What do you think of when you hear the term claims adjuster? At TASB, adjusters have always been equally focused on the mission of excellence in education and on member service. In most cases, someone is contacting an adjuster because something bad happened at their organization, whether it be an employee that is injured, a motor vehicle accident, or a lawsuit. TASB adjusters play a key role in response, recovery, and resolution of the claim.
“I know the minute a district files a claim, something bad happened and they are in need of assistance, and that is where I like to shine. Our job is to be caring, compassionate, and provide every bit of assistance we can. Claims and our processes are not easy for anyone outside of the industry to understand,” Adjuster Kim Shelly said. “It is our job to educate our members throughout the process and make it as painless as we can for them.”
Wearing many hats
While the adjuster’s ultimate goal is to resolve a claim and assist members, there are many different elements to the job. Even though many members may have heard of the term adjuster or even worked with an adjuster in the past, not everyone is familiar with what they do or the attention to detail it requires. In the Workers’ Compensation program, this includes coordinating with the Fund’s medical network (the Alliance), conducting interviews with injured employees, speaking with network physicians, consulting with in-house medical staff, and much more. An adjuster is a pivotal role in tying all the disparate pieces of a claim together.
“We must be able to interact not only with employees and employers, but also with medical providers, government entities, administrators, professional experts, and lawyers,” Senior Adjuster Judy McKerracher said. “We have to have a good general knowledge of many different fields and expert knowledge in many of them.”
Each day for a TASB adjuster is different. Some of their many daily tasks include conducting interviews and researching claims, maintaining records, and communicating with a variety of people involved in a claim. In some cases, a property adjuster’s day could even involve climbing ladders or inspecting buildings.
“I have had some amazing conversations and built friendships with districts while on ladders, on roofs, in trees, under buildings, and in their offices,” Kim said. “Come hail or high water (we’ve endured both), I am hands-on and can carry on a conversation and build relationships no matter the circumstance.”
What to expect
When a workers’ compensation claim is filed, adjusters investigate the accident and work to provide the injured employee with the appropriate medical treatment they need to recover from their injury. The adjuster is also focused on getting them back to work as soon as possible and assisting members in every way they can. When working with TASB adjusters, members and claimants should expect a high level of customer service and attention to detail.
“Our members should expect quality service from a TASB Adjuster. They should expect that we will pay all legitimate claims, timely and accurately,” Senior Adjuster Pat Davis said.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, adjusters played a major role in ensuring that members were assisted during a very difficult time. Adjusters across TASB Risk Management Services worked with each other as well as with other TASB staff to help member organizations affected by the storm. This is just one of many examples of how adjusters have played a crucial role in the process of recovery and returning to work.
Kim was one of the many TASB staff members who offered support during hurricane response and recovery by visiting member campuses.
“While my constant communication with them via the phone was great, actually going, seeing, hugging them, and spending a few hours with them through all of this is more than any phone call could do. It builds trust, which is key in my relationship with our members,” she said.
Judy added that adjusters aim to be helpful and informative.
“First, I am here to help,” she said. “If I don’t know the answer to a question, I’ll do my best to find someone who does. I am always happy to go the extra mile and make sure both the member and the injured worker are informed about the process.”
TASB has knowledgeable adjusters who serve members in the Workers’ Compensation and the Auto, Liability, Property programs. For more information or to speak with your assigned adjuster about a claim, call 800.482.7276.