After a car accident, dealing with an insurance claims adjuster is the last thing on your mind. Instead, you should focus on getting your vehicle back on the road and getting medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained.
It’s important to remember that immediately following an automobile accident, you will need to call an insurance claim adjuster. Remember that if you treat claim adjusters badly, you could see a significant reduction in your compensation.
The most important thing to remember is that insurance claims adjusters are paid to do their jobs, not to be your friends. An insurance company’s primary goal is to keep the compensation as low as feasible.
What is an insurance adjuster, and what is a claim adjuster?
In the event of a claim, your insurance company’s claims adjuster, often known as an adjuster, will figure out how much money you should receive.
There are two types of insurance claim adjusters: those employed by your insurance company and those hired by you (or your insurer). They look into matters such as personal harm, medical expenses, and damage to property.
Helping the insurance company determine a fair payout is the job of insurance adjusters.
- In conversation with you, please.
- Evaluation of harms
- Witnesses can be contacted.
- Examining governmental documents, and much more!
How insurance adjusters deal with claims
An insurance claim adjuster begins by putting together a claim file, just like a lawyer would do in preparation for a trial. To the insurance company and the insured (that’s you), they intend to deliver this claim file.
Expert testimony and images from those directly involved in the claim are included in the documentation provided by insurance claims adjusters. The claims adjusters then add their own personal recommendation on how much the insurance company should compensate.
We can use the situation of your dog biting someone and leaving you with a medical bill as an example. A claims adjuster from your insurance company may come over and take photos of your home, interview witnesses and neighbors, confer with your dog’s veterinarian, as well as an independent dog trainer.
Example of how insurance adjusters handle claims
Your fence and roof were both damaged when a neighbor’s tree fell on top of them (double whammy!).
Who’s going to foot the bill? Do you have an estimate for the cost?
You and your insurer have no say in the matter; the insurance claims adjuster has the last say.
They will come to your location (or have someone else do so) and take photos, inspect the damage, interview you and your neighbor, and consult fencing and roofing specialists. They may even interview witnesses. Your insurer will receive a suggestion on how much to pay based on the findings in their report.
Advances in technology and claims adjusters
Insurance claims can be a contentious matter. Although insurance is designed to be a social good, it is also a business that is run by real firms with very real bottom lines, and insurance is no different.
While most insurance companies rely on human claims adjusters to handle all types of claims, others are turning to artificial intelligence and automation to streamline the claims process, which is upending the traditional insurance business model.
Claims are paid out instantly at Lemonade when they fit our criteria, thanks to our claims bot, AI Jim. Simply launch the Lemonade app, fill out a claim form, and attach any necessary documentation. AI will settle the claim in 3 seconds if the claim is instantaneously authorized. There will be a human adjuster involved if the claim becomes too complex for the system to handle.
What Insurance Companies Won’t Tell You After a Car Accident
In their advertising, they portray themselves as kind neighbors who are always there for you when you need them.
Insurance firms, on the other hand, aren’t on your side.
Actually, there’s a lot they don’t tell you—important information.
If you’ve recently filed a claim for vehicle accident compensation, here are seven things to keep in mind.
1. They Don’t Work for You
Many people have the impression that insurance firms are diligently investigating a car accident in order to “do the right thing.” You may even assume that your insurance provider owes you a duty to look out for your best interests while dealing with a claim.
As it stands, they don’t — and they won’t.
Corporations like insurance firms are for profit. The most important thing to them is making money. They’d rather spend their money on themselves than on you. In the end, they’re more concerned about their shareholders than you are about your interests.
This does not imply, however, that insurance companies are free of all responsibilities. They are. Among the rules they must adhere to:
- The specifics of the insurance policy at issue
- Applicable state and national legislation.
- They’ve broken any commitments they’ve given you.
- They owe it to themselves and others to act in good faith.
However, don’t mistake these responsibilities for a duty to work for your own advantage. Attorneys have an obligation to represent their clients, while insurance corporations never do so. (An insurance agent is a representative of the insurance company, not the insured!).
This rule has a reversible effect. The insurance companies for both you and the other drivers are not on your side.
Finally, if your claims adjusters can discover a method to pay you less money or nothing at all, they’ll take it in a heartbeat.
