While you want to believe that the insurance company is on your side, this is not always the case. Insurance companies hire claims adjusters to give you the claim that best fits their needs. They are trained to look at evidence and determine ways to lower your compensation. Some strategies that an adjuster might use against you to devalue or deny your claim are:
- Saying that your evidence is invalid
- Saying that you missed your deadline
- Delaying payment until you give up
While they are well-trained in claims, most people dealing with them are not. It can be helpful to have some arsenal to deal with prepared claims adjusters. Below are five tactics to better help you in the battle for compensation.
1. Review your policy before picking up the phone
If you haven't already, it is smart to read through your policy before calling your insurance company. Make sure you understand what is and is not covered. Once you get on the phone with an agent then make sure not to say anything that the adjuster could use to deny your claim.
2. Fill out forms carefully and make copies
Really take your time while filling out the forms that an insurance company sends you. A small mistake could be used against you to delay or throw out your claim. Once the forms are complete, then make a copy so you know exactly what information that you provided.
3. Gather evidence to back up your statement
Gather all the evidence you can to validate your claim. This can help you in the end if your word goes against someone else's. Before and after pictures are especially helpful to show that damage was not preexisting. If there were any witnesses then you can record their statement and contact and keep it somewhere safe. If the claims adjuster starts questioning your story then you can say that you have pictures and witness testimony.
4. Stick to written communication
Although your insurance company will likely contact you by phone it is best to have communications in written form. If you stick to emails and letters then you will have a solid record of your communication attempts with the company. This will help if they try to avoid you and delay the claim. Written communication can also be helpful because you will be more careful with your words.
5. Get help from an attorney
Contact an attorney early in the claims process to have your back if things get tough. An attorney can also help you through avoiding any pitfalls in written communications. If things start to go south then you can have your attorney take over all communications between you and your insurance company.
These are just a few handy tactics to have under your belt when dealing with an insurance claims adjuster. Even if the entire process goes smoothly, it can be helpful to know what to look for and how to respond.