Imagine driving through Phoenix on your way home from work. You're ready to start a long weekend with family for some fun and much-needed rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, your plans completely unravel when another car fails to stop and rear-ends you at a traffic light. Now you have to put your car in the shop, deal with the insurance company and see a doctor about the pain in your neck and back.
In addition, you will have to talk to an insurance adjuster from the other driver's insurance company. This person's job is to assess the damage to your vehicle and make an estimate as to the cost of repairs.
Since insurance companies are notorious for not wanting to pay a penny more than absolutely necessary, the adjuster will probably lowball the cost of the repairs. Here are some tips to help you deal with the insurance adjuster.
Don't cave to pressure
When the negotiations begin, the insurance adjuster will probably try to pressure you into accepting a settlement as soon as possible. He or she will probably start with a low offer in the hope that you need the cash and will accept it without any further trouble.
Furthermore, the insurance adjuster might make this offer before the repair shop has even completed a full assessment of the damages. Before accepting an offer from the insurance company, you should wait until you know the full cost of the repairs of your vehicle and have a good idea of the cost of your medical expenses.
Prepare for the conversation
Before you speak with an insurance adjuster, get a copy of the police report that details the facts of the accident. You will want to reference this when you speak with the adjuster. Also, research your car's blue book value and have on hand any materials that include losses directly related to the collision.
Ask for more
If you have a strong estimate of the costs of repairing your vehicle and the medical expenses associated with the wreck, be sure to increase this amount when you start negotiations. Expect that the insurance adjuster is going to start low, which means you should start high to arrive at the amount that you need to fully recover your losses caused by the wreck.
If you have been the victim of a car accident, you will have to negotiate with an insurance adjuster as part of the settlement process. While the above tips can help, you still may find yourself at a disadvantage when dealing with the other driver's insurance company.
Keep in mind that you might be able to take legal action to protect yourself and your claim so that the insurance company does not completely lowball your settlement.