When you make an insurance claim for fire, flood or other damage to your property, there is a good chance that your insurer will involve an insurance adjuster in the process.
An insurance adjuster – or loss adjuster, as they are also called – is hired to investigate and assess the validity of your claim on the insurer’s behalf. They may telephone you and will likely request to visit your property to gather evidence and ask some questions to help them carry out their assessment.
Even though insurance adjusters are obliged to remain impartial, they will have been hired by the insurance company and may therefore use certain ‘tricks of the trade’ to secure the best settlement for their employer.
If your insurer employs an insurance adjuster, you should be prepared for their visit. Whatever your claim or situation, we recommend our six top tips for dealing with insurance adjusters that will help your claim go smoothly.
1. Review your policy
Before you speak to an insurance adjuster, make sure you get your facts straight. Remember: it is a negotiation process. Re-read your insurance policy, taking note of the wording, before the negotiations. Be aware of the clauses and coverage included in your policy so you know what you’re entitled to (and what you aren’t).
As well as helping you negotiate, knowing the facts will put you more at ease throughout the claim.
2. Be cautious but helpful
When a claim gets passed on to an insurance adjuster, everything you say can be used in their final assessment. Be vigilant of the wording you use when speaking to an insurance adjuster, both in person and over the telephone, to avoid having any words used against you.
Similarly, do not provide any information that could be incomplete and used to lower the offer, such as medical results from injuries. If in doubt, a loss assessor can present the claim and handle dealings with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
3. Be prepared
Insurance adjusters aim to complete the task as efficiently as possible, so making their job easier can help the process go smoothly. Having photographs and any other evidence to support your claim ready can help them approve the claim for the amount you are expecting.
4. Know your rights
You should always let the insurance adjuster make the first offer to avoid losing out, but the first offer you receive may be a lot lower than you expect. This is normal, and you do not have to accept it.
Be ready to negotiate by knowing what you are entitled to and working out the figure you would expect to receive. If you do not agree with the first offer made by the insurance adjuster, you are entitled to challenge it. Sometimes an adjuster will not take the time to read the ins and outs of your policy, so don’t be afraid to show them the parts that are relevant.
5. Be honest
No matter what, your job is to always be honest with your insurance adjuster so that they can make a fair assessment. Do not embellish, exaggerate or edit any of the facts – doing so is a crime. Present your case honestly based on your policy, and don’t be afraid to challenge any outcome you feel is unfair.
6. Be polite
Even if things don’t go the way you hoped, or you feel the insurance adjuster is acting unfairly, remain polite throughout the entire claims process. Acting argumentatively or aggressively won’t help your case. The adjuster may not be on your side, but they don’t have to be the enemy.
Dealing with an insurance adjuster is something you do not need to worry about but hiring your own loss assessor can certainly make the situation less stressful. A loss assessor will present your claim and negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf, so you can achieve the highest possible offer. If you’d like to know more about how our loss assessors can help you, get in touch with a member of our team.