always remember that the claims adjuster is not on your side—not even the adjuster from your own insurance company. the role of an adjuster is to minimize the payout and protect the company’s interests. the insurance adjuster may even be looking for ways to deny your claim altogether.
most adjusters will start by introducing themselves and asking how you are doing. he or she will generally start with small talk and simple questions, to make you feel comfortable. after that, the claims adjuster will begin asking more complex questions. bear in mind, these adjusters are experts in handling insurance claims and will be waiting for you to say something that can be used to either limit, or deny your claim. that being the case, you should prepare for your conversation with the claims adjuster by doing the following:
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- choose a time and place for the conversation where you will not feel hurried. most interviews occur over the phone, so choose a time that
writings for you, and find a quiet place to talk, so that you can concentrate on the questions being asked.
- review any notes you may have taken and have a look at any photographs of the accident, to refresh your memory.
- anticipate the type of questions the adjuster might ask so you can think about your answers in advance.
- have a friend or family member present during the claim adjuster’s interview, both for moral support, and as a witness in case a dispute arises about what you told the adjuster.
- speak with an attorney immediately to learn what your rights are, and so that you can get advice on how to answer some of the tougher questions.
- if the claims adjuster wants the conversation recorded, ask that you be provided with a copy of the statement when it’s complete.
when speaking with the adjuster:
- give answers that are short and concise. do not provide more information than requested. in other words, do not ramble on whenever a simple yes or no answer will suffice. remember, adjusters try to make you feel comfortable at the beginning of the conversation in hopes of getting you to say something that might help them justify limiting or denying your claim.
- always be truthful. the insurance company is likely to deny your claim if the adjuster thinks you’re lying. if you don’t know the answer to something, just say “i don’t know.” it’s much better to answer to this way rather than to making statements that you aren’t sure about.
- do not admit fault. that is a legal conclusion. if you do admit fault, the adjuster will likely deny your claim.
- if you are unsure, avoid giving specific factual information. this is particularly true when a range of numbers might do. for example, if you are unsure, do not tell the adjuster exactly how fast you were going or the exact number of seconds it took to stop.
- take notes and have your friend or family member do so as well.
be aware of bullying tactics. for example, an adjuster may repeated badger you for the information you do not have. if this happen, politely but firmly tell the adjuster that the repetitive questioning is making you uncomfortable. if this continues, let the adjuster know that you are terminating the interview, and hang up. do not get belligerent, and try to avoid any arguments or confrontations with the adjuster.