How To Scare An Insurance Adjuster

How To Scare An Insurance Adjuster

Insurance adjusters play a critical role in the outcome of personal injury and property damage cases. While many insurance adjusters work hard to review all relevant details and arrive at a fair conclusion, others may use unethical tactics.

You can help safeguard against these bad-faith tactics by eliciting a bit of fear in your insurance adjuster. You can achieve this goal with knowledge, a strategic plan, plenty of persistence, and an experienced lawyer.

Below is your step-by-step guide on how to scare an insurance adjuster to deliver a fair settlement offer you are willing to accept. For specific advice regarding your personal injury claim or property damage insurance claim, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney near you right away. 

Step One: Understand the Roles and Goals of an Insurance Adjuster

The path to eliciting fear in an insurance adjuster begins with knowing exactly how they operate. Before you map out a plan, take a few minutes to understand the important role an insurance claims adjuster plays in settling your claim.

The primary role of an insurance adjuster is to examine personal injury or property damage claims to help determine how much an insurance company should pay the claimant for their loss. Also known as claims adjusters, most insurance adjusters may work for insurance companies. Others may work independently as external contractors who are hired to review claim liability.

Key responsibilities of claims adjusters include:

  • Receive and process claims
  • Act as the primary point of contact for an injury victim while their claim is being processed
  • Review a claimant's physical injuries or property damage
  • Interview witnesses, specialists, and claimants to assess the degree of damage or loss
  • Analyze surveillance video, police reports, and witness testimony
  • Calculate payments and benefits
  • Negotiate payments with claimants

At the end of the day, an insurance adjuster's primary goal is to minimize the amount of compensation delivered by the insurance company. Their secondary goal is to settle claims as quickly as possible. Thus, it is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to offer a lowball payment quickly.

While you may be tempted to take the offer, remember you have the right to reject their offer and request a settlement you feel is fair. 

Step Two: Know How Insurance Adjusters May Try to Minimize Compensation

Now that you know how insurance adjusters operate, it's time to dive a bit deeper and look at some of the tactics they may use to minimize settlement offers.

The techniques and tricks below are used to irritate claimants and increase the likelihood they will accept a reduced settlement:

  • Avoid your phone calls: This common tactic is often used with the hope that the claimant will simply “go away” or forget about their claim.
  • Delay action: Some insurance adjusters delay action to cause frustration and boost the odds a claimant will accept a lowball offer.
  • Request more details: This is a stalling tactic in which the adjuster says they are unable to process your claim without more information.
  • Issue a lowball offer: This occurs when an adjuster makes an offer that is far less than what you expect or need to cover expenses.
  • Threaten or intimidate you: Some adjusters may try to push you to take a lowball settlement by threatening to take it off the table soon.
  • Advise you not to hire a lawyer: By encouraging you to fend for yourself, this strategy can weaken your case and minimize your claim.

Keeping these strategies in mind, you can anticipate what may lie ahead for you as you communicate with your insurance adjuster. And you can now take action to ensure you receive proper compensation for your damages and injuries.

Step Three: Take Your Time to Review a Settlement Offer

Sometimes, a claimant's silence is one of the most effective ways to induce fear or nervousness. This may seem counterintuitive at first. But remember one of the goals of an insurance adjuster is to settle claims quickly. So, when they issue a settlement offer and you don't respond quickly, they may begin to worry that you will reject their offer.

There is another reason why a lack of responsiveness might be concerning to adjusters. They may worry that you need more extensive treatment that could prove to be costly for the insurance company in the long term. On the other hand, if you accept an offer quickly, you will not be able to pursue additional compensation if medical treatment needs surface in the future.

Step Four: Reject a Lowball Offer in Writing

When you reject a settlement offer in writing, you send a message to the insurance company that you intend to fight for a fair settlement. You can scare insurance adjusters by countering with the amount you will accept.

To show that you mean business, work with a personal injury attorney throughout the insurance claim process. A lawyer can write a letter that:

  • States clearly that the settlement offer you received is unacceptable
  • Responds to any inaccurate statements in the insurance adjuster's correspondence to you
  • States the settlement amount you find acceptable
  • Outlines the general reasons why the amount you proposed is appropriate
  • Calculates expenses related to any damages that the lowball settlement offer ignored
  • Attaches copies of receipts, invoices, and a letter from your employer documenting your absence from work

In addition to unnerving an adjuster, a letter from a lawyer is nearly always more effective than a letter from a non-legal professional. Plus, the insurance adjuster knows they are behind the eight ball if you hired a lawyer with a proven track record of success negotiating favorable settlements from insurance companies.

Step Five: Finish Your Treatment Before Accepting a Settlement

No two accident victims will have the same injuries or recover the same way. While victims with minor injuries may fully recover in a few days or a few weeks, a person with more serious injuries may take a longer time to heal. In some isolated cases, accident victims may suffer long-term physical and psychological effects that last for years.

In most cases, longer courses of treatment are more costly, resulting in a higher claim. For this reason, insurance adjusters will often issue a swift settlement offer to avoid a substantially higher claim if the settlement is delayed until all treatment expenses are considered.

If an insurance adjuster tries to convince you that additional treatment is not necessary, it's okay to firmly state that you prefer to follow the medical guidance of your primary care doctor and healthcare recovery team.

You can put an insurance adjuster on edge by proactively letting them know you intend to wait until you are fully healed to settle your claim. Most adjusters will not expect this, and it will show them you have a good working knowledge of the variables to be considered in a fair settlement offer. You can go ahead and file your claim, but just remember not to rush into a settlement.

