Tips On Working With A Liability Adjuster
With so many variables involved in car insurance claims, it's difficult to give advice that applies to all situations involving liability adjusters.
After all, the situation could simply involve a minor car accident, indisputable evidence, and only dealing with your auto insurance company's adjuster. Or, it could be a case that involves considerable expenses, bodily injuries, car damages, conflicting evidence, and discussions with multiple adjusters, including those from another insurance company.
Regardless, here are some general tips about dealing with an auto insurance liability investigation.
Prepare Yourself for the Insurance Adjuster
Car accidents can be stressful, especially those involving injuries and/or extensive damages. After the accident, you might feel it's a challenge to concentrate or think clearly. That's understandable.
But, after you've reported the auto accident claim―and before the liability insurance claims adjuster contacts you to investigate it―try to find a few moments of peace and write down all the details you can about the accident.
Beyond doing this, you should also:
- Obtain a copy of the police report and review it for accuracy.
- List the names and contact information for any witnesses.
- Have handy the other driver's name, address, license plate number, and insurance company.
- Take photos of the accident scene.
- Take photos of your car.
- Draw a diagram of the accident.
Of course, some of this may not be applicable to your claim, or even possible. And, again, depending on the situation, you may not need to be this thorough. But, it's best to be as prepared as possible when dealing with a liability adjuster.
Also, it's good to be knowledgeable about your car insurance coverage, and understand what your policy covers and to what extent.
Additional Liability Adjuster Tips
Conduct yourself in a professional, calm manner when dealing with insurance adjusters, even if you may disagree with their comments.
This can be difficult to do, especially when still dealing with the impact of the accident. But, you can be your own best advocate for your claim, so it's smart to think and act rationally.
Take notes during conversations, and keep a record of all conversations. You might also send written correspondences to the adjuster that includes the key information discussed. Doing so gives you a "paper trail" that can eliminate misunderstandings later in the process. And, it shows the adjuster that you're on top of things.
Keep in mind if the adjuster denies your claim or offers an inadequate settlement, you may have other options, such as arbitration, mediation, or small claims courts. Also, adjusters usually have a dollar range to work with, so you can try negotiating for a higher settlement amount.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
And, lastly, with some claims, it's smart to consult an insurance attorney―especially one who specializes in car accident claims―before talking to an adjuster.