No matter where you live, what you drive or where you work, accidents are a part of life. Some of them you can see coming and know there is little you can do to stop them, while others come out of nowhere and shatter the world you know and replace with an entirely new reality. In each scenario, you can easily feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to face the process of rebuilding. Thankfully, one does not have to face these situations alone. These are situations for an insurance adjuster.
An insurance adjuster’s job is to work with you and the insurance company to get a settlement that everyone can agree with. Depending on whether they represent the insurance company or you, the client, they will work towards getting that entity the best possible outcome. As such, when you are the victim, it is best to have an independent adjuster who has your back and is willing to fight for your needs.
The Job of an Insurance Adjuster
When you are dealing with an accident or natural disaster that leaves you in need of an insurance adjuster, it is vital that you understand their role in the scenario, as well as your own responsibilities.
- Gather any paperwork you have on hand that pertains to the situation.
- Have pictures of before and after, if at all possible.
- Be civil and willing to listen and let the adjuster do the talking.
- Never make the first offer!
- Document everything. Write down facts, numbers, times, and anyone you speak with; considering recording these elements as much as possible.
Job of the Insurance Adjuster
- Inspect the damage. This is the first step regardless of the type of accident or disaster.
- In the event of an accident, they will review any police reports and speak to any witnesses
- Inform the insurance company of the details of the accident or disaster.
- Ascertain where liabilities lie
- Compile a damage report so that financial losses can be assessed.
- Be the intermediary between the parties involved
- Determine the appropriate amount of compensation
Keep in mind that in your first interaction with an adjuster that you will likely need to give a recorded statement and if the claim is of a medical nature, sign a medical release form. Consequently, if you are not prepared to make a statement immediately following the event, it is acceptable to ask for a short period of time before talking.
When you do your part correctly and provide the adjuster with the information they need, then you can be better reel you presented and get what you need to move forward from the situation. Take your time, talk things through calmly and -eventually- your adjuster can help you move on to the other side.