Property Damage – Table of Contents
Recognize that you are in a negotiation process.
Insurance adjusters are rated on their performance in closing settlements at the lowest possible cost to the insurance company. Note that there are two factors here: (1) closing settlements; and (2) lowest possible cost. Adjusters don’t want to keep claims unresolved for long periods of time. It reflects on their performance. If you are persistent in pressing a reasonable claim, at some point the adjuster may decide to offer your more just to get the case closed.
Don’t be the first to make an offer.
As with any negotiation, the party who names a number first has then set a limit on what will be acceptable to them. If the adjuster is thinking that your claim has a top value of $10,000 and you start by saying you want $5,000, you have just “left money on the table” as the saying goes. Let the adjuster make the first offer, and then negotiate up from there.
Always be civil in your conversations with insurance adjusters.
Angry outbursts or the use of foul language is much more likely to cause the insurance adjuster to develop a negative impression of you and your claim. Remember, adjusters are simply people who have been hired to do a job. The more humanely you treat them, the more likely you are to receive a similar response. That’s just human nature.
By the same token, if an adjuster does not treat you in a courteous and civil manner, you may want to consider legal representation.
Document your facts.
Do a good job in gathering evidence for your claim, such as photographs, written estimates, receipts for any expenses related to your claim, and the like. The more prepared you are with appropriate documentation, the more likely you are to receive fair consideration for your arguments. Remember, the adjuster’s decisions may be reviewed by an insurance company supervisor, and if the adjuster can show that you provided relevant documentation for your arguments, you are more likely to receive a favorable settlement.
Don’t allow yourself to be rushed into accepting a settlement.
If you receive phone calls from an adjuster at times when you might feel rushed – such as first thing in the morning just before you need to leave for work – you may be inclined to accept a settlement offer just to get it over with. Instead, call the adjustor back at a time that is convenient for you, when you won’t feel rushed to accept an offer.
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