If you’ve ever dealt with the aftermath of a car accident, you know it’s a time fraught with nerves and anxiety. The emotional fallout can be hard enough, even without watching your every word during a conversation with an insurance claims adjuster.
Unfortunately, the insurance claim process can’t move forward without this dialogue—but you’ll need to be smart about what you say. Here’s everything you should know about how to talk to insurance claims adjusters.
3 Things to Say When Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
When you’re talking to the insurance adjuster, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your statements are grounded in facts, not your opinions or other thoughts. As much as possible, try to limit the conversation to only the following details.
1. The Current Location of Your Vehicle
The adjuster may ask where the vehicle is as they’ll need to inspect the damage to the car. If this is the case, provide them with the details on the body shop or dealership or arrange to have them come to your home if the car is still with you.
2. The Other Party’s Personal Information
After a car accident, you should always follow a few simple best practices. One of these should involve getting the other driver’s insurance information, policy number, license plate number, and personal license number. Give this information to the adjuster when asked.
3. The Facts of the Accident
Again, it’s important to stick to the facts. Talk about the weather, the location, and the time and date. Mention the objective facts about the accident as well.
The adjuster may try to get you to provide more information, but this additional information may give them an opportunity to poke holes in your case. You can also refuse to allow your statement to be recorded if you prefer.
3 Things NOT to Say When Talking to an Insurance Claim Adjuster
It’s important to remember that the insurance claim adjuster is not on your side in this process. Their goal is to resolve this issue with as little cost to the insurance company as possible. To this end, they may use some common tactics to get you to spill more info—but don’t fall for it!
1. Apologies of Any Kind
Many of us, raised to be polite, have a habit of apologizing—even when we aren’t at fault. In the context of an insurance adjustment, however, an apology can be taken as a statement of fault whether you like it or not. You should avoid apologizing to the other driver, to the police officer, or to any party involved in the insurance claim.
2. Statements of Wellness
Another bad habit, in this particular context, is the habit of saying “I’m fine” as a way of reassurance. You might even think you’re fine at the moment, especially if you suffered no obvious injuries.
However, telling the other driver, the police, or an insurance claim adjuster that you’re well can make it more difficult to get a payout if you’ve suffered subtle injuries that arise later.
3. Explanations of Injuries
Unless you’re a doctor (and even then), it’s best not to offer any information about your injuries, even if the insurance adjuster asks. Because you may not know the full extent of your injuries, your statement may make the adjuster think your injuries are more minor than they are, which can limit your opportunities to get a fair settlement later.
Know How to Talk to Insurance Claims Adjusters
Don’t make subtle mistakes during your conversation! Knowing how to talk to insurance claims adjusters can mean the difference between a fair settlement and a difficult fight. If you’re involved in a serious accident, you may even want to contact a lawyer to help you through this for peace of mind.
Want more of the critical life tips you need to know? Check out our other posts to learn more.