If you’ve been involved in an accident, you’re probably wondering how to talk to an insurance adjuster without saying or doing something that affects the amount you’ll be offered by an insurance company. It can be stressful to speak to an insurance adjuster, but it’s a vital part of the process if you want to receive compensation for the costs you’re facing.
Steps to Take When You Talk to an Insurance Adjuster
You might be asking yourself whether there is a certain protocol you should be following, or what steps you should take when talking to an adjuster. Every situation is unique, but there are five general guidelines that will serve you well.
- Be prepared with information about your accident.
- Be respectful and polite to the adjuster.
- Be firm and matter-of-fact.
- Say only what needs to be said.
- Know that you don’t have to accept an inadequate offer.
Before we take a closer look at why these guidelines are important, let’s pause to talk about the importance of hiring an attorney. No one will be better qualified than attorneys to give you advice on dealing with insurance adjusters. They do this all the time, and they can even act on your behalf to make sure you are treated fairly.
1. Be prepared with information about your accident.
An insurance adjuster will be prepared for their conversation with you, and you should be prepared, too. Know the costs you’re facing so you can be specific when talking about the payments you are owed. If possible, have copies of any bills or receipts for costs you have encountered.
2. Be respectful and polite to the adjuster.
Remember that this person is doing their job, and they’ll likely be more responsive if you are polite. If you’re not the type to be respectful simply because it’s the nice thing to do, then remember you’ll be more likely to have a positive relationship with the adjuster if they are treated with respect. In other words, it’s in your best interest to be polite.
3. Be firm and matter-of-fact.
Though you want to be respectful, you don’t want to be a pushover. Even though you show respect to your adjuster, you will need to hold firm on any points you are trying to make. Adjusters won’t be afraid to push back on claims you make about your accident, so preparation is key here, too. Keep calm and hold strong in your dealings with insurance adjusters.
4. Say only what needs to be said.
Small talk is fine, but you should know that everything you say to an insurance adjuster can be used against you. Even seemingly off-hand remarks might be noted by an adjuster, so be all business when you speak to them.
5. Know that you don’t have to accept an inadequate offer.
Many people reluctantly accept offers that don’t meet their needs. This is a big mistake. You are under no obligation to accept an insurance company’s first offer. It’s best to think of this offer as the first of many offers.
Seek Legal Help
Unless you are completely opposed to the idea of hiring an attorney, you should at least meet with one before speaking to an insurance adjuster. The conversation you have with an adjuster has big consequences, and having a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney handling your case can have a dramatic impact on the payment you are offered.
So, keep these guidelines in mind if you have a pending dialogue with an insurance adjuster, but consider reaching out to a lawyer before you meet with them. Attorneys help you maximize the offer you’ll receive. They’ll also handle a bulk of the correspondence with insurance companies and take away any anxiety you might be having when speaking to an insurance adjuster.
Jeff Green knows how to deal with insurance companies on behalf of his clients. After we accept your case, you can leave the heavy lifting to us, so you can focus on getting life back to normal. Contact Jeff Green today to learn more about how he can help.