How to Deal With Insurance Claim Adjusters (Car Accidents & More)


– I’m going to give you 10 tips when you’re dealing with
insurance claim adjusters in personal injury claims and other cases. Watch the entire video so
you can see all 10 tips. JZ helps, a Florida injury law firm. – I’m Attorney Justin Ziegler. Tip number one when dealing
with insurance claim adjusters is to be nice. Now, don’t mistake you being nice for not being tough and assertive. But at the end of the case,
the insurance claims adjuster is going to be the one who’s
writing you your check. You wanna be nice and have a
good relationship with them. After all, these are people
just like you who have families, who are just trying to pay
their bills, et cetera, but you ultimately wanna be nice to them so that when they think
about reaching out to you and giving you a phone
call or when you call them, they’re in a good mood
and they’re not thinking, ugh, this is the person I
have to deal with again. I’ve heard defense attorneys
and insurance adjusters say, sometimes they pay a little bit more money to someone who’s nice to them. Tip number two is to listen to what the insurance adjuster says. Let them finish their sentences. Sometimes, if need be, let
there be an awkward silence during the conversation. Sometimes they will call you when they’re prepared to make an offer, but you may interrupt them before they’re even finished speaking and you may tell them
what you think is fair, and what you think is fair may even be below what they were about to offer you. Sometimes they’ll let you know a bad fact that hurts their defense in your case. For example, if you’re speaking
to an insurance adjuster, perhaps they’ll admit to you that their driver wasn’t paying attention, or if you were injured, slipped and fell or were otherwise injured
at a business premises, perhaps they’ll tell you that the store or other, or hotel knew about problems with the issue that caused your injury. I’ve had that happen in
cases that I’ve settled, one in particular that comes
to my mind for almost $200,000 where the adjuster actually told me, we had this issue with the flooring in a particular area of a
hotel before the accident. She didn’t have to tell
me that, but she did. And I think one of the reasons why I was able to get
that piece of information is because I listened to
her and let her finish what she was saying. Tip number three when dealing with an insurance claim
adjuster is to make sure your file and documents are
organized and take notes. Your medical documentation, medical bills, and all other types of information
is the heart of your case and that’s what the insurance
adjuster will later use to request settlement
authority for your case. Every time you speak with
the insurance adjuster on the phone you should be taking notes during and after the call. Rest assured that when the
insurance adjuster calls you, he is already, he or she has
already spent several minutes reviewing your file and they’re prepared. You need to be equally prepared. When you’re looking at your file and seeing the amount of
medical bills that you have, you should be using some type
of computerized spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel, or
Google has a similar program, putting all the amounts
of medical bills in there, the total bill charges, how
much your insurance paid, and the out-of-pocket charges. For example, in Florida you’re entitled to recover out-of-pocket charges, but you need to have your file organized. Number four goes hand in
hand with number three that I just went over, which is just, review your file before you reach out to the insurance adjuster. Spend a few minutes so you know exactly what you’re gonna talk about, you have all your numbers,
your amounts, for example, like I was saying about
medical bills, all outlined. Also, when you speak with the adjuster, confirm that his figures
are the same as yours. Confirm that he’s received
everything that you’ve sent, he or she. You need to make sure you’re
looking at the same data if you wanna try for a fair settlement. Number five, give the
adjuster documentation to help him or her. You’re gonna want to give him every single piece of documentation that you believe supports your case. He or she’s gonna
receive that information, they’re gonna evaluate your case, and write a range of how
much they think it’s worth, they’re gonna ask their supervisor
for settlement authority, if you’re dealing with a larger number. Sometimes adjusters have
their own authority, let’s say, up to $10,000 on their own. But you need to give them
all the documentation that they need to pay
fair value for your case. If you’re not giving them all the documentation that they need, they may wanna offer you fair value, but they just don’t have
enough documents to support it. This includes pictures,
lost wage information, all your medical bills,
possibly health insurance, lien information, et cetera. Help them help you. Unfortunately, number six is, do not believe what the
insurance adjuster says. In a perfect world, everyone
would be transparent, there would be no negotiation. It’s kinda like going to a car dealership. You don’t pay the sticker price. You try to negotiate it. Now, in Florida for example,
adjusters have a duty to act in good faith to their
insureds, but keep in mind, when you’re making a claim
against another driver, or a business, for example,
you are not their insured. Their duty is to their
client, who is their insured. Insurance adjusters want
to have a long career at their company that they’re working at. And yes, they have a
duty to act in good faith and protect their insured’s
interest, but ultimately, every dollar that they save their company makes them look better. I’ve heard of certain insurance adjusters being rewarded for making lower offers and saving their companies money. Do not mistake a nice adjuster for one who is going to pay you money. Sometimes you’ll deal with
the sweetest, nicest adjuster, you’ll be sending them your medical bills over a period of months, you think you guys are
