· Claims Adjusters Are Not Your Friends
After you’ve been involved in a car accident, expect to be in contact with a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster’s role is to minimize the amount of money they have to pay you. Thus, don’t expect to be treated fairly.
· Claims Adjusters Are Trained in the Art of Negotiation
The claims adjuster’s role is to protect the insurance company’s financial interests. To negotiate you down, they’ll often say or impose the following techniques:
– Nothing is negotiable;
– Offer lowball figures well below the value of your claim;
– Their offer is already generous;
– Their last offer was the most they could settle for; and
– Superiors have to authorize the settlement amount.
· Their First Offer is Very Rarely the Top Dollar That They Will Pay You
Claims adjusters know that you’re likely in a vulnerable state – physically, mentally, and financially – after a car accident. To capitalize on this, claims adjusters will reach out to you in hopes that you accept the lowball offer presented. Stand your ground and resist the temptation to accept the offer. There’s absolutely no rush to settle.
· Claims Adjusters Will Try to Get You to Admit to Damaging Facts
You’re under no obligation to answer any questions. Although they may come across as caring and cordial by inquiring into your health, it’s quite the opposite. Tell them you want to consult with an attorney and NEVER give a recorded statement or sign an agreement.
· Claims Adjusters Will Try to Just Pay For Property Damage
Often times, the cost of repairing or replacing your car is significantly lower than what your pain and suffering may add up to be. Also, often times, injuries may not present themselves until days, maybe weeks later. Claims adjusters will see this as an opportunity to get you to agree on the cost of your car replacement/repair without paying for your medical expenses if you say you’re not injured.
· You Don’t Have to Agree to Bringing Your Car to the Body Shop That They Recommend
Insurance companies have established relationships with certain body shops. This puts them in an advantageous position because the body shops are incentivized to devalue the cost of repair/replacement for your car. Take your car to a body shop you trust.