How To Negotiate With Car Insurance Adjusters

For drivers, getting involved in a car accident is one of their greatest fears. Several tons of steel colliding at high speed can severely damage the vehicles involved, not to mention the individuals who occupy them. Car crashes are a traumatic experience for everyone involved, but they can also lead to serious injuries with lasting consequences and even death. 

how to negotiate with car insurance adjusters

It is understandable why people would not want to think about such grim situations, but being prepared in advance can help, especially when dealing with car insurance adjusters. If another driver caused an accident, seeking reimbursement for your expenses will be a top priority. 

The job of an insurance adjuster is to provide a reasonable settlement, but more often than not, their offer will be far less than what you deserve. Negotiations play an essential role in getting the payout you deserve. In this article, we’re going to explore your options for obtaining fair compensation.

Determine The Damages To Your Vehicle

The value of your car is crucial in determining the cost of repair or replacement. Insurance companies will inspect the vehicle and (likely) provide a lower estimate than what it would actually cost to repair the car properly. To accurately determine the cost of damages, you’ll need to find a reliable mechanic to inspect the damage in detail. They can provide you with the list of components and labor required to get the car back on the road.

In many instances, used cars are often written off as too damaged to be repaired. The reasoning behind it that the costs of repair are substantially higher than the actual value of the vehicle. You can check online offers and use the data found to correct the estimated market value of your car.

Determine The Costs Of Your Medical Treatment

Despite how straightforward it may seem, getting compensation for medical bills is a process that can be easily manipulated. Insurance adjusters could claim that some treatment was unnecessary or even unrelated to the accident. 

Diligence is the best way to ensure you get full compensation. Keep logs of every medical procedure and expense, but also receipts of any purchases you’ve made as a result of the injury: over-the-counter medicine, crutches, wheelchair, etc. If you require prolonged treatment or physical therapy, add the future expenses to the list as well. 

Negotiate Your Case

Negotiating with a car insurance adjuster is quite similar to bargaining with a used car salesman. It’s in the adjuster’s best interest to give you as little money as possible, and your goal is to get fair compensation for your expenses. These sometimes conflicting interests can make for some tough negotiations.

Collect all the evidence and documentation you have regarding the accident and have it readily available. Because the adjuster will do everything to lower your initial claim, you’ll probably want to set it considerably higher than what you need. This value can be justified through emotional stress, but make sure not to push it too far. Otherwise, the adjuster may become suspicious of fraud. 

Remember, turning down an offer is entirely within your rights. Unless the amount offered is more than you’ve expected, first offers are generally refused. Show the adjuster that you’re willing to renegotiate your offer by lowering it slightly, and they’ll typically follow by raising theirs. This can be done several times until a final offer is accepted. 

Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster is a human just like you. Respectfully and eloquently, explain your situation and the hardships you have endured due to your accident. It may have a positive effect and make them more empathetic to your situation. Regardless of whether they respond with empathy or draw a hard line, there’s no valid reason to back down when attempting to negotiate fair compensation for your damages.

Take Legal Action

It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to avoid your calls and make the process as long as possible. This can put a lot of pressure on you to accept their offer, which may be more favorable for the insurer than for you. However, a mere mention of legal action could be enough to get things settled quickly.

If you have a strong case with detailed accident and injury reports, it could prove to be highly appealing to attorneys who specialize in insurance settlements. Often, their fees are marginal or even non-existent, as they bet on the odds of winning the case and collecting their payment in the form of a percentage of the settlement. 

Even if you think it’s unnecessary, you should discuss your situation with an attorney before making or accepting any offers. Their involvement could make the process faster and even potentially net you a higher settlement. 

Summary 

To get the best offer from an insurance adjuster, make sure to collect all of the paperwork regarding your damages and injuries and have them on hand. Verbal claims can be easily discarded or refuted, so having proof for your claims is crucial. In most cases, mechanics and medical staff will be more than willing to assist you in getting a fair resolution.

Remember, don’t be afraid to turn down as many offers as it takes to get to the desired amount, but make sure to make minor exceptions and adjust accordingly. If the negotiations fall through, consult with an attorney to find the best means of going forward.

For more insurance information and how to best protect yourself and your vehicle, take a look at our other articles on the subject