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Claims Adjuster vs. Claims Specialist: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

If you’re interested in a career in insurance, you may be wondering what the difference is between a claims adjuster and a claims specialist. Both positions are important in the insurance industry, but they have different roles and responsibilities. In this article, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between claims adjusters and claims specialists, and we’ll provide some tips on how to choose the right career path for you.

What is a Claims Adjuster?

Claims Adjusters investigate insurance claims to determine the extent of the insurer’s liability, and they work with claimants to settle claims. They may also negotiate with attorneys or other representatives of the claimant. Claims Adjusters typically work for insurance companies, but they may also be self-employed or work for adjusting firms. They often work full time, and they may work more than 40 hours per week to handle a high volume of claims.

What is a Claims Specialist?

Claims Specialists are responsible for processing and investigating insurance claims. They work with policyholders, beneficiaries, witnesses, medical professionals and other relevant parties to determine the validity of a claim and to gather all the necessary information to make a decision. Claims Specialists use their knowledge of insurance policies and procedures to make sure claims are processed fairly and in a timely manner. They may also provide customer service support to policyholders and claimants. In some cases, Claims Specialists may also be responsible for handling appeals or denied claims.

Claims Adjuster vs. Claims Specialist

Here are the main differences between a claims adjuster and a claims specialist.

Job Duties

Claims adjusters and claims specialists may perform different duties to fulfill their jobs. Claims adjusters evaluate insurance claims, investigate them and make decisions about how the insurance company will compensate policyholders for damages. Claims specialists may work with adjusters on certain projects or assist them by gathering information from policyholders and providing it to the adjuster.

In addition, claims adjusters often work directly with insurance customers to determine whether the insurance company owes them money. Claims specialists may do the same, but they usually work with adjusters to communicate with policyholders and help them understand the process of filing an insurance claim.

Job Requirements

Most claims adjusters and specialists need at least a high school diploma, although some employers prefer candidates who have completed postsecondary coursework or have earned a college degree. Many insurers offer on-the-job training for new claims adjusters, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Some states also require claims adjusters to obtain a license before they can begin working. To become licensed, claims adjusters must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of insurance policies and state laws.

Work Environment

Claims adjusters work in a variety of environments, depending on the type of insurance they specialize in. For example, an auto claims adjuster may work for an insurance company that specializes in car insurance or for a local body shop. They may also work for independent agencies that handle their own clients’ claims.

Claims specialists typically work in offices and other professional settings. However, some may travel to visit clients and evaluate damage to property.


Both claims adjusters and claims specialists need to have strong research skills. This is because they often need to investigate the facts of a case in order to determine whether or not an insurance claim is valid. They also both need to be able to communicate effectively, as they will often need to speak with claimants, witnesses and other parties involved in a claim.

Claims adjusters tend to need more analytical skills than claims specialists. This is because they often need to interpret data in order to make decisions about whether or not to approve a claim. They also need to be able to negotiate, as they may need to reach settlements with claimants.

Claims specialists typically need to have stronger people skills than claims adjusters. This is because they often need to provide emotional support to claimants who are going through a difficult time. They also need to be able to build relationships with claimants, as this can help them gather information about a claim.


Claims adjusters and claims specialists are two different types of insurance professionals. Claims adjusters earn an average salary of $60,760 per year, while claims specialists earn an average salary of $54,067 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the type of insurance company you work for, your level of experience and your location.


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