I’m going to give you 10 tips when you’re dealing with insurance claim adjusters and personal injury claims and other cases
How To Deal Insurance Claim
1. Be Nice
When dealing with insurance claim adjusters is to be nice now don’t mistake you being nice for not being tough and affirmative but at the end of the case, the insurance claims adjuster is going to be the one who’s writing you your cheque.
You want to be nice and have a good relationship with them after all these are people just like you who have families who are just trying to pay their bills etc but you ultimately want to be nice to them
So that when they think about reaching out to you and giving you a phone call or when you call them they’re in a good mood and they’re not thinking oh this is the person I have to deal with again I’ve heard defenses attorneys and insurance adjusters say sometimes they pay a little bit more money to someone.
2. Actively Listen To The Adjuster
The insurance claim adjuster says let them finish their sentences sometimes if need be let there be an awkward silence during the conversation sometimes.
They will call you and they’re prepared to make an offer but you may interrupt them before they’re even finished speaking and you may tell them what you think is fair and what you think is fair.
May even be below what they were about to offer you sometimes they’ll let you know a bad fact that hurts their defense in your case for example if you’re speaking to an insurance adjuster perhaps their admit to you.
that their driver Wasnt paying attention or if you were injured slipped and fell or otherwise injured at business premises perhaps they’ll tell you that their (insurance claim) store or other or hotel knew about problems with the issue that caused your injury I’ve had that happen in cases that I settled one in particular that comes to our mind for almost $200,000 where the adjuster actually told me.
we had this issue with the flooring in a particular area of a hotel before the accident she didna has to tell me that but she did and I think one of the reasons why I was able to get that piece of information is because Ito her and let her finish.
3. Be Organized, Take Notes
When dealing with an insurance claim adjusters to make sure your file and documents are organized and take notes of your medical documentation.
Medical bills and all other types of information are the heart of your case and that’s what the insurance adjuster will later use to request settlement authority for your case every time.
You speak with the insurance adjuster on the phone you should be taking notes during and after the call rest assured that when the insurance adjuster calls you he has already he or she has already spent several minutes reviewing your file and they’re prepared for you to need to be equally prepared.
When you’re looking at your file and seeing the number of medical bills that you have you should be using some type of computerized spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel or Google has a similar program.
Putting all the amounts of medical bills in there the total bill charges how much your insurance paid and the out-of-pocket charges for example in Florida you’re entitled to recover out-of-pocket charges but you need to have your file organized.
4. Review Your File Before Speaking With An Adjuster
That I just went over which is just review your file before you reach out to the insurance adjuster spend a few minutes.
So you know exactly what you’re gonna talk about you have all your numbers your amounts for example like I was saying about medical bills all outlined also when you speak with the adjuster confirm that his figures are the same as yours confirm.
That he’s received everything that you’ve sent him or see you need to make sure you’re looking at the same data if you want to try for a fair settlement.
5. Give The Adjuster All Necessary Documentation
Give the adjuster documentation to help him or her you’re gonna want to give them every single piece of documentation.
That you believe supports your case he or she’s gonna receive that information they’re gonna evaluate your case and write a range of how much they think it’s worth they’re gonna ask their supervisor for settlement authority.
If you’re dealing with a larger number sometimes adjusters have their own authority let’s say up to 10,000 dollars on their own but you need to give them all the documentation
that they need to pay fair value for your case if you’re not giving them all the documentation that they need they may want to offer you fair value but they just don’t have enough documents to support it this includes pictures lost wage information all your medical bills possibly health insurance lien information etc help them help you, unfortunately.
6. Do Not Always Believe The Adjuster
Do not believe what the insurance adjuster says in a perfect world everyone would be transparent there would be no negotiation.
It’s kind of like going to a car dealership you don’t pay the sticker price you try to negotiate it now in Florida for example adjusters to have a duty to act in good faith to their insurance.
But keep in mind when you’re remaking a claim against another driver or a business for example you are not insured their duty is to their client who is their insured insurance adjusters want to have a long career at the company.
That they’re working at and yes they have a duty to act in good faith and protect their insurance interest but ultimately every dollar that they save their company makes them look better I’ve heard of certain insurance adjusters being rewarded for making lower offers and saving their companies money do not mistake a nice adjuster for one who is going to pay you money sometimes.
You’ll deal with the sweetest nicest adjuster you’ll be sending them your medical bills over a period of months you think you guys are becoming fast friends and then when it comes to offering time they give you zero they’ve been a liability or they offer you significantly bit less than what you think your case is worth an example of a case which shows that you should not listen to what the insurance adjusters say when it comes to your case value is a case where a motorcyclist was hit by a truck that failed to a year of the right-of-way.
