February 26, 2019 by Greg Meckbach
For independent adjusters, the need to replace retiring workers is becoming more urgent.
“A number of our front-line adjusters are very senior, very talented and experienced,” said Paul Féron senior vice president for Ontario and Manitoba at ClaimsPro LP. “In the next 5 to 10 years, a significant number of them will be retiring and deserve to retire. We need to be implementing proper succession planning and mentoring programs.”
There is an advantage to recruiting adjusters from outside the property and casualty insurance industry, added Féron, who was recently recognized by the CIP Society, a graduate division of the Insurance Institute, with the 2018 established leader award.
“Our business is a people business,” said Féron. “You can teach people to read a policy and policy interpretation, but interacting and people skills is a bit more difficult to teach.”
Professionals from the construction, healthcare and accounting sectors can bring valuable knowledge and experience to claims adjusting, suggest Féron.
“Second career people can bring a lot to the table. We have had people with accounting, legal and engineering backgrounds. They may not have their official designation in their previous career and now they are looking for change, or they are being forced to change because of life situations.”
Claims adjusters are much older than the average worker, the Insurance Institute of Canada suggested in a recent report, Demographics of the P&C Insurance Industry in Canada.
The median age for adjusters is 47, the Insurance Institute says in its report. Only 6.6% of adjusters are under the age of 30, versus 17.1% of all P&C workers. Nearly a third (29.2%) of adjusters are 55 or older versus 17.2% for all P&C workers.
The study was based in part on two surveys – one of employees and the other of human resources professionals. The Institute also analyzed data supplied provincial regulators and by 48 organization with 43,517 people in the industry during the summer of 2017. That data accounts for about 35% of the industry’s work force.
ClaimsPro has a mentoring program to ensure senior specialist adjusters transfer their knowledge to intermediate adjusters before retiring.
“The intermediate adjuster is involved in complexed claims and gets to that next level, seeing first-hand how that file is handled. This way, when the senior adjuster retires, he/she will have already spent time in transferring knowledge to a successor,” said Féron.