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Insurance Loss Adjuster

Kaiwhakatika Makeretanga Rīanga

Alternative titles for this job

Insurance loss adjusters investigate and calculate insurance claims.


Insurance loss adjusters usually earn

$55K-$90K per year

Senior loss adjusters usually earn

$80K-$140K per year

Source: Hays, '2015 Hays Salary Guide', 2015.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as an insurance loss adjuster are good due to demand for new staff.


Pay for insurance loss adjusters varies depending on role.

  • Insurance loss adjusters may earn between $55,000 and $90,000 a year.
  • Senior loss adjusters may earn between $80,000 and $125,000.
  • Assessing managers may earn between $80,000 and $140,000.

Source: Hays, '2015 Hays Salary Guide', 2015.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Insurance loss adjusters may:

  • inspect damage to property, vehicles or equipment 
  • determine the cause of damage
  • estimate the cost of repair or replacement with the assistance of tradespeople, such as builders
  • obtain tenders and quotes for repair or replacement
  • negotiate with the claimer on what to do
  • authorise payments for claims
  • organise and supervise repairs
  • negotiate between claimants and insurance companies
  • write reports on all claims.

Skills and knowledge

Insurance loss adjusters need to know:

  • their area of insurance specialisation
  • insurance policies, including what each policy covers
  • relevant laws such as the Insurance Law Reform Acts.

Working conditions

Insurance loss adjusters:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work weekends or evenings to meet deadlines
  • work in offices, but may travel locally to visit clients.

What's the job really like?

Peter Webb

Peter Webb

Insurance Loss Adjuster

From builder to loss adjuster

When builder-by-trade Peter Webb arrived in New Zealand from the UK in 1994, he soon realised he was ready for a career change.

"I went to work one day, got soaking wet on a building site and decided I'd had enough." That day he applied for three jobs and got one with an insurance company.

Over the next six years the company offered Peter training and he took all the necessary insurance exams.

Redundancy led to job

Due to changes in the market, Peter was made redundant in 2001, but he saw this as an opportunity to set up his own online loss adjusting company. He has found his combination of skills very useful for running a business.

"I can adapt to different situations and I can talk to people, which means I'm on for better roles, even at a late stage in life.

"I like the fact that I had to re-educate myself at the age of 42. That was a step up that I never thought I would achieve. I am creative in the way that I've designed the systems that I work to, and that gives me a sense of achievement."

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become an insurance loss adjuster.

However, most loss adjusters have a background in insurance and often have qualifications or experience in accounting, construction, science or business.

Training on the job

Loss adjusters may complete further training to become chartered loss adjusters. First you must apply for membership of the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters (AICLA).

After this you must complete exams administered by the Australasian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance. Passing these allows you to qualify for a Diploma of Loss Adjusting.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements. However, a tertiary entrance qualification with English and maths may be useful.

Personal requirements

Insurance loss adjusters need to be:

  • able to communicate with a wide range of people
  • tactful and patient
  • accurate
  • pragmatic, thorough and able to make good judgements
  • enquiring and able to interpret and analyse information
  • motivated and disciplined
  • good researchers and investigators
  • good with numbers and computers.

Being able to communicate is very important, because if you can't express yourself, you wouldn't be able to do this job.

Photo:  Allen Baker

Allen Baker

Insurance Loss Adjuster

Useful experience

Useful experience for insurance loss adjusters includes work in another area of insurance, especially claims, survey or inspection work, or legal or accountancy work. Practical experience in a relevant industry, such as panelbeating or building, is helpful.

Physical requirements

Insurance loss adjusters need to be reasonably fit and healthy, as their job may involve crawling under houses or up on roofs to inspect damage to buildings. They should also have a neat and tidy appearance.

Find out more about training

Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters (AICLA)
+61 7 3229 6663 - adminoffice@aicla.org - www.aicla.org
The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance
0800 103 675 - customerservice@theinstitute.com.au - www.careersininsurance.com.au
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

 Demand for new insurance loss adjusters is high due to:

  • ageing - most loss adjusters are over the age of 45
  • cybercrime and weather events increasing claims
  • ongoing claims after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

According to the Census, 1,581 insurance loss adjusters worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Future outlook good

Chances of getting a job in future are good as:

  • loss adjusters retire
  • loss adjusters with specialist IT skills are needed.

Insurance firms main employers

Loss adjusters may work as employees or contractors for:

  • insurance companies
  • insurance loss adjusting firms.


  • Alexander,D, 'The Future of the Insurance Industry', 23 May 2015, (www.nzfb.co.nz).
  • Gray,M, 'Lack of New Loss Adjusters 'A Serious Problem'', 3 August 2015, (www.insurancebusinessonline.co.nz).
  • Hays, '2015 Hays Salary Guide', 2015. (www.hays.net.nz).
  • Hays, 'Hays Quarterly Report October-December 2015, Insurance', 2015. (www.hays.net.nz).
  • KPMG, 'General Insurance Update – November 2015', 2015, (www.kpmg.com/NZ).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Insurance loss adjusters may specialise in insurance areas, such as motor, marine, engineering or financial. They may also progress into supervisory or management roles or set up their own company.

Insurance loss adjusters may specialise in:

  • aviation, motor, marine
  • household and small business
  • natural disasters
  • engineering and construction
  • financial and liability.
Kim Harrison looks at a shelf of folders

Insurance loss adjusters calculate claims for customers

Last updated 16 September 2020