Car accidents have consequences and when you are in one and have to make a property or injury claim, you will deal with insurance companies and auto insurance adjuster. They will ask you questions concerning the incidentals of the accident and will be prepared to do their job, which means they will work to reimburse claims at the lowest limit possible for the insurance company they represent. So, with that in mind, there are certain comments or statements that you should not say or divulge to an adjuster to avoid complications with your claim.
Dealing With Adjuster Inquiries
Remember that any trained insurance adjuster will do what they can to save the insurance company they represent as much money as possible through any claim made. You’ll be under the guidance of a trained adjuster from the start of your claim, so you’ll want to know how to deal with any inquiries the adjuster or adjusters have. You’re likely to receive a call from one wanting as much information from you as possible along with your side or rendition of what happened in the accident.
You may deal with one or more auto insurance adjuster with your accident situation, as there are specialty adjusters at different levels with insurance companies. An auto insurance adjuster can be investigators only or work with injury-related cases. They can be negotiators in dealings with attorneys or handle property damage issues with vehicle damage. Property damage adjusters can estimate damages, or they can specialize in paying out for damages.
What to Remember
When you speak with a property damage adjuster, specialty adjuster or any insurance representative, above all you want to be honest and believable in any answers you give to them. You want to do the right thing and it will help you in defending yourself legally should they involve you in a court case. Adjusters will do what they can to dig at you when they believe you aren’t being truthful with them. You want any information you provide to sound credible and convincing.
What to Avoid
Just what should you avoid saying to an auto insurance adjuster? Here are some more important things to take into consideration before revealing information to any insurance adjuster in a property damage or bodily insurance situation.
Don’t Admit Fault
When you speak with an adjuster or adjusters don’t admit fault or speak apologetically. Since an adjuster will investigate your accident, they will look for ways to vindicate the insurance company of any fault. If you admit blame for the accident in your initial conversations with an adjuster, you could jeopardize your case or lessen your chances of compensation. Even in the slight chance that you think you are at fault, don’t speak of it in any phone conversations with the insurance company or the adjuster. You want to wait for the complete investigation to determine fault. You may not be aware of the other driver’s fault or a defect with any vehicle in question.
If you aren’t clear with the facts in an accident situation, decline politely to provide answers to an adjuster’s questions. You don’t want to give an opinion as to what you think happened or place blame. Giving unproven statements could jeopardize your claim. An adjuster could use what you said previously and turn it to your detriment as the claim progresses. Keep any answers short, concise and truthful. Don’t provide unasked for details. Anytime you are unsure of an answer, say nothing.
Don’t Disclose Injury Information
When you experience an accident that includes bodily injury, an insurance adjuster will probably ask you for information about those injuries. You don’t have to answer those questions other than to explain to the adjuster that you will provide the information once doctors have assessed all your injuries. You need to explain that you don’t know the full extent of those injuries until such time that your doctors provide you with a breakdown of your injuries and a complete diagnosis of your medical condition. Divulging the status of your injuries before you have all the facts may give the adjuster the idea that your injuries are not that extensive. Also, don’t sign any medical release forms that provide access to your medical records. If you allow this kind of access, an adjuster may discover other injuries or other medical problems that they will try to relate to your current condition.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
You’re not legally obligated to give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster. They will probably ask you, as most adjusters will want you to agree to a recorded statement. You are completely within your rights to refuse. An adjuster cannot require you to make a recorded statement. Declining is the right thing to do as an adjuster may try to use any recorded statement against you as your claim progresses and turn your story around and damage your credibility.
Don’t Accept First Settlement
If the insurance company gives you a settlement offer the first time around, you don’t want to accept it as it’s usually a bottom dollar offer. The adjuster may try to tell you that there will be no other offers or that this is a last offer. A first offer is usually a lot lower than the actual value of your claim. An insurance company will be in hopes you are desperate enough to accept an initial offer. You have a right to fight for full compensation.
If you are unsure how to deal with insurance adjusters, complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with the answers you need to communicate effectively with insurance adjusters and the settlement of your claim.