Whether a person is injured in a car wreck, in an 18-wheeler accident, or on the job, people think that just because they pay for insurance, their insurance company will side with them if and when some sort of claim that arises. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case.
We always tell people that insurance is a good investment, but, like any business, an insurance company is trying to do two things: make money and save money. If there is some sort of claim, then usually the claim will be turned over to an insurance adjuster. You could say the adjuster acts as an investigator on your case for the insurance company. While an insurance adjuster may seem like they are on your side, they work for the insurance company, which means that they are looking out for the insurance company’s best interest — and not necessarily yours.
How do they do this? An adjuster will typically act as though they are on your side, being friendly and open to talking with you. The problem is that when they are talking to you, what they are really doing is information gathering and mitigating. When they are speaking with you, let’s say after a car wreck, they may try to ask you questions about the nature of your injuries in such a way that it may seem as though your injuries are not that serious, or they may ask you questions about the collision in such a way to make it seem as though you were also partially at fault. Beware of any time an insurance adjuster says that you do not need to hire a lawyer, and instead just work with them to resolve the matter sooner rather than later. This is a huge red flag that the insurance company is not working in your best interests.
What do you do in this situation? For starters, never talk to an adjuster by yourself. Always remember that adjusters are trained and experienced in handling claimants and working to get them to settle low. The second thing to do is make sure that you give them as little information as possible. Just like police officers can and will use whatever you say against you, so will insurance adjusters. The more information you give them, the more that they can maneuver you to settle on their terms. Finally (of course!) get a lawyer. A lawyer can help shield you from adjusters, blocking them from putting you in a position where you must settle low leaving a lot of money on the table. A lawyer can ensure that the adjuster is following the rules, and depending on the situation, determine if the insurance adjuster is engaged in bad faith negotiation tactics.
The main thing to remember is that just because you pay for insurance doesn’t mean that you are on the same side. Just like every other business, an insurance company is going to make sure that it can make money and spend the least amount of money possible, even if that means turning against you.