How to Talk to an Insurance Adjuster
Talking to an insurance representative by yourself after an accident could be a big mistake. Unfortunately, it’s absolutely true that insurance adjusters are not always fair. An insurance company seeks to pay out the least amount of money, and any representatives you talk to will be looking for ways to diminish your claim. You will have to speak to your insurance company after an accident, but if you’re looking for fair reimbursement, you should have a lawyer speak on your behalf. Here are a few tips to make sure that this part of the settlement is done correctly.
What is an Insurance Adjuster and Why Do I Have to Speak to Them?
An insurance adjuster is a representative from your insurance company that seeks detailed information after an accident, takes notes on an accident, and reports the damage back to the company. They often seem empathetic and friendly. However, it pays to remember that they are there on behalf of the company, and their primary job is to look for ways that the insurance company can encumber your payout.
While you may have to speak to them in order to receive reimbursement after an accident; if you suffer an injury or damage to your car you’ll need to report it to your insurance company to receive a payout. You should remember that you are not legally obligated to divulge information to an insurance agent.
What to Say to an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident
When you call your insurance company to report an accident, remember that you should not detail injuries or damages to the car. Keep your conversation basic: when the accident happened, where, identify any witnesses, and list any other vehicles involved.
If you suffered a severe injury, it’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer that can help you receive the amount you need to cover your medical bills and any damage to your vehicle. A lawyer understands how to talk to insurance companies and can help you avoid miscommunication. An insurance company has an entire team of lawyers on their side, and agents that are trained to use the law to their advantage. You should give yourself the same edge.
If an adjuster calls and insists on trying to get you to answer questions, or attempts to lead you into a friendly conversation discussing the details of your accident, you should politely refuse and direct them to your legal counsel.
Tips on Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re ever in a situation where you must speak to an insurance representative. Usually, they’ll give you an initial phone call to discuss the accident.
- Be polite and respectful - no matter what, you must stay patient on the phone and be polite and respectful, even if you do not intend to answer their questions.
- Ask the representative to identify themselves - take down their name, number, employee number, and any other details so that you have them for your records.
- Give limited personal information - You may identify your name, address and telephone number. You may tell them what type of work you do, but avoid giving out any other personal details. You do not need to discuss your schedule or income or anything else. Politely refuse if they ask.
- Do not give details of the accident - An insurance adjuster will try and get you to give a statement about the accident. It’s best to let your lawyer do this. You may tell the agent that the accident is still under investigation and that you will discuss facts later, at a more appropriate time when you have all the information.
- Do not detail your injuries - You may say that you are injured, and still treating your injuries. Do not discuss these injuries with the insurance adjuster because they will keep a record. Car accident injuries often take time to develop and you do not want to prematurely make a diagnosis.
- Take notes - While you are speaking, take notes about the conversation. Detail the agent’s contact information and any topics that were covered.
- Refuse to give recorded statements - You can tell the insurance company that you do not feel comfortable giving a recorded statement at this time. It is against the law for the agent to record you without your permission or knowledge. The insurance company will tell you they want to record the conversation to “protect you later” but such a statement is taken for their benefit rather than yours.
If you have any questions about speaking with an insurance agent after an accident, call the Alexander Law Group, PLC at 804-271-1969. Our team has decades of combined experience helping individuals get a respectable settlement after an accident. If you were injured in an accident, you deserve to get the best of what the insurance company can offer you.