Being in a car accident is always traumatizing. If you were unable to avoid a car accident, you can at least repair the damage and move on. In order to get compensation, you have to file an insurance claim. In a perfect world, getting adequate compensation from your insurance company would not be an issue. Sadly, insurers don’t let go of their money that easily. If things do not go as planned, prepare to fight. You will need a lot of patience and determination to get the best results. Hiring a car accident insurance adjuster to help you with your claim is anything but a simple decision. Although hiring an adjuster may not always be necessary, it could also be one of the best decisions you have ever made.
What are your options?
Of course, you want to maximize your claim payment and you want it to be done quickly. Some people choose to have no one representing them and they end up winning. Still, having someone on your side can be of great help. Therefore, you should choose wisely the kind of help that is suitable for your case.
- Company insurance adjusters. They are employees of the insurance companies in charge of handling claims for their policyholders.
- Independent insurance adjusters. They are independent contractors. Although they are not insurance company employees, they work on their behalf. Insurance companies hire them to help policyholders throughout the claims process.
- Public insurance adjusters. Individual policyholders hire public car accident insurance adjusters to represent them. They are similar to “attorneys”. They are paid out of the payment policyholders receive from the insurance company after the claim is settled (there should be no deposits or down payments).
Company adjusters and independent adjusters – why to avoid them
Insurance companies send an adjuster to investigate the circumstances of the accident and determine the insurers’ liability based on your applicable insurance policy. The car accident insurance adjuster will conduct interviews with everyone involved, check the police report and your medical records.
Although many people believe a company adjuster wants what is best for them, it is actually the opposite. These adjusters protect the interests of the company they work for. Therefore, an adjuster may work against you. After all, insurance company adjusters are loyal to their employer. They will do anything to make sure their employer doesn’t suffer a loss due to your claim. Hence, they are likely to offer you the lowest possible settlement.
Public car accident insurance adjusters – advantages and disadvantages
Some people would recommend hiring a public car accident insurance adjuster. However, if you are satisfied with your insurance agent and your insurance company adjuster, perhaps you don’t need a public adjuster.
- No one knows your car better than you. Therefore, no one can fill out paperwork and quantify your losses better than you. So, the assistance of a middleman may not be necessary.
- In case your loss exceeds your insurance policy coverage, you might need an attorney to help you settle your car accident claim. A public insurance adjuster cannot be involved if you hire an attorney. Despite that, you still need to pay the insurance adjuster’s fee.
- A public insurance adjuster is not your insurance company’s employee. They might not collect the right information regarding your policy’s coverage, exclusions, and requirements. Consequently, you may end up losing time and money due to their bad advice.
- The more they pay you, the more you pay the public adjuster. Often, insurance claims adjusters try to prolong negotiations with your insurer, thus delaying your recovery, and fraudulently inflate claims payments.
- If you work directly with your insurance company, you will have more money to repair or replace your vehicle. On the other hand, if you choose an adjuster whom you have to pay, you could lose more money than you would otherwise.
- A public car accident adjuster will charge for the things your insurance company adjuster and agent do for free. Sometimes, hiring a public adjuster is just an unnecessary expense.
- The fact that many public claims adjusters are against good relations between you and your insurance company can prolong the whole process.
Why it’s good to have a public car accident insurance adjuster
If you want a second opinion or you are not happy with the professionals your insurance company employs, consulting with a public insurance adjuster Florida is not a bad idea. To make sure your claim doesn’t get denied or lose its value, you could hire an independent adjuster who will answer all your questions and assist you throughout the claims process. That is the best way to protect yourself from moving company adjusters and their unfair treatment. If you have someone to represent you, the insurance company will take you more seriously.
You do not have to accept the initial settlement, especially if it is completely unreasonable. With experienced legal help, you will get the settlement you deserve. However, if your independent adjuster believes the settlement the insurer is offering is fair, he/she should be honest with you.
Tips for working with a public insurance adjuster
Interview several accident insurance adjusters before hiring one.
- Limit your contract to a time period during which you expect the claim to be settled. If the claim is not settled within that period, you no longer have to use their services.
- Do not hire a car accident insurance adjuster who asks for your personal information, like your bank account information or Social Security number.
- Do not hire a person who is not licensed and bonded to practice as a public claims adjuster, experienced, and properly trained.
- Never hire an adjuster who asks for money upfront.