1. Take notes – you can be legally liable if you RECORD the conversation in audio or video format, but you are free to keep notes. In my case, once I felt like I was being jerked around by the insurance adjuster dealing with my case, I began a journal recording all conversations, phone conferences, meetings, numbers, expenses, keeping all receipts and so-on. No one else will do it for you and you will be in big trouble if you need to recollect a certain detail one day and have no record and/or receipt of it in your notes. Simply said, you cannot remember it all, but you better believe when I tell you that you will need all the details you can recall.
2. If the insurance people seem to be difficult from the very beginning, please understand for your own sake, that it will only get worse. Get a lawyer. Continue reading 3 Effective Ways To Deal With An Insurance Adjuster
If you chose not to continue to deal with an insurance adjuster on your own and not get a lawyer, you have a couple of resources to resort to:
(1) Call their manager directly. Don’t just say you will call them or threaten with this, because words will NOT help you much. Speak with action. Call the manager and ask him/her to call you back on their office’s expense. Discussing the situation with the manager will upset your adjuster, which will probably NOT help much, but let’s face – they will continue to treat you in this way, so at least for now you will have the upper hand.
(2) Described your situation in a brief 1-2 page complaint and submit to your State Insurance Commissioner’s Office. While they cannot pressure your insurance for a settlement, they are obligated by law to register your complaint, contact you back and force the manager of your insurance’s local office to contact you and discuss your case. Again, this may not help you much, but it does help public records. If every mistreated customer files a complaint, the insurance will eventually have to deal with the State Insurance Commissioner on a higher level.
If you are breathing – First of all, it is nearly a given that if you are breathing and you are attempting to get your insurance company to pay up, you will get the runaround. They will employ some tactic to get you to settle with the least amount of loss to their pockets and this will involve getting you to agree on an amount quick, but drawing out the payment process until the last hour.
HEY IF THEY GIVE YOU THE MONEY, THEY CAN’T MAKE ANY INTEREST OFF IT.
If you are a woman – I know this is a sexist statement, but I have found that there is great prejudice towards females when it comes to a situation in which you are negotiating. Whether you are buying a car, coming to an agreed price on selling an item or reaching a settlement, most times a male will have the more dominant advantage. Therefore, if you have the opportunity for your husband or male presence in your life be your voice for negotiation, you will more than likely be better off.
You might think that the victim card may be one to play and a female will have the greater advantage, but THIS IS NOT TRUE. Insurance personal are trained to leave ALL EMOTIONS out of the deal. I don’t know how, but they truly are trained to be cold blooded. But I guess you would be too if your job depended on it.
If you are young or look young – Going up against an inexperienced person is a plus for any type of negotiator. And most of the time if you are young it is true that you do not know your rights and might take an unfair settlement by being easily tricked to do so.
If you are insecure – If you do not speak with confidence or have any type of non-verbal behavior that suggest you are non-confrontational, this is a red flag that you can be taken advantage of. If you want to get any type of fair settlement you will have to overcome any type of insecurities or social challenges. Suck it up and it will pay off.
Take some Confidence Training if you have to.
One thing that was quite confusing to me personally was why everybody (lawyer and insurance company) kept on saying this word “New Money”. And even when our lawyer explained what this concept, it took a little while to figure out what it really meant.
Basically ‘New Money” means that the offered amount is what you will get. If a settlement offer is made of $20,000 you will get $20,000 from the opposing side. However, you still have to deduct from this amount your lawyer fees and expenses. So, the insurance company is saying I will not ask for the cost of medical bills or any other expenses they have already paid. Basically, if they have paid $5,000 of medical you will not get only $15,000 ($20,000-$5,000) like you would if you went to trial and received a court decision.
SO BE AWARE: IF YOU GO TO COURT YOU DO NOT GET “NEW MONEY.”
But honestly I think this terminology is just another tactic to confuse the honest, innocent, common people.
I would personally hate to be an insurance adjuster. They are highly trained to get a quick settle for the least amount of money regardless of personal loss and damages.
They have many tricks up their sleeves including:
PROPERTY DAMAGES ASPECTS
1. Getting you to sign a document for the auto settlement but it is really a complete release. Meaning that they are not responsible for your personal injuries. Never sign anything in haste. Never sign any thing that says “GENERAL RELEASE”. Get a second opinion. And don’t sign it if it smells fishy.
2. They will catch you at awkward times like right before work, at the end of the office day when there is a rush to make a decision, or the day after the wreck when you are not thinking correctly.
3. They will attempt to get out of responsibility as quickly as possible and be very forceful and come close to threatening so that you will settle. Don’t worry. Slow things down as much as you would like.
4. They will use intimidating, unfamiliar legal terms so that you feel pressured to listen to them as an authority.
PERSONAL INJURY ASPECTS
5. They may indirectly attack that you are seeking treatment via a chiropractor; however they will always begin by saying something like “I can’t tell you what type of treatment to seek, but if you go to “X” type of treatment we do not guarantee coverage.
6. They will try to give you a somewhat tempting settlement before you are completing better.
7. They keep a great distance so that nothing becomes personal. They will not listen to your pain and suffering and disregard it as any part of any settlement offer.
8. The insurance adjuster may call your attending physician to negotiate your medical costs behind your back.