After auto accidents, that's when insurance adjusters are the busiest. If you have been in an accident, you can be sure an insurance company agent will be contacting you. For many accident victims, this call is a sign that someone cares, and it comes as a welcome opportunity to share their experiences. The settlement offer that comes from the insurance company might also seem encouraging, but it is important to handle this relationship carefully.
After an accident, it is extremely important to talk with an experienced attorney before talking to the insurance company agents. Few people are aware of how much is at stake. If you simply answer all the insurance adjuster's questions, offer an official statement and accept the insurance company's settlement offer, you are most likely leaving significant compensation on the table. Continue reading to learn how to handle the insurance company negotiations.
How To Handle Insurance Company Negotiations
- Do not give more than the most basic information: The insurance adjuster will try to obtain as much information as you are willing to give out, and will try to fool into releasing the rest. The time and place of the accident is about all you should know. Be extremely careful when talking to the insurance agents, because it is easier than you might think to reveal information you meant to keep private.
- Limit your time talking with the insurance adjuster: Because it is so difficult to keep information private, it is important to limit your time with the insurance agents. They are experts at getting people to say things that will jeopardize their claims. The more time adjusters have, the more chances they have to get you to say the wrong things.
- Do not accept the settlement offer: One of the most common tactics of insurance agents is to contact victims as soon as possible after an accident and make a settlement offer. Especially if the accident was not your fault, you can bet someone from the other driver's insurance company will be contacting you very soon.
Insurance company agents are experts at case assessment and minimizing payouts to injured parties. By catching you quickly (before you talk to your lawyer) and making an offer, the insurance adjuster is trying to avoid paying you what your case is truly worth.
It is important to remember: The insurance adjuster isn't contacting you so quickly to make sure you get the compensation you need, but to save money.
It is a natural human tendency for most people to want to be nice to others, so it can be quite challenging for people to decline giving information and to hang up on insurance adjusters, especially when they can seem very kind and caring when they call. However, you need to protect yourself and your financial interests, so you have to minimize what information you provide to your insurance adjuster before talking with your attorney.