If you’ve been involved in an accident, you’re probably thinking about filing an insurance claim. Whether the destruction occurred in a car accident, meaning filing a claim against the other person’s insurance, or the damage occurred as a result of severe weather, the insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to evaluate the loss. The adjuster does the following:
- Ensures your claim is valid
- Investigates whether or not the insurance covers the loss you’ve incurred
- Makes sure no fraudulence is at work
- Acquires additional information about the claim
- Negotiates settlements
Adjusters also determine how much the insurance company owes the claimant. Insurance companies dislike claims because they lose revenue. They will often keep insurance adjusters (also called claims adjusters, appraisers, investigators, or examiners) on staff who will try and save as much money for the company as they can. To make sure you’re getting a fair assessment of the damage, ask some of the following questions:
Are You a Public or Private Adjuster?
Public adjusters mainly work for themselves. You can hire one to evaluate the loss instead of relying on the insurance company to send a potentially biased investigator. Consider hiring the public adjuster yourself to ensure you’re not being cheated. Insurance companies might hire an independent contractor to avoid seeming biased, but the public adjuster hired by the company will likely be looking out for his or her employer’s interests.
Can You Put in Writing That I Was Not at Fault When the Damage Occurred?
If you’re filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they should be able to provide you with a written statement once they’ve investigated the damages. If the other driver’s insurance company refuses to give such an account, they may use your “culpability” to prove in court that you deserve less.
Will You Give Me the Recorded Statement of the Person Who Caused the Damage?
If you’re filing a claim against another person’s insurance, their insurance company will ask you for a recorded statement. You do not need to give them one. They will attempt to use your recording, and other records collected on the damage, to prove your unreliability in court. For example, if you were in a car accident, your statement will sound slightly different when you’re giving it to a police officer than if you’re retelling it to an insurance agent on the phone. Even slight changes in the story can weaken your case, which is what the company is counting on. They will also not want to give you their policy holder’s recorded statement for the same reason, because it proves the person’s liability. If you decide to give a statement, make sure to do so after consulting with a legal adviser. Remember, if your insurance company requests a recorded statement, they’ll use it to pay for things such as medical bills. Without a recorded statement, they may not provide anything to you for lack of cooperation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Settling My Claim?
While the insurance company may answer this truthfully, consult an insurance lawyer to verify Florida’s statute of limitations. You only have a certain amount of time to file and settle an insurance claim. The insurance company may try and cheat you out of the full amount owed. After all, if the statute of limitations date is right around the corner, you’re more likely to take what they give you out of desperation.
If you’re filing a claim with a difficult insurance company, you may be heading up a long and challenging road. Their goal is to pay as little as possible. Make sure you have someone on your side who knows the law and does their best to protect your rights and interests. Contact us at (844) 818-0774 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.