2. They Know Their Settlement Offer Is Too Low
An insurance company’s early settlement offer is likely to be less than the whole amount you’re entitled to. There’s a good chance it’s much less. And the insurance company is already aware of this fact..
Insurance firms routinely make “lowball” bids. The way they make their money is by doing this. It’s important to remember that insurance companies are among the world’s wealthiest.
Although they may have to raise their original offers several times during negotiations, insurers often do this to save money by reducing their initial bids. As soon as possible, they’re already planning for the future.
Denying your claim outright, even if they believe it is valid and worth a lot of money, is what some insurance companies do. So even though insurers can be held liable for doing so (and may even owe you punitive damages), it happens all the time..
An skilled and aggressive New York car accident lawyer can often force insurance companies to make a fair and acceptable settlement offer.
3. They Plan on Using Your Statements Against You
“Anything you say or do can be used against you…” is a phrase you’ve probably heard in television episodes where someone is jailed.
When you answer the phone, insurance providers should tell you the same thing. They don’t, to be clear about that point. However, they should.
The reason for this is that insurance adjusters have been trained to look for remarks or actions that they can twist into admissions of liability or “acts inconsistent with” the claims you have made. They might even try to get you to say or do things that aren’t in your best interest, such making conflicting assertions.
Negotiating with insurance companies can be a challenge. As long as you’re cooperating with your own insurance company’s examination of the claim, you should use caution while speaking with the insurers of the other drivers. Because when you do, you’re conversing with someone who is actively opposed to you.
Let a Kingston car accident lawyer do the talking for you, so you can focus on recovering.
4. They’ve Been Trained to Make You Think They’re Friendly
Some of the people who work for the insurers sound like they want to help when they make phone calls.
There’s no harm in giving them a chance, after all. However, they have a purpose, and that purpose is to prevent you from receiving the compensation you are due.
Representatives and adjusters of many insurance companies are taught how to be personable and friendly. The reason they do this is so that you will be more vulnerable and tell them more than you need to (because when you do, you might end up making statements that hurt your case).
It’s usually easier to have a conversation with a kind individual than a hostile one. However, don’t be swayed by a kind demeanor into compromising your own position.
5. They Are Legally Required to Assess Your Claim in Good Faith
Legal doctrine “good faith” is based on the idea that people should treat each other fairly, honestly, and rationally. Insurance companies are compelled by law to evaluate your claim in this manner.
As a result of a poor faith investigation or settlement negotiation, insurers can face serious consequences. When it comes to punitive damages, they could be forced to pay you (the victim) a lot more money.
When it comes to bad faith damages, New York courts tend to be more insurer-friendly than those in other jurisdictions. It’s not that insurance firms in our country can’t act dishonestly or that you won’t be able to get compensation if they do, though.
Our Kingston car accident lawyers at O’Connor & Partners are ready to take legal action if insurance companies fail to uphold their good faith duties.
6. They’re Probably Exaggerating the Urgency of Your Claim
In order to receive the settlement money, has the insurance company made it clear that you must act quickly? You said it was a limited-time deal; did they tell you that? Was there a rush to get there? Do you feel like you’re being pushed to the limit?
It’s all part of the plan.
Insurance companies attempt to attract you with “fast money” in exchange for your agreement to waive your entitlement to extra compensation by making an early settlement offer. Accepting that settlement in most situations means you’ll never be able to claim more money in the future.
It’s no wonder they’re rushing!
However, you are not need to be.
After a car accident in New York, it’s true that you can’t put off filing a claim for damages indefinitely. There is a statute of limitations that must be followed.
Unlike what the insurance company would have you believe, the statute of limitations is not a matter of weeks, but rather of years (three years for most car accidents in New York, or two years if a wrongful death claim is filed).
The sooner you take action on your claim, the better. Because the claims procedure takes time, you should not wait until the statute of limitations runs out to file a claim. You should, however, make an informed choice. Contacting an experienced Kingston car accident lawyer is the first step in determining the best course of action. Do it as quickly as possible.
At O’Connor & Partners, we provide no-cost, no-obligation consultations to anyone who has been injured in an accident. Your case may be worth more than you think, and we can help you determine whether or not the insurance company’s settlement offer is even remotely reasonable.
