Diary of an Insurer: Criterion Loss Adjusters’ Mark Watts

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Mark Watts, high-net-worth adjuster at Criterion Loss Adjusters, watches the weather, analyses forensic reports, and hits the road to assess major fire damage.

Mark Watts, Criterion
Photo: Criterion


I’m normally out of bed by 5am.

Today I’m prepared for a day of site visits across the Birmingham and Warwickshire areas.

Being based in Leicester should mean that I can get round today pretty hassle free but you never know what surprises the UK roads have in store for you.

So I check the BBC website and local traffic reports just in case I need to make any last minute changes to my travel plans.

The day runs pretty smoothly and I’ve really enjoyed tackling four completely different claims ranging from a motor impact to a commercial warehouse to a high-net-worth theft claim.

I’m safely back home at 5.30pm where I then spend another 90 minutes completing reports for each claim so they can be sent to insurers with instruction on how to proceed.


virtual cycling Zwift turbo trainer

Today is a day in the office, which is at my home in Leicester.

I start the day with a 40 minute work out on my hybrid cross trainer bike. I like to work out most mornings as it really helps put you in the right frame of mind for the day ahead.

My workday starts at 7.30am and involves lots of emails, calls, and paperwork to ensure claims are being processed smoothly.

In the afternoon I spends 90 minutes with some developers on a digital project to enhance Criterion’s service delivery. I find this really interesting as Criterion is always looking at ways to make its processes better.

It is great being involved in the development of these projects as the end user, so that the tools are purpose built to suit our needs.

This new enhancement will help automatically generate and update reports and photographs from site into our system. My day is complete when I send some claims reports to insurers at 6pm.


Pulteney Bridge in Bath, Somerset, at dusk
Photo: narvikk

I’ve been instructed by a broker to visit Bath to look at a major loss claim.

This is out of my normal area, but the broker has specifically asked for me as I’ve worked with them before on property claims.

I prepare for the visits by setting up some detail site notes on my iPad.

The drive down to Bath from Leicester is pretty trouble free and I make it in just over three hours to witness storm damage to a warehouse.

After capturing photos and a report of the claim, I travel a short distance to visit a family member in Bath for a coffee and bite to eat.

To maximise my time, I have set up two other site visits in Bath to evaluate high-net-worth property claims.

These are particularly interesting, and they require real attention to detail as a large percentage of buildings in the centre of Bath are listed.

In fact, the city was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1987.

A longer drive back home than I expected as I catch the rush hour and make it to Leicester by 6.45pm.

The working day is complete following the completion of my reports from today’s claims.



I’m working from home again today and start the day with emails and calls to insurers, brokers, surveyors, building specialists and Criterion colleagues.

I also spend a larger part of the morning analysing different forensic reports for a commercial warehouse electrical fire.

These are fascinating and you must be on your game as there are lots of technical details around instructions where you are seeking lots of information.

The afternoon involves a quick check of online weather reports as some stormy weather is forecast for parts of the UK. As an adjuster you need to be ahead of the weather wherever possible.

My working day is finished at 6pm although I then spend a few hours studying for my latest Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA) examinations.


building on fire

Last day of the week is a fire claim in Guildford, which was reported the night before.

While this is out of my normal area, the local adjusters and next closest all have full days of visits and with this being urgent and the customer being in need of assistance, I volunteered to travel out of area to assist.

I leave my home at 6am for the four-hour drive to Surrey. Thankfully the M25 is relatively traffic free this morning.

The loss involves major fire damage to a purpose built, bespoke designed home. I inspect the damage and prepare my report including details of the damage, loss value and capture photos on site.

All this information will be with insurers later in the day to prevent any delays.

I’m back in Leicester by 6pm. Time to plan for the weekend although I’m on call so expect the unexpected.

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