Posted on: 11 February 2018Share
When the insurance adjuster completes the investigation into your claim, the person will tell you how much the company is willing to pay you for your damages. Since the adjuster's job is to save the company money, you can be sure the offer will be insultingly low. Additionally, the agent will employ a number of tricks to get you to accept the amount. Here are two you may encounter and how to respond.
Claim They've Maxed Their "Authority" Amount
Insurance adjusters are authorized to offer claimants a certain amount of money for claims. The exact amount varies depending on the company, policyholder, and claim. One thing insurance adjusters will do is claim the low-ball offers are the maximum they can give. By invoking the "authorization" defense, the adjuster makes it appear the company is the one calling the shots and that they're just the messenger. They're hoping playing the insurance company off as a higher authority will sufficiently cow you into accepting the offer.
Since humans are primed to obey authority, this tactic sometimes work, since the victim may reluctant to buck the system by asserting their rights. However, it's important to remember the adjuster is the actually the one making the decisions in your case and that person only cares about saving the insurance company money.
Although it may make you uncomfortable, you should politely reject the adjuster's assertion they can't offer you more money and insist on getting paid what you're owed.
Say That Offer is Not Negotiable
Another thing an adjuster may do is claim part of or the entire offer is non-negotiable. This will often be spoken (or written) with an air of authority and finality designed to get you to give up fighting and just accept what was provided. Typically, this will be accompanied by statements downplaying the seriousness of your injuries, disputing liability, and/or doubting certain aspects of your case is covered by your policy.
For instance, it's common for adjusters to intimate that victims share some of the blame for accidents that caused their injuries and attempt to invoke comparative negligence laws that reduces a victim's damages by the amount of fault they contributed to the situation. Thus, the adjuster may make it seem like they're doing you a favor by offering as much as they are.
The best way to counter this is to remember that insurance companies want to keep their costs as low as possible, and lawsuits are expensive. If the adjuster continues to insist they can't offer any more, then play the lawsuit card. You can be sure the adjuster will suddenly be open to negotiating your damages.
For help with dealing with an insurance adjuster, contact a personal injury attorney.