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Insurance Claims Investigator: Job Description and Requirements

Insurance claims investigators review insurance claims, protecting the insurance company from paying out on invalid claims. Read the following information to find out more about the required training and skills, in addition to the job benefits, to see if it's the right spot for you.

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Career Definition

Insurance claims investigators plan and execute investigations into insurance claims related to bodily injury, liability, property damage, medical, worker's compensation and more. They protect insurance companies and policy holders against insurance fraud. Insurance claims investigators work irregular hours, both in an office and out in the field. Suspected cases of insurance fraud are referred to insurance claims investigators by insurance adjusters or examiners. Insurance claims investigators look into the background of claimants, witnesses and anyone else who has made a statement regarding the case, like medical professionals or police officers. They review the circumstances of the case through research, interviews, surveillance and in-person inspections of sites and vehicles, writing reports on their findings.

How to Become an Insurance Claims Investigator

Required Education

There are no formal educational requirements to become an insurance claims investigator, although most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree. More important is related work experience, usually in law enforcement, law or insurance. Insurance claims investigators may choose to earn state licenses. On-the-job training is common, and insurance claims investigators participate in continuing education opportunities to keep up with new state and federal laws and legal precedents that may influence how insurance claims investigators do their jobs. Insurance claims investigators are knowledgeable about computers, research, surveillance, state and federal insurance laws and interrogation.

Required Skills

Insurance claims investigators excel at performing research and interviewing subjects. Their precise communication skills and quick thinking make it possible for them to interact with varied and dynamic personalities, obtaining information to support or deny a claimant's case. They must be creative and willing to do whatever it takes to close a case.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects slower-than-average job growth of 3% from 2012-2022 for the competitive field of insurance claims adjusters, examiners and investigators ( Insurance claims investigators had an average annual salary of $61,530, according to the BLS in 2012.

Alternate Career Options

Construction and Building Inspector

High school graduates with background knowledge of construction trades can learn the additional required skills while on the job in this occupation, to check construction sites for code and ordinance compliance. Average employment growth of 12% was forecast by the BLS from 2012-2022, and an annual median wage of $53,450 was reported in 2012.

Cost Estimator

Much faster than average job growth of 26% was anticipated by the BLS from 2012-2022 for cost estimators. These professionals collect information to estimate the cost of resources necessary for constructing a building or manufacturing a product. Cost estimators usually earn a bachelor's degree in a field related to construction, although workers with extensive experience in construction may secure employment without the degree, according to the BLS. In 2012, cost estimators earned a median salary of $58,860 per year, the BLS said.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics