Motor assessor: training and requirements

Atlas Magazine is providing the second part of its special issue dedicated to motoring claim appraisal. The first part, published in May 2014, was devoted to the definition of the motor assessor and his role while in this issue, we deal with the status of the assessor and the evolution of this business.

The profession of motor assessor

Photo credit: US Departement of Labor The way the status of motor assessor is acquired differs from one country to another. There are no international standards related to access this trade. In general, the candidate is required to demonstrate the ability to become an expert and submit candidacy to the approval of a regulatory authority. Approval can be done through an examination or by a simple individual case examination.

Motor insurance appraisal, acquisition method
CountryRequired qualifications for the acquisition of motor assessor’s statusAccessRegulatory authority
South Africa
BaccalaureateNational certificateSouth African Qualifications Authority
-Examination of the file by the central bank (CBB)Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)
United States
BaccalaureateCertificate of motor assessorDifferent according to the States
BaccalaureateDiploma of motor assessorCommission Nationale des Experts en Automobile
-Examination of the file by the ministry of justiceMinistry of justice
BaccalaureateCertificate of motor assessorInstitute of Loss Adjusters
Technical baccalaureate +3 years of speacilised studiesDiploma of motor assessorOrdre National des Experts et Evaluateurs Agréés of Senegal
Baccalaureate+2 years and 5 years experience in motor businessExamination of the file by the FTUSAFédération Tunisienne des Sociétés d’Assurance (FTUSA)

Motor assessor job requirements

Operating individually or in a company, motor insurance assessors act at the request of insurance companies, insured individuals, justice or administration. To meet the needs of all parties, they are required to demonstrate technical and interpersonal skills.

Technical qualities required for motor assessor

The motor insurance adjuster’s activity entails technical knowledge that is specific to motor land vehicles. Mastery of the techniques used (electrical, mechanical, sheet metal work, etc.) is essential to the exercise of this profession. Adjusters must also know the different methods of assessing damage and be able to prove all their assertions.

Motor assessor, compliance with ethical issues

Image provided by Fotolia. Used with permission from Microsoft (modified picture)Motor insurance assessors must be independent and impartial. Information they receive is confidential, coming from parties whose interests are often conflicting. It is therefore the case for the assessors to be faced with the combined pressure of their clients, the owner of the vehicle, the manufacturer and its subcontractors, insurance companies and possibly members of arbitration boards or colleagues, hence, the necessity for them to comply with the obligation of confidentiality and professional secrecy.

In addition, the ability to provide motoring insurance appraisal services of high quality is a key factor in the fight against fraud, including that directed against insurers.

Compliance with ethical rules is, therefore, crucial for the credibility of the profession.

Communicating qualities

The tasks entrusted to the insurance adjusters require communicating skills which enable them to coordinate their activities with the clients that resort to their services and the internal or external working teams when recourse to the services of a third party is needed. This entails an ability to perfectly identify objectives, engage in discussions on key issues and to organize contradictory discussions in order to come up with solutions.

Evolution and adaptation

Regulatory or technological developments, such as remote motoring appraisal, the automatic evaluation of repairs etc. also require adaptation skills.

Professional incompatibilities

Many laws prohibit the practice of motoring insurance appraisal with some other activities including: holding public office, production, sale, rental, repair and dealing in vehicles load, the exercise of the profession of insurer and generally any activity that may compromise the independence of the adjuster.

The expert’s liability

The technical independence of the motor assessors, their role as certifier and decision maker may present serious consequences that are prejudicial to their ordering customers or other third parties. It is for these reasons that the legislature has often required that motoring insurance assessors have to underwrite a third party liability cover to ensure against any errors that they may make.

Evolution of the business

Being the centerpiece of the claim settlement process, motor insurance adjusters are currently at the crossroads, having to meet two problems: not only do they have to cope with new technologies, but they are also required to slow down their falling income induced by insurance companies. The latter in their relentless pursuit of reduced costs, now consider the fees of loss adjusters too high.

New technologies

© Derek Harper, CC BY-SA 2.0

In order to survive, the motoring insurance adjusters are required to adapt to new techniques such as remote appraisal or assistance in the sale or purchase of used vehicles in addition to dealing with coercive measures imposed on road users.

New equipment installed on vehicles (brakes, detection of front cars or those located in blind spots, etc.) and the safety measures taken by the government (radars, tougher laws in case of violation of road traffic regulations, improvement of road equipment, etc.), all of these factors have contributed to the decline of claims. Such improvements in road safety will inevitably result in the fall of motoring assessors’ income.

Moreover, the future setting up of automation systems (automatic quantification of damage, and quote control etc.) will gradually compete with the assessors’ business.

To maintain their income and meet all of these technical constraints, the insurance adjusters are required to broaden the scope of their profession, considering new services to be provided including:

  • business consulting to both firms and individuals: the service consists in involving the adjusters in the purchase or sale of a used vehicle. The expert will check the vehicle, set its value and submit an appraisal report to conclude the vehicle transfer or acquisition. Insurance adjusters may also intervene in the estimation of vehicle maintenance costs.
  • remote appraisal : already implemented in a number of countries, this measure consists in defining the methodology for the restoration of a damaged vehicle on the basis of a catalogue of pictures taken / sent by the client or repairer.
  • another alternative, the extension of appraisal activity to other countries. This is the solution that is currently being studied within the European Union. A German motoring assessor could, therefore, intervene in France, Italy or any other country in the space defined.

Panorama of motoring insurance appraisal


In France, motor insurance appraisal is a business regulated by the Code of road traffic.

Two conditions are established by law to acquire the title of motor insurance assessor:

  • hold a diploma of a motor adjuster (DEA), issued by the ministry of national education.
  • be included on the national list of motor experts.

Photo credit: U.S. Marine CorpsThe national list of motor experts is maintained and updated by the ministry of transport.

The number of motor experts is set to decline due to improved road safety and to the reduced number of accidents.

The remuneration of loss adjusters depends on the volume of their activity and on the rates charged by insurance companies.

In 2013, the national list totals 2 800 motor experts.


It is the insurance Code that regulates the activity of motor adjusters in Tunisia.

Access to this profession is subject to the following conditions:

  • to be a Tunisian national,
  • not to have been convicted of crime or intentional tort,
  • not to having been declared bankrupt,
  • not to have been banned from administration of own assets,
  • to have successfully completed the first two years of advanced education in the chosen specialty,
  • to have at least a five-year professional experience in motor mechanics.

The candidate has also to submit specifications at the Tunisian federation of insurance companies (FTUSA) and register on a national list of motor adjusters held by the same federation.
The motor adjuster is appointed and paid by the insurance company.

Motoring adjusters are represented by a professional association which is member to the International Federation of Automobile Experts (FIEA).


Used with permission from MicrosoftIn Senegal, motor appraisal business is managed by the Ordre des Experts et Evaluateurs Agréés (the borad of chartered experts and assessors), a public body of a professional nature in which only registered members may exercise the business of adjusters.

Individuals eligible for the profession of certified assessors have to fulfill some requirements such as:

  • to be a Senegalese national or a citizen of a State bound to Senegal by a reciprocity agreement,
  • not to sustain a professional ban,
  • to be at least 25 years old,
  • to be in full possession of one’s civic rights,
  • to be reputed for integrity,
  • to have the skills and diplomas required,
  • to be tax resident in Senegal.

The adjuster candidate must hold the following degrees or equivalent degree recognized by the State:

  • higher technician certificate,
  • professorship diploma in practical vocational education of schools and colleges, specialty auto mechanics,
  • higher technician certificate in auto mechanics or professional certificate in auto mechanics, or technical degree and demonstrate a minimum of three years of professional experience in auto mechanics.

Motoring loss appraisal can be practiced within the framework of a co-proprietorship provided that all partners are individually members of the associated of chartered experts and assessors and that the company is considered fit to practice by the association’s board.


In Morocco, there are nearly 200 sworn motor insurance adjusters, listed in the national council. This business may be practiced individually or as a company.

Mechanics training © IICD, CC BY 2.0

The list of experts is established by decree of the minister of justice and published in the official gazette.
The business is governed by general legislation (law 45-00), which regulates the activity of legal experts. The applicant will just need to submit an application in the chosen specialty and expertise and to fulfill the terms and conditions required by the legislator.
Further investigation is being conducted by the attorney general to ensure that the candidate has indeed fulfilled the required conditions. Once the application is granted approval of the attorney it is then sent to the ministry of justice.

Some of the conditions required by the legislator are as follows:

  • nationality. In addition to the people of Moroccan nationality, foreigners can practice the profession of assessors subject to the existence of a bilateral agreement between Morocco and their country of origin,
  • the absence of any conviction for a criminal offense.

The minimum age required for the exercise of the motor assessor profession is 30 years.

In Morocco, the business is facing two major problems:

  • the flow of expert candidates from other specialties,
  • the emergence of pseudo-experts, devoid of technical training.
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