Do you know how to talk to insurance claims adjusters after a car accident? Knowing how to provide the right information and having some negotiating tactics handy can prevent you from leaving money on the table.
In this article, where we discuss some of the more common questions surrounding how to talk to insurance claims adjusters, we highlight the importance of having a negotiating strategy when initiating an insurance claim.
Know the true value of your claim, maintain a professional tone, be mindful of what you’re saying, and only talk about the things that help your claim. You don’t need to become best friends with your adjuster!
How Do You Negotiate a Settlement with an Insurance Claims Adjuster?
First, you need to understand the full value of your claim. Claim value is a combination of a variety of factors, including but not limited to the severity of your injury, the duration of your recovery, any permanent or future medical needs, lost wages, impairments, and pain and suffering.
Understanding the value of your claim is an area where hiring a lawyer can be especially helpful. A good lawyer will take the time to work with you, understand the damages you have suffered, and properly present your case to the insurance company. At Negretti & Associates, we have developed a case valuation tool that helps us arrive at a settlement range for each case, based on specific facts.
Keep in mind that insurance companies have evolved toward using software to determine claim values. The software gives the insurance adjuster a range in which to settle the claim. These adjusters have an incentive to settle claims on the low end of the range. Therefore, you might be negotiating blindly and with someone who ultimately gets a bonus for paying you less.
Second, you need to have a strategy. There are a lot of great books out there about how to negotiate effectively. I like Chris Voss’s Never Split the Difference, which you can read online for free. Voss was a former hostage negotiator, so he has been involved in high-stakes negotiations. His techniques can be applied across the board.
Remember that you need to know what your bottom line is — and what you next move is, in the event that you can’t get to your bottom line. Some insurance adjusters negotiate fairly. Others do not.
What Should You Never Say to an Insurance Adjuster?
It’s not so much what you shouldn’t say. Instead, there are things you should be aware of when you are talking to an insurance adjuster.
People believe that the insurance industry is there to help them. That’s why we pay for insurance, right? Wrong. The insurance industry is there to make money!
Insurance companies make money by failing to pay full value on claims. Period. If you fail to make a claim or settle for less than the full value, then the insurance industry wins.
If you were going to sit down and play chess against someone, you wouldn’t start the game by telling your opponent your strategy. There is no difference here.
Once you initiate a claim with an insurance company, you are engaging in a chess match. Don’t give the insurance company your strategy by telling them things that don’t help you.
What Questions Should I Ask an Insurance Adjuster?
Simple questions you can ask an insurance adjuster are:
- Have you ever been injured in an accident?
- If you were in my shoes, would you honestly recommend the settlement that you’re asking me to accept?
- Is anything else that I should know before resolving my claim, such as how health insurance subrogation and reimbursement works?
- Is it your job to represent the other party, or to simply save the insurance company money?
How Do You Recognize a Low-Ball Insurance Settlement Offer?
It really depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your claim. However, the first offer is typically not the best offer. It is very unusual to get the highest offer right out of the gate. You have to be patient and diligent in your approach if you expect to negotiate up your offer.
If you have any questions regarding your car accident claim in Arizona, California, and Colorado, Negretti & Associates will be happy to help you find answers. We know how to talk to insurance claims adjusters, too! For a free consultation with our legal team, contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text.