For some, this isn’t a dramatic ordeal, but for others who dislike their insurance agency or don’t understand their policy, it can be a headache. Whether it’s a car accident or a flooded basement, at some point, you’ll eventually have to make that call to the insurance company and finally collect on all those premiums you’ve paid over the years. If this is a process you detest, read on to get a little advice for breezing through file claims and dealing with your insurance agent or adjuster.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Always be truthful with the claims adjuster. Adjusters are well-trained, and it is their job to represent the insurance company (and their shareholders’) interests. They are adept at spotting half-truths and outright lies. Adjusters are much more likely to give you a break if you are upfront and honest from the very beginning, and they are equally as likely to give you a hard time if they discover you’ve been lying to them. The more accurate information you provide the agent with, the more they will be able to help you.
Read and Understand Your Policy
An adjuster will answer questions regarding your policy, but they do not work for you. They work for the insurance company. Make sure to read your policy thoroughly to validate what the insurance adjuster is telling you. The adjuster might be wrong, and that can make a huge difference in the amount the company ultimately pays out. If you have a personal insurance agent that you meet with or speak to frequently, get together with them and ask questions if you need to better understand your policy. Then you will be more informed when you need to file a claim and speak with the adjuster.
Stay in Control of the Process
Adjusters have a strong incentive to close a claim as quickly and for as little as possible. Because of this they can be pushy and try to pressure claimants into making hasty decisions. Don’t let them. You are in control and are under no obligation to accept the first or any offer the adjuster makes. You always have the option to negotiate. Make it clear that you plan to take your time and do your research so that they will give you your space. If they continue to push, don’t give into their tactics for as long as you can help it. Once they see that you aren’t going to budge, they will likely take a less aggressive approach.
It costs nothing to be nice and polite, and it could pay huge dividends. Remember, the adjuster is just doing his job. It’s not personal. Treat the process as you would any business transaction, and keep in mind that people are less likely to want to help you if you are rude or impatient. If you present a respectful, professional approach, the adjuster will show mutual respect and the process will go much more smoothly.
You Can Hire an Attorney
If all else fails, you can always hire an attorney to represent you. Some people prefer to pay for a lawyer than deal with the insurance company on their own. If you feel the insurance company is not acting in good faith, let a lawyer deal with them so you can get what you truly deserve. An attorney will be able to look over your policy and understand how to deal with the adjuster to get you the compensation and help you need. According to car accident lawyers in Fredericton at the Cantini Law Group, most attorneys work on a commission basis. So before you hire one, make sure the potential payout will be worth the extra cost.
Filing an insurance claim is not something anyone wants to do, but it doesn’t have to be a painful process. Just remember you have paid your premiums, so you have a right to compensation and you are ultimately in control. Once you have a successful interaction with an insurance company or adjuster and feel confident in understanding your policy, any claims you need to file in the future will be no sweat.