Insurance providers strive to step in when individuals who have recently experienced accidents need financial help. While entering into this type of business is respectable, insurance companies are for-profit organizations at the end of the day.

That said, it’s always prudent to use caution when you’re speaking to an insurance adjuster after an accident. These individuals have the tough job of thoroughly reviewing your case to determine an appropriate payout, and they may not always have your best interests at the forefront of their minds.

Learn more about why you shouldn’t automatically hand over your trust to an insurance agent and how to handle the situation in the best way possible below.

Reason 1: Conflicting Interests

When you’ve been involved in an accident and get in touch with your insurance company, they’ll connect you with an adjuster. An adjuster’s job is to carefully analyze the evidence in your case to determine how much the insurance company should pay you for the incident. As part of their job, they need to value losses, inspect the damage, investigate fault attribution, review reporting, and treatment gaps, and consider everything that has to do with your situation to make a proper estimate.

The main problem with this evaluation is that the insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company. That means they already have an incentive to minimize your payout and favor the insurance company’s bottom line. In the worst situations, this can lead adjusters to unjustly commit claim sabotage.

Reason 2: Pressure to Settle Quickly

While your adjuster might not outright attempt to derail your claim, they could try to utilize other manipulative insurance company tactics that favor the company’s bottom line. One of the most common ploys they may use is to pressure you to settle quickly before they really delve into the extent of your losses.

Your agent may point to standardized payout formulas or throw out a settlement offer that seems reasonable if you haven’t fully considered the impact of your claim and losses. They might also casually mention how time-consuming and costly legal battles with insurance companies can be. Don’t fall victim to the pressure. Take your time determining what your claim is really worth or discuss your case with a lawyer before agreeing to a settlement.

Reason 3: Request for Recorded Statements

When you get in touch with your agent, they might ask you if it is okay if they take recorded statements. Another way they might pose this is by stating that the call you are on is being recorded. After stating that, if you say “okay”, then that could be considered a form of consent to being recorded.

Recorded statements can be used against you later, so you should always be cautious about what you say during these conversations.

Reason 4: Downplaying Injuries

Another common tactic insurance adjusters use is injury downplaying. When you attempt to explain your condition or diagnosis, your agent could falsely attempt to minimize your claim by downplaying the severity of the situation. For instance, you may have experienced serious incapacitating burns from a motorcycle crash, but your agent only records them as ‘road rash’. The best insurance claim advice is to hire an attorney to ensure that this type of situation doesn’t happen to you during your insurance claim. It might be difficult for you to properly advocate for yourself if you’re not entirely clear on the extent of your injury and losses.

Reason 5: Misinterpretation of Policy Terms

Insurance adjusters operating in bad faith might also intentionally misinterpret the policy terms associated with your claim to deny coverage or responsibility. They may ask for an unreasonable amount of evidence or point to false reasons as to why your claim is getting denied.

Reason 6: Delay Tactics

Claim investigation delays always hurt the injured party because they are the ones operating at a financial loss. That’s why some insurance companies will attempt to derail and delay your claims as long as possible. By doing this, they hope that you’ll get frustrated and simply settle for less than what you really deserve.

Reason 7: Surveillance and Investigation

One of the most egregious things an insurance company can do is invade your personal privacy by initiating surveillance and investigation tactics to determine if your claims to the insurance company are true. Adjusters have been known to comb through social media profiles, show up at events, and even visit workplaces to determine if a client is being genuine in their assessment of their losses.

Protecting Yourself After an Accident

The majority of insurance companies operate on very slim profit margins, earning an average of only 2-3%. That means they are always working on a tight budget, and even the most minimal change in their cost structure, pricing, or claims handling could greatly impact the entire business structure.

As a consumer, that means you have to do your due diligence in protecting your rights in claims. To ensure that you get full and fair compensation, you need to know how to handle adjusters. Don’t make any statements about fault or the extent of your injuries in detail until you’ve fully considered your situation. In a nutshell, you’ll need to consider that everything you say could potentially be used against you when it comes to your claim.

In most cases, it’s even better to hire a legal advocate who can tackle talks with adjusters while preserving your rights and best interests.

Here at Kermani LLP, our team of skilled lawyers has been negotiating with insurance adjusters regarding personal injury claims since our firm was founded in 2011. We’re confident we can help you as you navigate your claim with insurance agents, too. Schedule a call now to discuss your situation in more detail with our attorneys.

March 26, 2024

Ray Kermani
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