5 Questions to Ask an Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident
After you get into a car accident, the insurance adjuster is the person you will speak to about your claim. The claims adjuster reviews your case on behalf of the insurance company.
Claims adjusters are highly trained and have one goal in mind: to help the insurance company make a profit. When asking an insurance adjuster questions, keep in mind that he or she will want to protect the insurance company, not you.
Be careful during conversations with an insurance adjuster.
1. Is the Other Driver at Fault?
Never tell an insurance adjuster that you believe you caused the car accident. It is important not to admit fault, as this could ruin your chances of holding the other driver financially responsible. Admitting fault could end the car accident investigation upfront, since you are willing to take on fault for the entire wreck.
Had you not admitted fault, however, an investigation may have found the other driver partially or wholly to blame for the collision.
When an insurance adjuster calls you after a car accident, ask if the other driver has admitted fault. If so, your insurance claim will be with that driver’s insurance company, not your own. Under Arizona’s fault insurance law, the driver guilty of committing a tort will be liable for damages.
If the other driver refuses to admit fault when you know he or she caused the accident, this could present challenges. If the other driver’s insurance company does admit fault right away, ask for it in writing.
2. Does the Insurance Available Cover the Accident?
The next question to ask is regarding the coverage available for your car accident. If you are speaking to a claims adjuster from the other driver’s insurer, ask if that driver has enough insurance to fully cover your medical bills, property repairs and other losses. If not, you may need to supplement his or her insurance with yours.
If you are speaking to your own insurance company, ask if your policy fully covers your losses.
3. Will My Insurance Rates Increase?
If you were at fault for the car accident and it is your insurance paying damages, ask the claims adjuster if your rates will increase. In most cases, insurance companies increase policy premiums after at-fault accidents. They increase premiums to help recoup the costs they had to pay for the accident.
The client also represents more of a liability to the company, meaning the client is more likely to cause another car accident in the future. If you receive benefits from the other driver’s insurance company, however, your rates should not increase.
4. Can I Have a Copy of My Insurance Claim File?
Do not be afraid to ask for a copy of your insurance claim file. The law entitles you to a copy of this file. Asking for it can give you insights into how the insurance company is handling your claim, such as who it believes is at fault for the collision.
You can also use your insurance claim file to dispute an error, such as if your insurance provider increases your premiums when it should not have or offers less than what is on your policy.
5. Can I Talk to an Attorney?
Remember, the insurance adjuster’s main goal during your conversations will be for you to settle for as little money as possible. Do not give away too much information, admit fault or accept a settlement without asking if you can first talk to a car accident attorney. The insurance company should have no problem with you consulting a lawyer; if the adjuster tries to dissuade you, this is a red flag.
Always talk to a lawyer before settling things with an insurance adjuster. A lawyer will be able to review an insurance company’s offer to let you know if it is fair and reasonable. If the insurance adjuster is not offering a fair value for your claim, your lawyer can negotiate for a better amount or take your case to trial.