The case settled for four hundred and forty-five thousand dollars this is the truck that caused the accident however the insurance adjuster initially said he had reserved the case at a hundred thousand dollars essentially saying the case was worth somewhere around a hundred thousand dollars now not too much changed after that initial conversation
But the case ultimately settled for four hundred and forty-five thousand dollars so take what they say with a grain of salt insurance adjusters can be very convincing I’ve actually had cases where I tried to get more money by presenting a certain argument the insurance adjuster told me essentially then I’m totally wrong and then after I took the proper legal steps
The insurance company would pay the ten thousand dollars or extra hundred thousand dollars they’ve had that happened on several occasions so they’re not always right sometimes they have to consult their legal department to get the legal answer and their legal answer may be totally different than their opinion on what they think they know because they haven’t handled your issue.
7. Give The Adjuster A Deadline
Dealing with insurance claim adjusters give them a time deadline for whatever it is that you’re asking them to do if you’re remaking a settlement the man you should generally put a time limit on it lets say 30 days or twenty days
If you’re resending an email you should generally give them around three or so days to respond or a phone call but when you give them a deadline they document it in their file.
And they put it in their calendar and will generally follow up with you or they should around that time especially in smaller cases where the insurance company limits are high they may just put your file aside and it doesn’t become a priority but in order to make you’re following a priority give the insurance adjuster a deadline.
8. Respond Quickly
To respond to insurance adjusters when they reach out to you if they call you if they send you an email quickly this is common sense the longer you wait to respond the adjuster may go on vacation
It may delay the claim the sooner you respond all things equal the better you do not have to give a recorded statement to the other side’s insurance adjuster.
If it’s your own insurance adjuster let’s say for PIP or uninsured motorist insurance you generally have to give a recorded statement but the sooner you respond assuming
You’re prepared and you’re in a calm state and you’re not emotional the better now shortly after an accident sometimes you want to take a little bit of time to gather yourself
So you don’t just go out spewing your life story to the adjuster and you’re coming from an emotional place to just hammer this point home if you’re injured at business premises or you’ve injured by another driver or your passenger in a car and the other driver is that fault you generally never and should not give a recorded statement to the insurance company
Generally can only be used against you it’s very frustrating if you ultimately choose to hire a lawyer and he asks you or she asked you did you give her a recorded statement and you say, yes Jenell it can do is hurt your claim now you should report the claim after it happens but do not give that recorded statement.
9. Speak With The Claim Supervisor
To speak with a claim supervisor or sometimes Claims Manager if you’re not getting what you want unfortunately there calm times where you have to speak with a supervisor.
It’s just like if you’re at a hotel and the staff is not helping you you ask to speak with the manager or at a restaurant if your food is not there on time and you’re very bothered and you feel.
That you’re getting poor service the same thing with claims sometimes adjusters are overworked they’re not putting enough attention on your case they’re not evaluating your case properly.
I’ve had several cases where speaking with the claims supervisor has helped me get more money for my clients you should do the same if it’s warranted sometimes.
You ask to speak with a supervisor and the adjuster handling the file will say you’re wasting your time the supervisor is going to tell you the same thing that’s what I’m telling you but the bottom line is I’ve heard that so many times.
I believe it this much there are times, on the other hand, were sometimes speaking with a supervisor will not do much for you the supervisor may say I’m not gonna go against the adjuster’s recommendation and his value of the case if you get the feeling that you want to speak with a supervisor.
10. File A Complaint With The Department of Insurance
When dealing with an insurance claims adjuster is if you’re not getting what you think is fair and maybe you’ve spoken to the claim supervisor manager file a consumer complaint with the Department of insurance.
For example in Florida you go to their website you file the consumer complaint or you can even file what’s called a civil remedy notice.
If you do the latter send the insurance company a copy of it because the Department will not this has also helped me get more money in cases I’ve had cases where I was getting offered.
For example, $10,000I filed a consumer complaint, and a few days later I get a call, and the offers increased to $14,000 or so.
So it doesn’t always work and you should only do it when it’s appropriate and it’s great if the insurance claim company, for example, is not responding to your phone calls or your letters or they close the claim and they’re saying they won’t reopen it or something of that nature.
It can be an amazing tool when they’re not being fair with you but again we use these sparingly we don’t always use them we use them when we feel that the insurance claim company is not acting in good faith.