Communicating Effectively With an Insurance Company
Slogans and commercials from insurance companies might make you think they are on your side…until it comes time to file a claim. Insurance companies have one main goal—to save their investors money. Insurance companies profit by using tactics to minimize payouts for clients. It is important to the fate of your claim to learn how to communicate effectively with an insurance company after a personal injury accident in Arizona. Otherwise, you could settle for much less than your losses are actually worth.
Be Prepared and Take Notes
Soon after your accident, someone with the title of insurance claims adjuster will contact you for more information about your case. Before you talk to a claims representative, prepare information about your accident. The claims adjuster will ask you basic questions about your accident. Have this information ready for the most efficient claims process.
- Your name
- Your birth date
- Your insurance policy information
- How the accident happened
- Your diagnosis code
- The sum of your medical bills
In addition to this information, write down a list of questions. The most effective way to handle an insurance claim is to get all of the information you need in a single phone call. Write down any questions you want to ask during the phone conversation. Take good notes about your conversation with the insurance claims adjuster. Write down the date of the phone call and the information the adjuster gave you. Do not agree to give the adjuster a recorded statement about your accident. Politely explain that your lawyer has advised against this. Then, take your notes to a personal injury lawyer for more information about your particular case.
Stick to the Facts
Claimants often know more about their accidents than insurance claims adjusters. Claims adjusters see a few cases across their desks each month. They have a short time to learn about your case before making a decision. When a claims adjuster calls you, he or she will ask questions about your accident. Stick to the facts. Do not embellish your story or make guesses as to fault or liability. Only answer the questions the claims adjuster asks you. Stick to short and concise answers rather than descriptive narratives. If you do not have the answer to a question, say so. Do not feel pressured to answer questions. If you do not feel comfortable talking to an insurance claims adjuster alone, hire a lawyer to do so for you.
Avoid Admitting Fault
Never admit that you were to blame for the accident during a conversation with a claims adjuster. The insurance carrier will search for any reason to deny your claim. Admitting fault could allow the company to avoid liability for your damages. Instead, say you do not know who caused the accident. That way, the insurance company will have to rely on investigators for the truth. Even if you believe you contributed to the accident, somebody else could be at fault as well. If you share fault with one or more parties, you could still be eligible to receive partial compensation based on Arizona’s comparative negligence law. Admitting fault, on the other hand, may take away your right to recover.
Know When to Contact an Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
Unfortunately, not all insurance companies handle claims fairly. If you were badly injured in an accident in Phoenix and have to deal with the insurance process, be prepared to talk to an insurance bad faith lawyer. Bad faith describes an insurance company intentionally or negligently mishandling a claim. Bad faith could make it more difficult to receive fair compensation for your injuries. A Phoenix insurance bad faith lawyer can help you go up against an insurance company in pursuit of fair benefits as well as additional compensation. Talk to an insurance bad faith lawyer as soon as you suspect a claims adjuster of misconduct.