Tips When Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
An insurance claims adjuster is the person assigned to review your case and make recommendations to the insurance company after you file a claim. Knowing how to deal with an insurance adjuster is imperative, as this person does not want what is best for your claim and can use many tricks to take advantage of you. Protect yourself and your future with the following tips.
Even if you know that the insurance adjuster is not on your side, remain calm and polite during conversations. Getting angry, frustrated, or yelling at the adjuster will not help your case, and could paint you as an unreliable witness. Similarly, although the adjuster will be polite to you and may try to sound like your friend, keep in mind that the adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. Do not let a friendly tone fool you into trusting the adjuster.
Record the Conversation
If you can, use an app or tool to record your conversations with the claims adjuster. Let the adjuster know that you are recording. If you cannot record the conversation, write down everything that was discussed as soon as you hang up. Keep copies of all other forms of communication between you and the insurance company, as well, such as letters and emails.
Say No to Giving a Recorded Statement
At some point during your conversation with an insurance adjuster – typically, soon after the accident occurred – he or she will ask your permission to record a statement from you. Politely say no to this request. Say that you will submit a written statement later, instead. The insurance company does not need a recorded statement from you, even if the adjuster says it does to process your claim. The recorded statement is a tactic that can be used to twist your own words around and use them against you.
Limit the Details You Give
One of the insurance adjuster’s goals in speaking to you is to obtain information about your accident and injuries. Bear in mind, however, that the adjuster will be searching for ways to use this information against you. Protect yourself by limiting the information and details that you give to the adjuster. Give only limited personal information, and only when asked. Do not give any details about your injuries. Set limits on the conversation; if you do not feel comfortable talking about something, say so. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say that you don’t know.
Do Not Admit Fault
Even if you believe that you contributed to an accident, do not say this to the insurance adjuster. Do not say that you are sorry for the accident or admit any kind of fault for the accident, your injuries or property damage. Remember that the adjuster’s main goal is to reduce the insurance company’s liability for your losses. Any admission of guilt or negligence could compromise your claim and even lead to a denial.
Resist Rushing Into a Fast Settlement
Most claimants with injuries or property damage want to resolve their claims as quickly as possible. Insurance adjusters know this and will capitalize on it. If the insurance company accepts your claim, the first settlement offer from the adjuster will most likely be low, meaning it is inadequate or unfair based on the extent of your losses. The insurance adjuster is testing to see if you know the value of your claim and how to negotiate, or if you will simply jump at the chance to rush into a fast settlement and end your claim.
Take the Time to Talk to an Attorney
Do your best to resist accepting the first settlement. While it may take longer to negotiate back and forth with counteroffers, obtaining fair and full financial compensation for your losses can be well worth the wait. In general, once you accept a settlement and close your case, you cannot reopen it – even if you discover later that the amount you received is not enough for property repairs or medical bills. Work with an attorney from the beginning of your claim to fight for a fair settlement value. An Arizona auto insurance bad faith attorney knows exactly how to deal with insurance claims adjusters.