Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

How to Handle the Insurance Adjuster

February 17, 2005

Has one of your fleet vehicles just got in an accident? Below are some tips for dealing with the insurance adjuster, excerpted from a story on by Dan Baldyga. If a company calls you and suggests they take your statement over the telephone, tell them you would prefer to meet with an adjuster. Don't agree to dictate a verbal statement into a tape recorder over the phone, and certainly not when you're in the presence of an adjuster. Don't sign a statement when you meet with him. Whatever the circumstance may be, advise whomever you're dealing with that you'll be more than willing to provide a signed statement, after your claim has been settled.No matter how much in the wrong the person is that hit you, don't take it out on the adjuster. It's not the adjuster's fault if his insured is an idiot. If he likes you that's money in the bank. On the other hand, if he gets upset with you he has the ability to twist the facts to make you look bad, according to Baldyga.The job performance of insurance adjusters is judged not only on how little of the company's money they spend in settlements, but also on how quickly they settle the claims assigned to them. They're constantly under pressure to settle your claim; to get rid of it and move on, Baldyga says.Adjusters' authority to settle claims on their own is restricted depending on how much experience they have. For a less experienced adjuster, perhaps $5,000 to $10,000, but for a more experienced adjuster, their settlement authority may go as high as $20,000. When bigger bucks are involved they usually have to be given permission to settle the case from their immediate supervisor.Finally, don't let a sweet talking insurance adjuster manipulate you into feeling good about your relationship with him and the eventual outcome of your claim, Baldyga says. Know and understand that they're only doing their job. Their assignment is to save money for the company who signs their paychecks--no matter what it takes.This is information is from a book by Dan Baldyga entitled “Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim (How To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss).”
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