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Insurance Appraiser: Career Profile

Sep 10, 2019

Insurance appraisers require some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Insurance appraisers assess the cost of repair or replacement of insured items when an insurable event occurs. They work in many industries including auto, home, and health. The job growth outlook for insurance appraisers is as fast as the average job market as a whole, and their median annual salary is about $62,000.

Essential Information

Insurance appraisers assist in insurance claims situations when damage has occurred. They work with professionals in the insurance industry and with the individuals filing the claim. While there are no formal education requirements to become an insurance appraiser, some employers may prefer candidates who have an associate's or bachelor's degree in insurance or a similar field.

Required Education No standard educational requirements; employers may prefer an associate's or bachelor's degree in insurance or a similar field
Other Requirements Licensure requirements vary by state; strong communication and organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to work well under pressure
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% for auto damage insurance appraisers; -4% for other claims adjusters, examiners and investigators
Median Salary (2018)* $62,520 for auto damage insurance appraisers; $65,900 for other claims adjusters, examiners and investigators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Profile for an Insurance Appraiser

Definition of an Insurance Appraiser

An insurance appraiser is a professional who assesses the cost and value of an insured item. The majority of insurance appraisers are auto damage appraisers, but appraisers may work in other areas of insurance, such as health, homeowner or business. Appraisers inspect damaged vehicles or property after an accident and estimate the repair costs. The cost estimates are then relayed to the adjuster. Insurance appraisers play an important part in insurance companies because they make unbiased evaluations of repair costs.

Required Education

While a degree is not necessary to be an insurance appraiser, many companies employ professionals who hold an associate's degree, bachelor's degree or other training. Some colleges and universities offer associate's or bachelor's degrees in insurance, risk management or related disciplines. Degrees in related areas, like finance, healthcare or automotive technology, could also be beneficial to aspiring insurance appraisers who hope to work in those areas specifically. The field of insurance appraisal includes aspects of business, law, finance or accounting. Prospective insurance appraisers may find that taking additional courses in those disciplines help to understand fundamentals of insurance appraising.

Additionally, some states require insurance appraisers and other insurance professionals to pass state exams or possess state licensure. Continuing education is necessary for insurance appraisers because the regulations for the insurance industry are constantly changing.

Skills Required

Insurance appraisers need excellent written and verbal communication skills in order to effectively deal with frustrated claims holders and adjusters. They also need to pay great attention to detail, have good organizational skills and the ability to work well under pressure. Because of the nature of the career, insurance appraisers also may need to work in uncomfortable positions and situations.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the best job prospects are available for those with related experience in auto repair and some training in insurance (www.bls.gov). Employment growth for claims adjusters, examiners and investigators is projected to decline by 4% from 2018-2028. Employment for auto damage insurance appraisers is projected to grow as fast as average by 5% during the same period, according to the BLS. College graduates will enjoy more job opportunities than those without a college degree.

In May 2018, the BLS reported that the median salary for auto damage insurance appraisers was $62,520, and the median salary for other claims adjusters, examiners and investigators was $65,900.

Insurance appraisers' requirements vary by employer and may include only a high school education, though many employers prefer candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree in a related field. Some states require licensing, which may include educational requirements as well as passing an exam.

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