- It is important to remember that the job of an insurance adjuster is to investigate the validity and value of your claim, while closing settlements quickly and with the lowest possible cost.
- Before speaking or meeting with the adjuster, review your policy and note what is covered under it and what is excluded.
- Collect as much evidence as possible for your claim, including photographs, written estimates and receipts for any expenses you have had to pay so far.
- When speaking with the adjuster assigned to your claim, be polite and honest, but do not volunteer opinions or extra information that is not requested.
- Remember that this claim negotiation is a process. Be patient and negotiate to receive the best offer, and never suggest a settlement amount first.
There are many situations in which you will find yourself having to deal with an insurance adjuster. For instance, if you are involved in a vehicular accident, if you suffer property damage from fire or flooding or even if someone else suffers an injury on your property. Any time you file a claim with any of your insurers, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case.
In any situation, it is important to remember that the adjuster works for the insurance company. Their job is to investigate the validity of your claim and asses the value of your claim. Further, adjusters are rated on their performance in closing settlements quickly and with the lowest possible costs to the company.
The following tips will be helpful in making your claim go smoothly.
Be familiar with your policy.
Take some time before your meeting to review your policy and note what is covered under it and what is excluded. Also take note of the total coverage limits that the insurer will pay on a claim under your policy. Adjusters can only offer what is allowed by the policy.
Gather evidence for your claim.
Be thorough in collecting any evidence for your claim, including photographs, written estimates and receipts for any expenses you have had to pay so far. An adjuster has to support their decisions with documentation, so any evidence you can present to them bolsters your position and makes their determination easier.
Be civil, honest and concise.
When you actually meet with or speak with the adjuster assigned to your claim, be polite. They are only doing their job. Do your best to tell the complete truth as you remember it. The adjuster will be investigating your case, so if you deliberately lie for a better outcome, they will most likely find out and all of your testimony will then be suspect. But, only answer the questions that they ask you. Do not volunteer opinions or extra information that is not requested. Everything you say can be used in the adjuster’s determination of your claim, so it is best not to give them anything they can use to lower the value of your claim.
Do not rush to accept an offer.
Remember that this is a negotiation process. Many people take the first offer just to get it over with. An adjuster is evaluated by their ability to settle claims quickly. If you continue to hold out for a fair settlement, an adjuster may offer more just to have your claim resolved. It is also essential that you never suggest a settlement amount first. The adjuster may think your claim is worth $10,000, but if you offer $5,000 the adjuster will settle for that. Be patient and negotiate to receive the best offer.
An experienced attorney can provide professional guidance to ensure you get a fair settlement. If you are considered filing or have filed an insurance claim, contact our office to learn what your rights are and how we can help you achieve the best outcome.