What not to say to a claims adjuster
If you don't collect, we don't get paid.
What not to say to a claims adjuster
Dealing with a home insurance adjuster after a house fire is a normal part of making an insurance claim. If you've never dealt with a claims adjuster, then the whole process of filing a claim can seem intimidating. The truth is, the insurance adjuster is working for the insurance company and his job is to minimize the payout to you and to save the insurance company money. Another part of the insurance adjusters' job is to root out fraud. If you are making a legitimate claim you may wonder what this has to do with you. Insurance fraud costs more than $40 million a year. Insurance companies are not going to take the hit, so you do, by paying premium hikes between $400 and $700 annually.
So, you just experienced a house fire. Your most valuable asset, your home, is damaged or destroyed. It is probably one of the most stressful situations you can ever be in. What you tell your insurance company is important, but what you shouldn't say can be even more valuable.
Insurance adjusters are trained to zero in on certain “trigger' words that indicate you might not have a legitimate claim. Saying as little as possible seems to be what most public adjusters and attorneys advise their clients. Talking too much only gives you more chance to say something counterproductive. Never admit fault and remember to take a second to think about what you were just asked.
Many independent public adjusters and attorneys will advise you to not give a recorded statement. The insurance company will often use these recorded statements to trip you up and use them against you later down the road. Recorded statements are usually not sworn or signed, but can still be used against you. Remember that sometimes, what you say can hurt you. Insurance adjusters have a long history of negotiating claims, where you do not. A single recorded statement can impact your final insurance payout.
Avoid signing any documents from the insurance adjuster until you have reviewed and fully understand what the documents contain. Consider hiring a public adjuster or an attorney if you do not fully understand what you are signing, or if you think that your insurance company is acting in bad faith.
If the payout from your insurance company seems unreasonably low, then ask them for further justification on the low amounts. Also, ask them if it's possible to itemize the damages and to provide more information on how this settled amount was reached.
Do not settle your claim too quickly. It seems like this process is taking forever and you just want your life and property to be whole again, but be patient. You could be selling yourself short and not get the full compensation you deserve. Claims negotiation is a process that takes time and will benefit you in the end.
Overall, the insurance claims adjuster's goal is to not give it away, so to speak. Instead, their goal is most likely to be, settle the claim as quickly as possible for the lowest amount possible. In most cases, the insurance adjuster is a paid employee of the insurance company and is not on your side.
ICC Public Adjusters doing business in North Carolina, South
Carolina and Georgia
It's obvious, Call us to assist you in planning your claims process timeline.
Even if you don't hire us, we will help you get started, and offer valuable hints and insight into this complex claims process.
At ICC, we work solely on the policyholder’s behalf, so you can be sure you are getting the best independent and customer-focused service. If you don’t succeed, we don’t succeed
- Detail the full scope of property damage and estimate repair costs
- Perform content loss, personal injury, and business impairment assessments
- Contract specialist to underpin and validate any claims
- Liaise directly with your insurance company, acting solely on your behalf
- Obtain the maximum pay-out possible subject to the findings of our reports
- Ensure your property is returned to its original state as soon as reasonably viable