It is in everyone’s best interest to settle claims as fast as possible. Car insurance adjusters are tasked with assessing the damages and offering a settlement but they often start with a low ball offer. So, policyholders are entitled to do their own research, get their own estimates and enter into a negotiation with the insurer appointed adjuster in order to achieve a fair settlement.
Policyholders can turn down offers coming short of compensating for all their losses (including consequential losses) providing there is coverage for them in the policy. Providers cannot settle a claim without the customer’s agreement and just cut a check.
When it is a claim on an at fault driver’s insurance, your coverage is often irrelevant and the other driver’s coverage is important as their policy will pay. Generally, third party insurer appointed adjusters are tougher to deal but they may have to pay more. For example, you cannot claim for a rental car from your insurer if you don’t have Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage but you can claim it if a third party insurer is paying for it.
Motorists should start getting their own estimates on repairs if they don’t want the vehicle to be repaired in an insurance approved garage or if this isn’t an option. In such cases, the adjuster estimates the damages and suggests a figure the insurance company is willing to pay. Assuming it is a low ball offer, motorists can put forward their own calculations, present estimates and support them with sound reasoning.
As the name suggests, often adjusters make adjustments to their first offer and come up with a counter offer. If both parties are reasonable, a deal can be struck pretty quickly. Auto insurance adjusters are experienced in this and they know how far they can push and when to give way. Besides, they have quotas as to how many claims they need to settle in a week or a month. They cannot just sit on a claim, although delaying the proceedings is a tactic to tire people out into submission.
If the vehicle is totaled, motorists need to quickly figure out the Actual Cash Value of their automobiles and be ready for the first offer, which is frequently rejected. They need to check prices for automobiles with the same make, model, age, mileage and condition as theirs currently sold in the market by looking at websites like Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com), Edmunds and others.
Motorists can add a little bit more on the price for several reasons like theirs may have had a lower mileage, in good condition, with leather seats and so on but it is best not to overdo it to avoid giving an impression that they are trying to take the insurers for a ride. This won’t fly with an experienced car insurance adjuster but they will often extend the offer a little bit more. Also, they need to include the cost of registering the replacement auto and taxes.
For example, the insurance adjuster may total the automobile and offer you a low figure based on comparison they made with similar vehicles being sold in the market. In response, you may show other cars being sold at higher prices. You may point out that it had a low mileage and was well looked after and therefore they should eliminate the cheaper ones when they are calculating an average price.
In case of injury claims, they need to keep and be ready to present every medical bill, doctor opinion, add physiotherapy and other additional costs like clutches and loss of wages. It is very important that they don’t agree to a final settlement until they are fully recovered, unless they get a very generous offer. Insurers commonly pay partial settlements to injured people and final settlement can wait no matter how keen and pushy the company is. Injury claims worry insurance adjusters because they can be inflated. That is why they may be keener to settle early.
People can do two things when the negotiations are going nowhere or even too big or complicated for them to handle. they can actually employ an adjuster to work and carry on the insurance negotiations on their behalf. They usually work on a percentage of settlement or a fixed fee.
The second option is to consult a lawyer. Actually, a mention of a lawyer and throwing in a few legal terms you learned from your consultation with a lawyer may speed things up. Otherwise, you may instruct a lawyer to take over the case at any stage. Often they are happy to work on a no win no fee basis.
The fundamental principle of insurance is that it compensates people’s insured losses but they cannot put policyholders in a worse or better state than before the incident. So, it is a balancing act to offer fair settlement and people are entitled to ask for it. They just need to be prepared and reasonable about it. Vehicle insurance adjusters won’t certainly hand out free money but they have to listen to reason and adjust their position accordingly.