7. They Are 100% Capable of Paying You a Lot of Money
If you’ve been hurt or lost something as a result of an automobile accident, you’re entitled to compensation. If you have been injured in an accident in New York, you may be entitled to compensation from the state’s judicial system.
You can bet your bottom dollar that insurance companies will do everything in their power to ensure that this happens.
Insurance companies have paid out millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts to the attorneys at O’Connor & Partners. So it’s laughable when insurance companies refuse to pay out smaller amounts on claims that are clearly valid and deserving of payment.
A million-dollar claim isn’t the norm. There is no way to know the exact monetary amount or outcome of any given case. As a general rule, insurance companies can and will fulfill their duties, so you need not be concerned about that. An expert Kingston, New York, car accident lawyer can help.
7 Helpful Tips To Deal With An Insurance Claims Adjuster
You’ll use a variety of tactics to lower your final payout amount. The claim adjuster is likely to be friendly, but he or she is also a skilled negotiator when it comes to resolving insurance claims. The following are some pointers to bear in mind when conversing with them. Getting along with an insurance claims adjuster can be as simple as following these steps:
Tip #1. Be polite and calm
Even if you were not at fault for the accident, you may still be enraged. Getting angry at the claims adjuster, on the other hand, will not help you get a reasonable settlement for your accident. Instead, when speaking with a claims adjuster, be composed and polite in order to expedite the resolution of your claim. In addition, this will convince them that your story is true.
Tip #2. Identify whom you are speaking with
Before talking to an insurance claim adjuster, get their name, business location, and phone number. Make sure you know the name of the insurance company and the name of the individual you are representing.
Tip #3. Provide limited information about yourself
As part of your application, you will need to furnish the insurance company with some personal information such as your full name and address. If possible, please tell them where and what you’re doing at the moment. When it comes to your work schedule, daily habits, or financial situation you don’t need to go into detail.
Tip #4. Don’t give the accused any information
You may be asked by the insurance claim adjusters to provide a narrative account of what transpired. Nevertheless, you are not required by law to disclose any additional information, such as witnesses’ names or the names of other drivers involved. The insurance claim adjusters might be informed that your inquiry into accidents is ongoing, and we’ll go into more detail about this later.
Tip #5. Don’t give your any information about your condition
Insurance claims adjusters are interested in learning about your injuries, but they don’t probe too far. Your injuries may not be fully understood at this point, and you could leave things out while talking to the insurance adjuster. You should let the insurance adjuster know that you’ll be taking care of this yourself.
Tip #6. Resist the initial offers
They may be able to get it done sooner rather than later. Although an early bid may sound appealing, keep in mind that opening bids are typically lower than what you should earn in the auction. Only accept offers that cover your losses if you have a clear image of what you’ve lost.
Tip #7. Avoid giving detailed descriptions
Accident or injury declarations are sometimes requested by insurance claim adjusters. As a result, you are not obligated to do so, but if you do, you must tell them.
Yes, these are the things to keep in mind when interacting with insurance claims adjusters. We’ve decided to answer some of the most often asked questions about this topic in this post. To help you out, here are the answers to some of your queries.
Question #1. Should you contact a lawyer before you talk to an adjuster of claims?
The bottom line is that you should never speak to an insurance adjuster on your own. Your insurance provider, on the other hand, will take care of all the paperwork for you if they require it as part of your coverage.
Question #2. Is it possible to have a discrepancy with an insurance claim adjuster?
Make a counter-offer to your adjuster. After analyzing their arguments, you may come up with a counter-argument. With insurance companies and claims adjusters, you need to evaluate both your desired and minimal settlements. You should, at the very least, know how to handle an insurance adjuster.
Question #3. When is the adjuster of claims going to contact you?
You can expect a call from your insurance company’s claim adjuster as soon as the incident occurs if someone else’s negligence injures you. A day or two after the occurrence, this can happen. In the minds of most people, insurance claim adjusters are solely involved in car accidents. When a car insurance company makes a personal injury claim, an adjuster is always on hand. Check to see if your car insurance policy includes coverage for personal injury claims.
It’s A Wrap!
In order to get the correct amount of compensation, you must be able to negotiate with an insurance claims adjuster. Keeping in mind the advice above, or even simply becoming familiar with it, is a good place to begin.