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If you’re a budding photographer, or even a fairly seasoned pro, the thought of working in the insurance claim photography sector of the industry might never have crossed your mind! Let’s face it, it’s not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of photography. However, if you land a job with a company, or even work in a freelance capacity, the salary can range from around $30,000 right up to well over $100,000.
What is Insurance Claims Photography?
Within the insurance industry companies regularly need photographic evidence of claims being made. For example, if you contact your insurance company to make a claim on a damaged item they may send a photographer to your location to document evidence that your claim is true. They are not likely to do this for a small ticket item but if it’s something of significant value then they will want to make sure that everything is in order.
Similarly, if you’ve experienced a road traffic accident and want to make an insurance claim then you may want to contact a professional insurance claim photographer to document the damage. You can then send these photographs as evidence of your claim. This will make the claiming process run more smoothly and avoid any confusion that might otherwise have arisen.
Insurance companies usually require a lot of documentation when a larger claim is being made. This complicated process can be significantly simplified if there is photographic evidence included, and in many cases it is required.
Photographic evidence may be required if you are making a claim for something which has been damaged, lost or stolen; and in some cases an insurance company won’t issue a policy or pay out a claim with photographic evidence being supplied.
Insurance claims photography is extremely detailed in nature and seeks only to document evidence – it’s not an artistic or creative form of photography. It’s more akin to a set of police photographs of a crime scene than a cinematic wedding photoshoot.
How Do You Find Jobs With Insurance Companies?
Working for an insurance company or taking insurance claims photos as a freelancer can be a very profitable career. It can be difficult to find work in the industry although there are some avenues you should explore to increase your chances.
Firstly, you’ll need to develop an appropriate portfolio that showcases your ability to take documentary type photos. You’ll want to include all the pertinent details of the items you’re shooting.
When you start your job search the first thing to do is to check your local newspapers, job boards and employment bureaus. Insurance companies often still advertise in the traditional ways so it’s always worth starting out with this. Online job sites are another quick way to scan for potential openings in your area.
Meanwhile you can also put together a well written letter of introduction for yourself and a link to your portfolio, a list of your relevant experience and a resume. You can then email this to any local insurance companies in your area. It’s generally best to send your email to the Head of Human Resources and you can usually find their email on the company’s website. Always remember to include your contact information in any correspondences.
After contacting the companies directly you’ll need to sit back and hope for a positive response. Contacting the companies is probably the best approach to take because even if they don’t take you on immediately they may put you on file and contact you down the road.
Freelance Insurance Claim Photographer.
You don’t necessarily need to work for a company to get into this industry because you can set up and work as a freelancer instead. If you do start out as a freelancer then you use this experience later to get work, and a higher salary, with an insurance company.
To start freelancing you need to advertise your skills and experience. Create a website, post adverts on social media and on local notice boards. Word of mouth will be one of your best friends so keep your ear to ground.
You can also buy paid advertising on the main internet search engines so that if someone Googles ‘insurance claims photography’ for your area your name should come up. This can drive large volumes of traffic to your site, particularly if you are the only one advertising this in your town.
There’s a wide range of work that you can do as an insurance claims photographer:
- Vehicle damage after an accident.
- Injuries claims for humans and animals.
- Damage, vandalism and destruction of property claims.
- Poorly executed construction work inside a home.
- Damage following floods, fires or other disasters.
When you first start out in the industry you should try to work in as many fields as possible. After time you’ll start to learn what you’re best at and what you don’t want to do. For instance, you may not enjoy taking photographs of people’s injuries but prefer to document the aftermath of storm damage or car wrecks.
What Are The Challenges of Working as an Insurance Claim Photographer?
It’s a very precise job that needs a concentrated attention to detail and a steady, consistent approach. You’ll have to label and categorize all of the photos you take very accurately so as not to disrupt a claim.
Another aspect of the job which can be pretty challenging is that you may often find yourself working with a customer who has recently experienced a traumatic incident which has led to them wanting to make an insurance claim. They could have recently had a car accident or been robbed, to name just a few things. This means that you’re going to have to be caring and considerate in your dealings with them. You’ll always have to be sensitive to their feelings and emotional state and try to work in a calm and reassuring way. Always listen to them with sincerity and patience.
Insurance Claim Photography is a Safe Career Choice.
Unfortunately, the sad fact is that there will always be accidents, injuries and insurance claims and if you choose to work in that field you’ll know that you are helping people to make the claims that will let them get their lives back on track.
Salaries in the sector are fairly high and the work is consistent and although it might not have been what you envisioned doing while you were studying at college you can still pursue more creative types of photography in your free time. Alternatively you can work on a part time basis and work in other genres simultaneously.
With good people skills, a keen eye for details and the ability to work in a consistent way you’ll find that you can create a great life on the back of working as an insurance claim photographer.
Have you done insurance claim photography?