Insurance Claims Careers: Subrogation Professionals

What Is Subrogation Recovery?

Across the nation there are a plethora of companies that specialize in subrogation recovery. In simple terms, subrogation is the pursuit of reimbursement on insurance claims that should have been paid by somebody else. Essentially, as a subrogation specialist, one would be representing an insurance company by attempting to recover claim payments from the parties that should have paid them in the first place.

As a simple example, imagine that you have been involved in an automobile accident that was not your fault, and that the person that caused the accident is uninsured, so you had to file a claim with your own company.

Here is what the subrogation specialist at your company (if they have a subrogation department) should do:

1.  The specialist will first locate the “at fault” individual and attempt to contact them.

This can be a pretty hard job. Locating people is the main specialty of a good subro specialist. They will have to become an exceptional skiptracer. Skiptracing is the art of locating people that are either hiding or simply “not that stable”.

People that don’t have insurance are probably people that are in the lower income brackets, and they just can’t afford insurance. It is implied that if they can’t afford insurance, then they probably can’t afford a house, and may have a cheap method of staying in touch with friends and family. This presents a problem as they may move frequently, and finding a good mailing address or phone number is going to be hard. Even if you find a good mailing address, the chances are slim that you are going to get a response from sending a letter that says they owe money, hehe (I would throw unknown mail in the trash). So believe me, this is an art, and finding a good phone number is the key, which is where the next point comes into play.

 2.   So if one is unable to locate a good address, then they should start by researching the “common sense” avenues for finding a good address or number, such as canvassing the last known address information, or other tricks I won’t give away, hehe.

If a specialist is working for a valid company, then they will have access to some “special” databases which will provide them with a last known address. The good specialist will search for telephone numbers to businesses and addresses that are nearby to the subject’s address. Practice will make gleaning information from these nearby’s invaluable and soon, the seasoned specialist will have an avenue of contact. Time, training and practice is all it takes; it’s not that hard.

 3.   After locating an avenue of contact, the primary goal is to get the “tortfeasor” on the phone or at least corresponding.

After this contact, the goal is to negotiate some type of resolution to the pending lawsuit (if authorized) or subrogation claim. The thing that is “hard” or maybe I should say “missing”, is the skiptracing and negotiation training.

After location, the negotiation tools of a subrogation specialist make the negotiation part a little easier than it would be for your average consumer debt collector. The thing about subrogation is that it has a little more “teeth” than other types of “collection” (it’s really a tort claim and not a consumer debt except that Washington and Colorado disagree).

In almost every state, there is a law that can allow the subrogation specialist to set into motion a driver license suspension as a result of the “uninsured motorist’s at fault, and uninsured accident”. There are not many specialists that are “exemplary” or highly knowledgeable in this field. Traditionally, a specialist is trained from scratch by a subro company because the pay rate for a specialist is not as high as that of a seasoned and practicing adjuster (which may not make a good recovery specialist anyway). It is changing, but for a long time, the subro adjuster was looked at as a “sub-par” adjuster.

Subrogation is definitely a specialty field, and hands on training, or specialty training is the only way to go. Having some claims adjusting experience is a definite plus, but the right training can make up for the lack of adjusting experience. It is not required to have an adjuster’s license to practice subrogation as the specialist will not actually be adjusting claims.

4.   After having the proper training, an individual with no adjusting experience (or license) can make up to or more than $65K per year.

 Subrogation – Up and Coming Career

If you are looking for a career change and want to get into a specialty, then all you need to do is a little research. Subrogation is still up and coming, and many small insurance companies still do not have an in house specialist. With the proper training, a person can start an awesome career that can help keep everybody’s insurance rates in check. You’d be doing a public service, and the subrogation industry is gaining recognition. Many attorneys now do nothing more than pursue recovery of subrogation claims.

Someone who gets good at the “ins and outs” of subrogation can move up in the world and create a substantial nest egg for themselves while building respect within the humongous insurance industry!

Posted in: General Claims