Can You Argue with an Insurance Claims Adjuster?

When it comes to insurance claims, it's important to know that you don't have to accept the initial offer. After an accident, you can (and should) challenge the outcome of your claim. To do this, you should start the process as soon as possible and consolidate your records as evidence. It's also important to get several estimates of how many repairs your vehicle will need and search for renowned repair shops and get their opinions and quotes.

When dealing with an insurance adjuster, it's best to avoid helping them “gather the facts” and keep your statements neutral. If you don't feel comfortable answering a question, don't answer. It's better to defer filing any statement until you've hired an attorney to represent you and have had an opportunity to speak with him or her. Your lawyer may still be able to contact your appraiser directly, or your attorney may need to take other steps depending on the current status of your claim.

You should also calculate how much your claim is actually worth and remember that everything is negotiable. If you've been involved in a car accident, you'll need to file insurance claims for the injuries you suffered, as well as for damage to your vehicle. The person at fault for the accident should cure it or, rather, unless you were uninsured or underinsured, your insurance company should. It's important to note that if you don't buy a homeowners insurance policy on your own, your mortgage provider may buy you a policy and charge you for it.

As your claim progresses, your concerns may increase, and when your appraiser tells you how much the insurance company is going to pay, you may be appalled at how little you'll recover for your losses. The job of an adjuster is to try to resolve your claim in a way that favors the insurance company you work for. If the insurance adjuster finds coverage for your accident, an investigation phase will begin to assess the extent of this coverage. After considering their argument, you can form a counterargument. However, an adjuster can mention a few things you should prepare for. If you disagree with your insurance adjuster after a car accident, or if you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you'll usually file an insurance claim with the commercial property insurance company. Make no mistake; your claims adjuster is looking for every opportunity to use what they say against you.

Once the adjuster has finished investigating a claim, they will write a damage report that will detail the total financial losses related to your accident. You can settle a claim up to that amount and often carry checks that you can sign and leave with the landlord and contractor. Some insurance companies may argue that almost anything you do makes the accident your fault, even something tiny, such as an officer thinking you were 1 mile over the speed limit. My best advice is to start the process as soon as the accident has occurred and you have sought medical treatment. Be sure to consolidate your records as evidence early in the process to ensure that all the details are taken into account. Your next steps will depend both on (a) what has happened to your claim to date and (b) on the time that has passed since you received the adjuster's decision. Avoid the natural urge to help them “gather the facts”.

Keep your statements neutral. If you don't know something, say so. Better yet, defer filing any statement to an insurance adjuster until you've hired an attorney to represent you and have had an opportunity to speak with him or her. One of the most important things to know about property damage claims is that you don't have to accept the initial offer. You still have the power to negotiate and under no circumstances should you accept any insurance settlement offer that you don't consider fair or that doesn't cover the repair costs. While it's more practical to call your insurance claims adjuster, it's much better to draft your appeal; this allows you to create a paper record of the appeal. Regardless of whether an appraiser will ever admit it, everything is negotiable. They may not want to negotiate with you personally, but they cannot deny the principle. Once you've filed your claim and organized your records, it's time to calculate how much your claim is actually worth (to the best of your ability, anyway).

New York car insurance laws are unique, and many people have misconceptions about their legal rights after a collision. If after all this process there is still disagreement between both parties involved in an insurance claim dispute resolution process can be used as a last resort.

Darrell Trimboli
Darrell Trimboli

Wannabe tv buff. Certified web scholar. Subtly charming tv maven. Avid tv guru. Hardcore beer specialist. Infuriatingly humble student.

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