becoming fast friends, and then when it comes to offer time, they give you zero, they deny liability, or they offer you significantly less than what you think your case is worth. An example of a case which shows that you should not listen to what
the insurance adjusters say when it comes to your case value is a case where a motorcyclist
was hit by a truck that failed to yield the right of way. The case settled for $445,000. This is the truck that
caused the accident. However, the insurance
adjuster initially said he had reserved the case at $100,000, essentially saying the case was worth somewhere around the $100,000. Now, not too much changed after
that initial conversation, but the case ultimately
settled for $445,000, so take what they say
with a grain of salt. Insurance adjusters
can be very convincing. I’ve actually had cases where
I tried to get more money by presenting a certain argument, the insurance adjuster told me, essentially, that I’m totally wrong and then after I took
the proper legal steps, the insurance company would pay the $10,000 or extra $100,000. I’ve had that happen on several occasions. So, they’re not always right. Sometimes they have to
consult their legal department to get the legal answer,
and their legal answer may be totally different
than their opinion and what they think they know because they haven’t
handled your issue before. The seventh tip in dealing with
an insurance claim adjuster is give them a time
deadline for whatever it is that you’re asking them to do. If you’re making a settlement demand, you should generally
put a time limit on it, let’s say 30 days or 20 days. If you’re sending an email,
you should generally give them around three or so days to
respond, or a phone call, but when you give them a deadline, they document it in their file and they put it in their calendar and will generally follow up with you, or they should, around that time. Especially in smaller cases, where the insurance
company limits are high, they may just put your file aside and it doesn’t become a priority. But in order to make your file a priority, give the insurance adjuster a deadline. Number eight is to respond
to insurance adjusters when they reach out to
you, if they call you or if they send you an email, quickly. This is common sense. The longer you wait to respond, they adjuster may go on
vacation, it may delay the claim, the sooner you respond, all
things equal, the better. You do not have to give
a recorded statement to the other side’s insurance adjuster. If it’s your own insurance adjuster, let’s say for PIP or
uninsured motorist insurance, you generally have to
give a recorded statement, but the sooner you respond,
the sooner you’re prepared and you’re in a calm state
and you’re not emotional, the better. Now, shortly after an accident, sometimes you wanna take
a little bit of time to gather yourself so
you don’t just go out spewing your life story to the adjuster and you’re coming from an emotional place. To just hammer this point home, if you’re injured at a business premises or you’re injured by another driver or you’re a passenger in a car and the other driver is at fault, you generally never and should not give your recorded statement
to the insurance company. Generally can only be used against you. It’s very frustrating,
if you ultimately choose to hire a lawyer, and he
asks you, or she asks you, did you give a recorded
statement, and you say yes, generally, all it can
do is hurt your claim. Now, you should report the
claim after it happens, but do not give that recorded statement. Tip number nine is to speak
with a claims supervisor or sometimes claims manager, if you’re not getting what you want. Unfortunately, there come times where you have to speak with a supervisor. It’s just like if you’re at a hotel and the staff is not helping you, you ask to speak with a
manager, or at a restaurant, if your food is not there on
time, and you’re very bothered and you feel that you’re
getting poor service, the same thing with claims. Sometimes adjusters are overworked, they’re not putting enough
attention onto your case, they’re not evaluating your case properly. I’ve had several cases where speaking with a claims
supervisor has helped me get more money for my clients. You should do the same, if it’s warranted. Sometimes you ask to
speak with a supervisor and the adjuster handling
the file will say, you’re wasting your time, the
supervisor’s gonna tell you the same thing as what I’m telling you, but the bottom line is, I’ve
heard that so many times, I believe it this much. There are times, on the other hand, where sometimes speaking with a supervisor will not do much for you. The supervisor may say,
I’m not gonna go against the adjuster’s recommendation
and his value of the case. If you get tha feeling that you wanna speak with a supervisor, you may be right. Tip number 10 when dealing
an insurance claims adjuster is if you’re not getting
what you think is fair and maybe you spoke to the
claims supervisor or manager, file a consumer complaint with
the Department of Insurance. For example, in Florida,
you go to their website, you file the consumer complaint, or you can even file what’s
called a civil remedy notice. If you do the latter,
send the insurance company a copy of it, because
the department will not. This has also helped me
get more money in cases. I’ve had cases where
I was getting offered, for example, $10,000. I filed a consumer complaint
and a few days later I get a call and the offer has
increased to $14,000 or so. So it doesn’t always work and you should only do
it when it’s appropriate. And it’s great if an insurance
company, for example, is not responding to your phone calls or your letters or they close the claim and they’re saying they won’t reopen it, or something of that nature. It can be an amazing tool when they’re not being fair with you. But again, we use these sparingly,
we don’t always use them. We use them when we feel that the insurance company is
not acting in good faith. I hope you enjoyed this video. Please give me your comments. Is there anything I talked
about that you liked? Is there anything that you did not like? Please subscribe to our
channel, please like the video. I’m Attorney Justin Ziegler
with my office in Miami. Have a wonderful day. (upbeat music)

