While working as a claims adjuster can be an interesting and rewarding experience, it can definitely be a bit wearing after a while. In fact, one of the top reasons why people leave the industry is due to job related stress.
So, how do you manage to get your work done right and still avoid burn out in such a fast paced industry? Here are five tips for insurance adjusters.
Tip #1: Ask for Help If You Need It
If you asked a group of claims adjusters what their biggest stressor at work was, many would tell you that they have too many files and not enough hours in the day to get them all handled. In fact, this is one of the biggest problems in the industry.
The easiest way to lessen the stress of this is by asking for help if you need it. Many claims managers understand this and have steps in place to help insurance adjusters handle an overflowing caseload. Sometimes this means transferring excess files to another member of the claims team or offering overtime to catch up. Either way, it is always a good idea to speak up to help keep stress levels to a minimum.
Tip #2: Know When to Step Away from Your Files
As all insurance claims adjusters know, sometimes the files that you handle are a little too personal. Maybe the accident involves the death of a small child around the same age as your own or some other factor hits too close to your own life. This is completely normal—after all, we’re all human.
Know when it is time to step away from your files. Go outside and take a break to deal with your thoughts temporarily. If it is a major issue, then talk to your management team about possibly having the file transferred to someone else. Or, simply remind yourself that the scenario you are dealing with isn’t your family and that you are grateful for that fact. (Gratitude for what you do have is always a great way to help reduce stress.)
Tip #3: Understand That It Isn’t Personal
One of the hardest things about working in claims is that the people you help are usually in crisis. Talking to you is not what they want to be doing, simply because they didn’t want to be involved in an accident in the first place. In some cases, someone they love has either been hurt or is now deceased. In other instances, they are the ones in pain—either physically, financially, or emotionally due to inconvenience. Their words can be sharp and they may even make threats or say things that are completely out of their normal character.*
To help avoid burnout as an insurance adjuster, it is important to really understand that none of it is personal. These people are mad at the situation and are choosing to take it out on the only person that they are able to put temporary blame on—you. The truth is that if you met most of these people under normal circumstances, things would be totally different. Keeping this perspective in mind can really help when you are dealing with a difficult insured or claimant.
*Any serious threats that involve the safety of yourself or your colleagues should always be reported to your manager and dealt with accordingly.
Tip #4: Utilize Company Stress Relief Resources
Most major insurance companies offer programs to help employees reduce stress and minimize burnout. This sometimes includes an on-site counselor or other mediator. Other companies offer access to health centers to allow employees to stay fit, which can also help minimize stress. No matter what it is, it is important to take advantage of these resources.
Tip #5: Take Steps to Make Your Job Easier
Taking steps to make your job easier is another way to help beat burn out. Here are a few suggestions.
- Utilize a company that handles recorded statement transcription. Reading a verbatim transcription sheet saves tons of time over having to listen to a recording for details and helps you have much more accurate claims files.
- Have a time management routine in place for each work day. Set aside a special time to just tackle emails or schedule a part of the afternoon when you return phone calls. Know exactly when it is time to review your new case files. By having a routine, you can help reduce stress and have a clear plan as to what your day entails.
Of course, taking a day off now and then isn’t a bad idea, either. Sometimes the stress of the job requires having something in your personal life to look forward to—even if it is just an afternoon on the couch watching a Netflix marathon. The key to beating burnout as an insurance adjuster lies with knowing your limit and making adjustments—including burning a day of vacation time—to recuperate.