What Is an Insurance Inspector?

Explore the career requirements for insurance inspectors. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Insurance Investigator?

An insurance investigator is an investigator who looks into suspected fraudulent insurance claims. When an insurance company believes a client may be making a false or exaggerated claim, they call on an insurance investigator to conduct a closer inquiry. Investigators may also probe more complex insurance fraud schemes. Depending on how far the case goes, investigators may compile evidence to be used in court to support the insurance company's position.

The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required High school diploma (or equivalent); postsecondary training preferred
Educational Field of Study Law enforcement, criminal justice
Key Responsibilities Investigate suspicious insurance claims; prepare investigative reports; gather evidence for court proceedings
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 3%* (Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators)
Average Salary (2015) $64,300* (Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Does an Insurance Inspector Do?

The nature of an insurance investigator's work often depends on the kind of insurance company for which they are working. For instance, if the insurance investigator is looking into a claim of exaggerated vehicle damage, they may visit the client in person to discuss the case and evaluate the condition of the car. At a higher level, if they are looking into a corruption ring, investigators may conduct more broad-ranging investigations that can include tailing suspects and interviewing associates. Regardless of what kind of claim they are investigating, investigators prepare thorough results of their findings that can help the insurance company determine how much to pay out, or that can be used in court if the insurance company decides to take the case to a court.

What Training Is Required To Become An Insurance Inspector?

For an entry-level job as an insurance investigator, the only educational requirement is a high school diploma. However, it is important to note that many insurance companies prefer to hire investigators who have postsecondary training and/or work experience in law enforcement or private investigations. It can also be helpful to have some knowledge of or experience in a field related to the kind of insurance company you are working for. For example, it can be helpful to have a solid understanding of medical terminology and industry practices if you want to work as an investigator for a health insurance company.

What Are the Salary Expectations and Job Prospects for Aspiring Insurance Inspectors?

In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the average annual salary for all insurance claims adjusters, examiners and investigators was $64,300. The majority worked for insurance carriers or agencies, but many also worked for state and federal government agencies. Between 2014 and 2024, the BLS estimates that job opportunities in the field will increase by only 3%, which is slower than the national average for all occupations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to work in the insurance industry, you could become an insurance appraiser. These professionals evaluate insured items, such as cars or houses, and provide an estimate of their cost or value. They may specialize in damage appraisal, which involves calculating repair costs. For this job, you would need to have at least a high school diploma. Alternatively, if you are looking for an investigator job, you could consider becoming a computer forensics investigator, which involves recovering and evaluating documents and data from computers so that it can be used as evidence in legal cases. Technically, the minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma, but you need to have technological expertise, so it can help to complete a postsecondary certificate program in computer forensics or a bachelor's degree program in computer science.

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