Step Six: Report Any Insurance Adjuster Who Is Acting Unethically or Unprofessionally

Reporting an insurance adjuster for unethical or unprofessional behavior is almost guaranteed to elicit fear. Some adjusters have a history of bullying claimants or using unethical tactics to coax them or intimidate them into accepting a lowball offer.

These tactics are more serious than those referenced in Step Two, as they may involve deception or coercion.

Here are a few examples of when insurance adjusters may not be acting in good faith:

  • Trying to force an injured person to sign a settlement release while they are under the influence of pain medicine or other drugs
  • Creating falsified witness statements to prompt a claimant to admit fault or accept lower compensation
  • Tampering with or altering evidence to minimize an injured person's claim
  • Knowingly discarding photos, written statements, or other evidence that could help increase a claimant's settlement

If you or a loved one has been on the receiving end of an insurance adjuster's dishonest or fraudulent behavior, you should notify their employer that you wish to claim bad faith. The best way to do this is to draft a letter that outlines your claim of bad faith. You can also file a claim with your state.

When drafting your letter, be sure to reference the adjuster's name and specific conduct or behavior that constituted the bad faith. If your claims are substantiated, the insurance company could be liable for delivering compensation above the original amount associated with your injuries.

5 Things You Should Avoid Doing When Dealing with Insurance Adjusters?

Sometimes, knowing what not to do is just as important as taking the right steps with an insurance adjuster. Here are five things you should avoid doing at all costs when communicating with an insurance adjuster.

1) Never admit fault

Insurance adjusters are looking for ways to prove the insurance company should not be held liable for your damages. Even if you think there is a chance you might be at fault, do not discuss these feelings over the phone or in writing. An official investigation may determine fault, and you could jeopardize your chances of securing compensation if you state that you are at fault for an accident.

2) Do not lose your cool

Even if your anger may be justified, it is rarely in your best interests to lose your cool. If you receive a ridiculously low settlement offer and feel angry, do not call your insurance company to yell, scream, or curse. Wait until you are calm before you communicate further with anyone affiliated with your claim. Better yet, leave communication with insurers to your attorney and let them deal with the insurance company so you don't inadvertently do something that jeopardizes your chances of obtaining compensation.

3) Never threaten violence

Scaring an insurance adjuster with legitimate tactics is one thing. However, you should never threaten to harm an insurance adjuster or any employee of an insurance company. You should also refrain from harassing behavior or verbally abusive comments, as your words could be used against you in the future.

4) Avoid saying “Sorry”

“Sorry” can be the single most damaging word you could utter if you are working with an insurance adjuster. Even if you are not directly referring to an accident, saying you are sorry could lead the insurance adjuster to interpret your apology as an indication that you feel responsible for the accident and any related injuries.

5) Do not lose patience

When you receive an offer from your insurance company, you may be tempted to accept the offer for a variety of reasons.

For instance, you might be short on cash or worry you may not receive a better offer. Your concerns might be exacerbated if you have waited a long time for the compensation you deserve. Don't let your impatience get the best of you and convince you to accept a lowball settlement. You could shortchange yourself by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What Is the Single Best Way to Scare an Insurance Adjuster?

The single most effective way to scare an insurance adjuster is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. With an accomplished lawyer fighting for your rights, you can focus on returning to your routine while a skilled legal professional handles all communications with the insurance adjuster.

Here are the benefits of hiring a lawyer to handle your personal injury case:

  • Write a convincing demand letter to your insurance company
  • Carefully review any settlement offers you receive
  • Reject a settlement offer in writing on your behalf
  • Counter your lowball settlement offer
  • Communicate and negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf
  • Help you delay collections while you await your final settlement
  • Put an end to any intimidation tactics insurance adjusters may use against you
  • Expose any unethical conduct exhibited by an insurance adjuster

When you work with a legal team, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing they work tirelessly to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

What Types of Compensation Can I Get from a Personal Injury Claim?

In a personal injury claim, the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive depend on the specific circumstances of your case and the nature of your injuries. Here are common types of compensation that can be pursued in a personal injury claim:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical costs related to the accident, including hospital bills, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses.
  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to the accident, including missed workdays, wages, bonuses, and potential future earnings if your ability to work is affected.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional distress caused by the injury, such as pain, anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for the repair or replacement of damaged property, such as your vehicle in a car accident.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the negative impact the injury has on your relationship with your spouse, including the loss of companionship, affection, and support.
  • Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological trauma resulting from the accident, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other emotional disorders.
  • Rehabilitation and Disability: Compensation for ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and assistance needed due to long-term or permanent injuries.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: In cases where the injury leads to death, surviving family members may pursue compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and other damages through a wrongful death claim.
  • Legal Fees: In many personal injury cases, attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. In such cases, legal fees are typically a percentage of the compensation awarded.
  • Cost of Household Services: If your injury prevents you from performing household tasks or chores, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of hiring someone to perform those services.
  • Travel Expenses: Reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses related to medical treatments or legal proceedings.

The availability and amount of compensation can vary based on factors such as the severity of your injuries, liability, insurance coverage limits, and applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Consulting a personal injury attorney is crucial to understanding the specific types and amounts of compensation you may be entitled to based on the details of your case.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

As soon as possible after your accident, you need to consult a personal injury lawyer in your area. An attorney understands how insurance adjusters operate, and they can deal with the adjuster and the insurance company so you don't have to worry about it. A lawyer will know how to hold an insurance adjuster accountable and can negotiate to help you receive fair compensation. An attorney can also file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court if the insurer acts in bad faith or unfairly denies your valid insurance claim.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Stewart J. Guss Injury Lawyers are here to help you deal with the insurance adjuster and navigate the complex insurance claims process. We are ready to fight hard to protect your rights and improve your odds of obtaining the maximum personal injury settlement possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.