Insurance fraud costs individuals and businesses billions of dollars every year. Many companies assign field and special investigative unit (SIU) insurance investigators to conduct a formal inquiry when fraudulent insurance claims or criminal activity is suspected. The attributes required for success in this field – such as interviewing skills, research and analysis – can be developed through a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice.
An insurance investigator’s responsibilities vary according to the severity and nature of the suspected fraud or criminal activity. However, typical job duties may include:
The work environment of insurance investigators can vary greatly. Some days may be spent traveling, while others are spent in an office setting. Insurance investigators sometimes work irregular hours when conducting surveillance or attempting to contact claimants and witnesses. They may work as independent contractors or directly for health and life insurance companies, government agencies and other employers.
The average annual wage for insurance claims adjusters, examiners and investigators was $62,340 as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for the top 10% of earners exceeded $90,570.
Potential salary ranges differ based on industry type, employer size, regional market conditions, and a candidate’s employment history and educational qualifications, among other factors.
Entry requirements to the insurance investigator field can vary, although many employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree and/or related experience. Some employers may favor applicants with specialized knowledge, such as law enforcement investigative methods and procedures.
A future career as an insurance investigator can begin with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Coursework typically includes criminal investigation, research methods in criminal justice, criminal justice ethics and criminology. Graduates of such programs should be able to:
Are you interested in the field of criminal justice? Do you enjoy getting to the bottom of a mystery? If so, you could be suited to a career as an insurance investigator. These professionals should be quick thinkers who are organized and self-motivated, with excellent communication and decision-making skills. Individuals with these attributes can bolster their career prospects by attaining a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.