The insurance adjuster is here. Are they too friendly? Be careful if he is! You can be friendly and welcoming. Be kind, cordial and polite – but be careful! Remember that he is paid to save the company as much as possible. This is his goal.
DON’T SIGN ANYTHING. Don’t underestimate the goodwill of the adjuster. They are trained to look after their insured’s interests by investigating accident cases in a manner that makes them look good. Many people are unaware of the dangers that the adjuster can cause by trying to protect his company’s bottom line at the expense a legitimate claimant.
If a company calls and asks you to give a statement by telephone, tell them that you prefer to meet with an adjuster. Do not agree to dictate a statement verbally into a tape recorder while you are on the phone with a company. Do not sign a statement if you meet with an adjuster. No matter what the circumstances, inform whomever you are dealing with that you will be willing to sign a statement once your claim has been settled.
HOW TO PROCEED WITH AN ADJUSTER Do not take the blame for the actions of the person who hit you. If his insured is a fool, it’s not the fault of the adjuster.
Never underestimate the value of the adjuster’s impressions or conclusions. All of these will be included in your file. The final disposition of your claim will be influenced greatly by what he thinks and the reports he makes about you. He will like you if he does. If he is angry with you, he can twist the facts to make it look bad. Once that’s done, it will be set into cement and go into your file. It will haunt you until the very last dollar of your settlement.
THE ADJUSTERS CLAIM LIFT: Insurance adjusters are judged on not only how much money they spend on settlements but also how fast they settle claims. They are constantly under pressure to settle your case, to move on. Although the adjuster won’t tell you this, the weight of their caseload is on your side. This is an advantage that most people don’t know about.
THE ADJUSTERS’ SETTLEMENT AUTHORITY. The ability of an Adjuster to settle claims by themselves is limited by their experience. A less experienced adjuster may be able to settle claims for $5,000 to $10,000. However, a more experienced adjuster might have a settlement authority of up to $20,000. If they are responsible for larger sums, they will usually need to get permission from their supervisor to settle the case.
The bottom line: Don’t allow an insurance adjuster to manipulate you into believing that they can make you feel good about yourself and the outcome of your claim. This is not how you should play the game. If they have the chance, they will almost always take advantage. It’s just a fact. They are only doing their job. They are expected to save money for the company that signs their paychecks, no matter how hard it may be.
If you have a valid claim, keep your cool and know what you are up against. Be patient and don’t make it difficult to work with. Keep in mind that the adjuster is looking out for his company. He doesn’t want to see your claim go to court and he also wants to reduce the number of cases he has. Be patient. He’ll eventually do the right thing after all the dust has settled.