The lower the claims settlements are the better for auto insurance companies. Along this line, a claims adjuster would want to please the company they work for by getting the best settlement for them. On the other hand, policyholders would want and expect that their insurers would try their best to get their repairs done in time. Also they expect a fair settlement for totaled cars.
When an insurer is generous on claim payments they would be paying out of their profits. Then, their shareholders aren’t going to be happy about it. So, it is not easy to strike the right balance to keep everybody happy. This job is entrusted to claims adjusters and they should be your first point of contact. You should call them to learn about the process of your claim or if you are not satisfied with the offer made to you.
What Do Claims Adjusters Do?
Once an auto insurer determines that they have to pay for the claim they appoint an adjuster to deal with the repairs and claim settlement. Effectively claims adjusters determine where the vehicle will be repaired and how much an owner should get if it is totaled. In short, they are your point of contact until a final figure is agreed and the claim is passed on to settlement.
They check the damaged automobile, get the client agree on a body shop and answer all the questions you may have. They influence the process and the amount to be paid out.
Problems with Being an Adjuster and How You Can Benefit from It?
The job of claims adjusters is not easy. It is highly stressful and demanding. They may have many open cases and under pressure to close so many of them each month. They have targets to meet and little flexibility to decide for the company.
They are also human beings that come with traits and empathy. They will listen to you as they are keen to deal with your case. However, they will not take nonsense from you. If you do not agree with their assessment and you want more money you have to give a good reason. First of all you need to do your own research.
For example, they may total your automobile and offer you a low figure based on comparison they made with similar vehicles being sold in the open market. You have to have a good look at them and come up with your examples. Point out other cars that are being sold at higher prices. Also, you may point out that your car had a low mileage and was well looked after and therefore they should eliminate the cheaper ones when they are calculating an average price.
Why Should They Listen to Policyholders?
They like to settle the claim as much as you do. They cannot sit on them forever and they cannot drag their feet as it is bad for the company. Most importantly, they cannot settle it without your agreement. Their job requires them to communicate with the customers and service providers on a daily bases.
Can You Negotiate with Auto Insurance Claims Adjuster?
Yes. You may actually be on a disadvantage if you do not negotiate with them. Smart adjusters would include a little room for negotiation as they expect policyholders will contest their valuation. However, you must talk sense and show them that you did your homework. You may be surprised how quickly you may get another $500 – $600 if you are prepared to settle for it.
If you think the valuation is far below your expectations you may need to get an independent loss adjuster to help you out. Owners are allowed to employ someone to work for them, another adjuster. They then can make the contact on your behalf, make their points and negotiate. There is chance a local adjuster would know the person employed by the insurance company.
If you believe you have a case you should not give up easily. One thing you should remember is that it would take a bit longer if you contest and cannot find a middle ground to negotiate.