How to talk to insurance claim adjusters
If you’ve filed an insurance claim, you will be contacted by your insurance company’s insurance adjuster. An adjuster will review your claim as a whole – police reports, damage, witness interviews, interviews with you, etc. – and come up with an estimate of how much you’re owed. At this point of the process, knowing how to talk to insurance claim adjusters is incredibly important.
This conversation can easily go awry, and you may say something that only hurts you in the end. Below are some important tips on how to talk to insurance claim adjusters in a way that gets the pertinent information across, yet withholds any information that is not only unnecessary, but could also be damaging.
What to say to an insurance adjuster
When communicating with your insurance claims adjuster, be very precise in the information you supply. Unless you’ve hired a public adjuster, remember that their job is to save your insurance company money, so they will do whatever is in their power to minimize the amount of damage the insurance company is obligated to pay.
Therefore, when you speak with your insurance adjuster, be very conservative. Tell them only exactly what they need to know; no details, and no small talk. The only information you need to share is:
- Your full name
- Telephone number
- Your general profession
- The fact that you are employed
- Where and when the accident occurred
- The type of accident
- Identities of any witnesses
It’s also important that you identify the person you speak with: name, address, phone number, the company they are with, and who they represent. Document the conversation for yourself. And, above all else, remain calm, polite, and compliant. If you’re rude, abusive, or otherwise emotional on the phone, you may say things that you don’t necessarily want documented on your claim, or you may present yourself as someone who can easily be taken advantage of.
What not to say to an insurance adjuster
While you may think you’re just trying to help, refrain from going into detail with your adjuster. Things may change during the insurance claim process, and if you’ve already stated a certain amount of damage, specific medical issues, etc., you may get stuck with less than you deserve. For example, many injuries may take weeks or even months to develop, and if you’ve already advised your insurance company exactly what maladies you’re facing, they may take the stance that you’re lying and refuse to pay.
Again, you want to refrain from providing any details of the accident, damage, your injuries, or anything specific relating to your job or income. You also want to make sure not to get caught up in any small talk; while it may seem innocent, it’s very easy to let harmful information slip when you provide personal details. You never know what your insurance company may use against you, so don’t give them anything they don’t need.
You also want to refuse to provide a recorded statement. Even if they simply mention that your call may be recorded, speak up and refuse. If you don’t feel comfortable with that phone call, you are not obligated to speak with them at that moment. Contact an attorney if you feel your insurance company may be trying to take advantage of you.
Finally, do not settle immediately. As aforementioned, your insurance company is likely to try to offer you less than what they are obligated to pay. Not only that, but more damages may arise following the incident, and if you accept a settlement and close the claim, you may not be able to be paid for those later costs.
When the insurance company won’t cooperate
If you find your adjuster’s estimate is too low, you have options. Ask your adjuster to review the information again, hire a public adjuster, or, worst case scenario, hire an attorney to force your insurance company to take you seriously. Corless Barfield has the experience you need to get their attention. Contact us for a free consultation.