You have just looked to your right to switch lanes, you look forward again and are lurched forward hard into your seatbelt. A loud collision of glass and metal and the smell of airbag propellent tells you someone has stopped short and caused you a world of problems.
An accident can occur at any time. You have insurance to safe guard your health and vehicle investment, but often people do not get a fair pay out to pick up the pieces. Insurance companies may send out adjusters to the scene of an accident in an attempt to minimize their loss.
At the end of the day, business is business. Insurance executives do not know you or your family personally, and will not cater to your needs over their own profits. Claims adjusters are not there to comfort you and make sure you get everything you need.
This does not mean you can not get a reasonable claim paid appropriately. The following are some tips to make sure you are rightly compensated for an incident that is covered by your policy.
If a claims adjuster shows up to the scene of an accident on behalf of the party at fault’s insurance company, do not say anything. If you must say something, tell them that you are shaken from the accident, as you probably will be, and they can get all of the information from you when you are of sound mind.
Be sure to report even the slightest discomforts in your own claim, as sometimes injuries are not immediately present due to endorphins and adrenaline. The last thing you want is to claim you have no injuries and find out a week later you have permanent back problems.
Don’t let the insurance companies rush you into a settlement you are not sure of. The best thing you can do is look at the true market value of repairing or replacing your vehicle, any medical expenses such as lost wages, and be sure you don’t settle for less then is reasonable.
Be aware of loaded question. A claims adjuster may ask questions which have answers that are easily misconstrued. For example, “Would you sue the other party for damages if you knew it would put them in financial ruin, or their kids couldn’t eat?”
It is not that insurance companies are evil or heartless, or that claims adjusters do not have souls. We must understand that there is an immense amount of insurance fraud, and their job is literally to give a claimant the least amount of money possible.