Loss adjusters combine insurance, mechanics
Sunday Automotives continues its series on career options within the automotive industry with a look on the training and responsibilities of a loss adjuster.
A strong background in motor vehicle insurance and mechanical and repair work knowledge is essential for persons venturing into the field of motor vehicle loss adjustment.
"It's a mixture of the two. The course for the loss adjusters is done at the College of Insurance and Professional Studies for the insurance aspect, and the other portion of the course is done at the Jamaica German Automotive School," said David McKay, managing director of MSC McKay Jamaica Limited, a company catering to a myriad of commercial and personal valuation needs.
He is also a former president of the Loss Adjusters Association of Jamaica.
In general, loss adjusters deal with the investigation of insurance claims arising out of incidents such as fires, car accidents and burglaries. They are responsible for determining the amount of damage or loss the insured's policy will cover.
Motor loss adjusters specifically value vehicles, producing valuation reports and conducting mechanical inspections. A mechanical inspection is the checking of a vehicle's roadworthiness, the loss adjuster doing a more extensive and exhaustive inspection than motor vehicle examiners at the Island Traffic Authority would.
"We confirm model year. We check the tyre wear with our gauge. We take off the details on the car, the conditions and other things. This is usually for insurance purposes, third party insurance in particular that doesn't require a value," said McKay. He pointed out that a valuation requires the same procedure, with a market value of the vehicle included in the report.
McKay explained that he obtained qualifications from the insurance college as well as through overseas courses which provide certification as a professional estimator. He also pointed out that the mechanical and repair knowledge he obtained came from an early age, working on motor vehicle engines.
"A lot of it is really experience. A huge portion of it over the years is really experience, getting to know the different cars, how they react to impact and what can be damaged from an impact, among other things," he said.
McKay pointed out that his company has a large clientele. He stated that his company is the only motor loss adjuster that is used by all banks and credit unions.