Insurance Appraisers of Auto Damages

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Also known as:
Auto Damage Appraiser, Auto Damage Insurance Appraiser, Automobile Damage Appraiser, Vehicle Damage Appraiser

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Video transcript

Auto damage appraisers spend much of their work time in driveways, garages, and repair shops. The appraiser estimates the final cost of the repairs - parts, plus labor - to settle an insurance claim. An experienced appraiser can assess the job fairly quickly. He or she relies on labor and parts-costs manuals to come up with a number, then puts haggling skills to work to negotiate the bottom line with the repair shop.

The appraiser often has to decide whether a damaged vehicle is worth fixing at all, and if not, what its salvage value is. The job involves some paperwork. Insurance forms need to be filled out accurately. People skills are a plus, especially when another appraiser has to be called in to resolve a dispute with the repair shop over the cost. The demand for auto damage appraisers is expected to remain steady, because accidents will happen.

Most appraisers start with a bachelor's degree, but some insurance companies also look for vocational training or work-related experience and of course, a valid driver's license.

Appraise automobile or other vehicle damage to determine repair costs for insurance claim settlement. Prepare insurance forms to indicate repair cost or cost estimates and recommendations. May seek agreement with automotive repair shop on repair costs.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Arrange to have damage appraised by another appraiser to resolve disagreement with shop on repair cost.

Determine salvage value on total-loss vehicle.

Examine damaged vehicle to determine extent of structural, body, mechanical, electrical, or interior damage.

Evaluate practicality of repair as opposed to payment of market value of vehicle before accident.

Estimate parts and labor to repair damage, using standard automotive labor and parts cost manuals and knowledge of automotive repair.

Review repair cost estimates with automobile repair shop to secure agreement on cost of repairs.

Prepare insurance forms to indicate repair cost estimates and recommendations.

Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.