What Do Insurance Appraisers Do?
When auto accidents happen, it is the insurance appraisers that are responsible for determining how much repairs will cost. This information is important for the process of providing compensation. In addition to deciding how much repairs will cost, the appraiser needs to have a complete understanding of vehicle operation so they can recognize what kinds of repairs are necessary. Afterward, they must fill out the appropriate paperwork and frequently schedule the repairs with an auto body shop.
Insurance Appraisers Skills and Abilities
As you would expect, the most important trait that appraisers need to embody is mechanical understanding. As the first, and often only, professional to take a look at accident damage, insurance appraisers need to understand what parts have been damaged, how it affects the overall operation of the vehicle, and how much it will cost to repair. Additionally, they need to understand the insurance process so they know how much the insurance provider will be able to compensate. Finally, all insurance appraisers must have very strong personal and customer service abilities because they will be working directly with people at every stage in the process. This includes communication abilities.
Insurance Appraisers Duties
As opposed to many other parts of the insurance process, the appraisers’ duties are very straightforward. Additionally, they typically have fewer responsibilities than others in similar fields. On a daily basis, appraisers will be:
- Examine damaged vehicle
- Estimate labor, parts, and cost to repair damage
- Secure and review repair services and costs with automobile repair shop
- Compare practicality of repair to payment of market value of vehicle
- Determine salvage value
- Prepare insurance forms
Insurance Appraisers Tools and Technology
There are just a couple tools that insurance appraisers must be familiar with to do their jobs properly. When in the field, they will use a digital camera to capture images of the damage. Tire tread depth gauges may also be used. Once they have returned to the office, desktop computers, printers, and fax machines will be used to manage the information and prepare it for the next step in the process. Appraisers use document management software and accounting software as well.
Education and Training for Insurance Appraisers
Moderate education and training is necessary to find work as an insurance appraiser. In addition to a medium amount of training that is held at the time of hiring, most professionals in this field hold a Bachelor’s degree. This makes up about 40% of current appraisers. While 10% have an Associate’s degree, another 40% have no degree at all, with either some or no college experience, but at least a high school diploma. Only 1% of insurance appraisers were able to find work without a high school diploma.
Insurance Appraisers Salary
While the annual salary of insurance appraisers is quite high, the salary range is pretty large. The lower bound is about $40,000 yearly and the upper bound is $90,000, which means there is a $50,000 range. On average, most appraisers make $60,000 each year. Of course, your location in the country will play a big role in determining your salary.
Insurance Appraisers Jobs by Geography
In addition to salary differences, your geography determines how easily work as an insurance appraiser can be found. Most states are expected to see employment rates decrease 1% to 15% over the coming years. There are only 12 states that are anticipating an increase in employments rates. Of these, Arizona, which is set to increase by 30%, is the only state that is predicted to increase by more than 15%. On average, employment rates across the nation are expected to decrease by about 5%. For this reason, finding a location that encourages work as an insurance appraiser is vital.