When you file an insurance claim, your main point of contact at the insurance company will be the claims adjuster. This is someone hired by the insurance company to review a submitted claim and recommend whether to accept or reject benefits. It is critical to know how to talk to an insurance claims adjuster. What you say and do not say can make a major impact on the outcome of your personal injury case in Colorado.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Prepare as much information as you can about the accident before your conversation with an adjuster. Write down a detailed description while it is still clear in your mind. Getting the facts straight ahead of time can make it easier to answer questions asked by an insurance adjuster clearly and succinctly.
Familiarize Yourself With the Insurance Policy
You should also prepare by reading through the insurance policy. Read the language, terms and provisions of the policy to gain a better understanding of the coverage it offers and its limits or exceptions. Learning as much as you can about the insurance policy can put you in a stronger position during claim negotiations with an adjuster.
Be Polite But Cautious
The insurance claims adjuster does not want what is best for you – he or she wants to minimize your payout to save the insurance company as much money as possible. Keep your answers to questions short and simple. Be polite, but do not offer more information than is necessary. The adjuster may sound friendly and helpful, but he or she is working to protect the insurance company’s best interests, not yours.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
Oftentimes, an insurance adjuster will request a statement soon after the accident, before the victim fully understands what happened. This is intentional; it is a ploy to catch the victim making contradictory statements later on, after he or she has learned more. Politely decline to give a recorded statement. Explain that your lawyer will send a written statement later, instead.
Always be honest when giving the insurance adjuster information. Misrepresenting facts to an insurance company could lead to serious legal trouble, including allegations of insurance fraud. Tell the truth about the accident and your losses, but avoid speculation. If you are unsure if you played a role in the accident, for example, do not admit fault. Instead of commenting about fault or liability, wait for the insurance company to investigate.
Do Not Sign Anything
It is important not to sign your name on anything until you have brought the document to a personal injury lawyer for review. A Medical Authorization Release Form, for example, may initially seem like an attempt to access your accident-related medical records. However, in many cases, they request access to a claimant’s full medical history. This is a strategy used to search for pre-existing injuries and medical conditions as a reason to reject the claim.
Do Not Accept a Fast Settlement
You may be eager to resolve your claim and receive a payout, but accepting the first settlement offered could lead to less compensation than you need. The first offer is often low in the hopes that a claimant does not realize the value of his or her claim. Before you sign a Release of Liability Waiver and end your case, contact an attorney at Cannon Law for a free consultation. We can help you fight for the results that you deserve.