
- Travel, sport and leisure
In some instances, claims representatives may need to collaborate with representatives of other insurance companies for incidents relevant to both industries, such as medical and automobile carriers. Typically an entry-level position, claims representatives may use their experience to advance to claims adjustment or investigative jobs.
Claims Representative Job Requirements
The majority of claims representatives receive industry-specific on-the-job training from employers. Some common appealing skills include communication, conflict management and attention to detail. The primary educational requirement is a high school diploma or GED, though several college degree programs exist to provide specific academic training for the vocation. Those with an associate degree in business administration may gain an advantage in job offers and salary negotiations. Bachelor's degree majors relevant to the vocation may include specialties in medical insurance, risk management and business, and can help to advance a career.
Professional certification may also demonstrate both a commitment to the industry as well as proficiency in a particular field. Credentials in insurance underwriting, sales and adjustment may be earned through voluntary continuing education in specific topics in insurance practices, regulations and liability. Certification may be earned with adequate experience in the insurance field and passing one or more comprehensive examinations. Continuing education may be necessary to maintain a credential.
Career and Salary Information
Customer service representatives in general--including claims representatives--are expected to have faster-than-average growth in employment from 2014-2024, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; the predicted increase is 10% (www.bls.gov). The agency also reported that the average salary was $34,560 in May 2015.
Claims representatives generally only require a high school diploma, although some employers may prefer or require an associate or bachelor's degree. Training is usually on-the-job. Certification is available, but usually not required.