Paul Whisler

51 Comments

  1. Are you referring to people without a lawyer representing them because if so there is no communication between the accident victim and the adjuster.

  2. Excellent advice. I appreciate the help.

    May I trouble you for a question? What about if they were obviously at fault they totatled my parked car… and they didn't provide me a rental car? for 2 weeks I was forced to commute 7 hours a day by transit… shouldn't that count for something? I didn't have money to provide my own rental car :(. It's not fair at the end of the day. Any compensation I can receive on that?

  3. I'm a claims adjuster in California. I handle BI claims. Very informative. I like the part be nice.

  4. what if the person that is at fault only had pip coverage?does that mean that no matter what they can only request 10,000 before discounting laywers part?

  5. Which do you think is a better negotiation tip? Being nice, or listening to what the adjuster says?

    Please let me know in the comments below.

    Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed it, hit the Like button and Subscribe.

    Please share this video if you think someone will enjoy it.

    Have a great day!

  6. What do I do if I was hit and the guy is claiming someone hit him.. He even told the cops I saw that person and I said NO I did not, not even the person he pushed me into. They want to deny the case without even looking at my car.. What do I do? Thank you for your video.

  7. I was just told if i want more than 10,000 i need to file a lawsuit, i was hit by a 2018 freightliner, two cracked deformed ribs… and so much more shit like walking the whole winter… man life is absolutely bullshit… so much more shit… I’m so upset i haven’t even got back to my attorney in days

  8. I was parked legally on the st & a drunk driver hit my van & totaled it. I was sleeping in the van & escaped injury. The drunk was driving someone else’s car. Who is responsible for paying for my losses? The driver? The owner of the vehicle?

  9. Another driver went speeding thru a red light and hit my front bumper cover cutting it in half, losing a fog light, loosening the grill and put a minor dent on the hood. I had the green light and started moving slowly when it hit me. The driver received a citation and the policeman that made the report assigned him full responsibility of the accident. His insurance company, Progressive, thru its adjuster only offered to pay 80% of the damages because, "the car beside mine, did not get involved in the accident, meaning that the driver was cautious enough to see the car coming and did not move even with the green light. It was my responsibility, to see the car coming, so I was 20% at fault." I refused his offer and demanded 100% of the damages which he refused.I mentioned the facts, he went thru a red light, hit me and received a citation as the the sole responsible for the accident, but he insisted on his version. He ask me for photos, (he did not ask for them the first time we talked) and said that he will be out of the office for a week. I will not take less that 100% of damage repair and will mention to him that if we go to court I only need the police report to state my case. I think that he tries to get away paying less than full responsibility even when it was obvious that his client was at fault. Nevertheless, I would like to know some opinion on this matter, please.

  10. is it normal with a total lost claim to give up your title to the insurance company to get your settlement check ? when your keeping the car ..

  11. We had our car oil change from Jiffy Lube they did not put the cap on properly and the oil leaked out on the freeway and it froze are 2016 Hyundai car contacted our insurance company they consider the car a total loss given us a price for our car was less than what we owed on the car and Jiffy Lube now says they're out of it our insurance took care of us they have no intentions of giving us another Penny and yet we have no car and yet we still have a balance on our car because it was a new car who do we go after for this

  12. Hi . how do I know if the adjuster i telling me the truth about the policy limits. Our accident involved hit a car and a a city poll and they are telling us that the city poll need to go in the damage claim and that there is not enough to cover all of your car damage? they have accepted full liability.

  13. I got rear-ended by a tailgater do I contact just their insurance or mines also, because I just called thiers today right after and they said they would call me Monday for a recorded statement, can I deny a recorded statement and what would happen if I do

  14. Christopher- I was picking up a client at 3 am . I was parked on kendell drive where there was four lanes and I was all the way to the far right curb with my emergency hazards on as the client was walking towards my car . Before he could get in I was struck from.behind my car was total loss. My insurance has declared the driver who rear ended me 80 percent at fault . However,im unclear about a letter I received from geico.. They stated that they would not be providing coverage to the at fault driver because he was not on the insurance policy and that they would take no further action to the claim .. My question is how does this effect or benefit my case and in what way ?

  15. Dealing with my 1st accident. 100% not my fault and the adjuster is trying to lowball me bigtime. I do not have an attorney but I want to be educated about things as l do things myself. Use of an attorney as a form of pressure to help settle without using one. Again. I appreciate your video to help educate me on these things.

  16. Hi
    My name is Lucia. I hope you can advise me. I fell at a restaurant last October and have talked to the adjuster. I’m embarrassed to say that I have let this go till now. Too much was going on with me. I fell at a restaurant and it did not take me very long to heal up however my question to you is how much of a chance do I have now going forward of getting anything for pain and suffering? I had no broken bones or prolonged care. I think it helped I went to a chiropractor and I forced myself to go back to work cause I could not afford to be off work.
    Thank you
    Lucia

  17. Hi, I just recently going in a car accident, the opposite driver was speeding and came into my lane which caused me to hit him bit the impact caused me to go flying into the metal guard rails and the while front end of my vehicle is ruined now. This was during heavy snow fall. I made a claim thru the other party's insurance because I believe it was his fault, I wasn't issued a ticket by the trooper but i have liability insurance. I should have watched your video before today because I gave them a recorded statement already, but now I have more background as to how they think and how they might try to treat me during this whole ordeal, what do you think could be an outcome in my case?

  18. They insurance requesting
    Friendly accident report

    ?Driver's license

    ? License of the car or Certification of tag

    Police report

    ? Estimated damage

    Certification of registration of the car – DTOP

    Certification of car fines – DTOP

    ? Purchase order (dealer)

    Copy of purchase-sale contract (Bank)

    Payment card or Payment history

    ? Creditor settlement balance sheet

    Car keys (If you have additional keys)

    ? Title of the car

    Copy of Automobile Inspection – ask the gruero

    Affidavit and Transfer of Rights – (it will be

    delivered at the end)

  19. I am confused where I should not provide a recorded statement and at the same time I should provide all the details to the adjuster, could you clarify? Does it mean info should not be provided in writing?

  20. Thanks! Last week someone drive into my vehicle and part of my home. My insurance has been little help with lack of effort to contact the insurance provider of the person that hit my property.

    It's been hell and their low balling me on my total estimate.

  21. Hello sir, I was recently involved in a accident where I was making a legal left turn on a bi-way. The motorcycle 2 cars behind me decided to go into the oncoming lane. He did not see me marking me left hand turn and T-boned me. He hit every part of the drivers side of my car. My insurance is dealing with it even though he has farmers/foremost insurance. So my insurance adjuster is nice and friendly but the total loss evaluator is the one who will only message me in the app. Never wants to talk by phone. My insurance is USAA. The motorcyclist was found to be 100% at fault. The car was deemed a total loss. I explained that my car should not be compared to the same type of car since the factory wheels were upgraded and a factory body kit which consisted of a front lip spoiler, side skirts, a rear diffuser and trunk lid spoiler. This was installed by the dealership, making the car look more aggressive and sporty. I should be made whole correct? If I take the settlement they are offering I will be able to buy another car almost similar to mine, but not exactly as mine. I will have to spend out of pocket $$ to get the replacement to look the way mine looked before. I brought it to their attention and their response is that having those upgrades adds no value or increase in the settlement . The cars in the evaluation are standard or base models. Not one of them looked like mine. Do I have a legit argument or should I just give in. This will be the 3rd time I would be rejecting their offer. I understand you’re in Florida and I’m in California but I’m wondering if you think I have a valid argument for them to increase the settlement amount. Please let know what you think. I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

  22. I live in S.C. and
    I was involved in a MVA on 5-29-19.
    I gave a recorded statement to the other persons adjuster .
    He called me the next day and left a message stating that his client admitted he was at fault.He stated that my car will be totaled.
    His client ran a red light and T-boned my car on the passenger side where my wife was sitting.we were both transported..
    My wife had brain surgery( Chiari malformation) and C2-C3 fusion on Sept.2017.
    The ER staff was worried about damage to her brain and neck.
    My wife had a MRI,CT, x-rays and EKG.
    I had a EKG and chest x-rays.
    After he received the statement from his client.
    He stated he will cover all medical bills but did not mention cash settlement…
    I have no idea what coverage amounts he has.
    Now with all of that said.
    1-Do I have a good case?
    2-Is my wife's previous medical condtion a + or a -?
    3- What should I be looking at.?
    4-Is my question to you free?😀
    I do not have a lawyer and I am not greedy.BUT I will not take some low ball offer.

    How should I proceed.?

    Thank you and I look forward to your response.

  23. i just got rear ended with minor injuries..other insurance has accepted liability and i was wondering if i can settler for pain and suffering without having to go through i lengthy medical evaluation or chriopractic treatment ? I'll imagine the payout will be less but what is the general (i realize one cannot say for certian how much) figure one can hope to get for pain and suffering?

  24. This isn't legal advice but if you've been in a accident and your car is damaged to the point it isn't drivable or is drivable but unsafe to drive or wouldn't pass a vehicle safety inspection to legally drive or be a hazard on the roadway Request a Rental from your insurance if you have Rental coverage and the accident was your fault or Request a Rental from the responsible Party's insurance company while awaiting a settlement.

  25. I just received my estimate from an appraiser today. How soon will I get paid? Thanks In advanced

  26. Umm fuck that I'm not being nice I'm a shark
    And nice or not take they ass to court it's a wrap.!
    Pay up.!
    So be nice for fucking what .???
    In general they don't want to give you shit and anything they can do they will cut your throat and fuck you over . Nice my ass.!!!

  27. I agree with 99.95% of this video. I had an Attorney I really liked as did most adjuster that I worked with for many years. He could have had a career in stand up comedy if he quit being an attorney and was a great attorney. One day I asked him how it was he got about 20% more on average from us on the same types of claims than other firms.

    He said early in his 40 years as an attorney he learned 2 rules:

    1 adjusters are professionals and human beings and if you treat them like that rather than punching bags or the enemy you can usually reach a reasonable and fair deal. But you make their lives hard they will return the favor.

    2 the golden rule- he who has the gold makes the rules. Meaning things like: insurance adjuster are not jurors. Don’t spend 20 pages of a demand cover trying to sway them with a lot of emotional sympathy stuff. Most seasoned adjusters like Attorneys have seen that been there before. Just get to the point and give them the facts. Save the drama for the courtroom. Also stuff like get all the demand documentation to them at one time time. It used to infuriate me to no end when I got a demand and half the listed bills said “will supplement later”. The response was a letter requesting the bills or i hated the attorney I would just make him an insurance free on what he sent in. Next thing I would hear about s why is your offer so low. Why are you wasting mine and my clients time. I would then have to explain the 6month gap only to hear there is no gap the treat is in the bills being supplemented. I would then half ask why he is wasted my time expecting me to base my evaluation on evidence never submitted and ask him if that tactic would work at trail

  28. My car was flooded in Houston I have a loan on it and I just did the claim do you think I will have trouble negotiating for them to pay my loan? How will the process be?

  29. Hey and thanks Attorney Justin, this was very helpful for me.  I'm planning to try a self negotiated claim with the insurance company of a guy that did a hit and run accident on me back in July of this year.  I am in VA, just now finishing up with doctor visits and appointments starting back in mid-July. Got all appointments documented and everything in order.  As I told the 911 operator after the accident, the driver appeared to be intoxicated, she would not accept me saying that.  Now, I just found out a few days ago from the investigating officer that the same guy was in jail for DUI for another incident.  Your video is quite helpful for me.

  30. I'd like to thank you for these videos, JZ. Pretty sure I watched just about all of them after my car accident last November. Indeed, the tips for dealing with the adjusters were extremely helpful. I'm also glad to report that I finally settled my bodily injury claim today for a fair amount. And as you recommended, talking to the supervisor was able to get me a little more money. So if you've been injured in an accident at no fault of your own, I'd highly recommend checking out JZ's videos. Thanks again!

  31. My husband was driving and I was the passenger with my two little boy’s one is 5 months old and the other one is 2 years old someone just come on stop sign and we are coming straight and she hit and I get I real bad back pain I can’t even pick up my five month old and they paid my husband’s car and they told me they just gonna give me 250 for pain and suffering do you think that’s is ok? Thank you

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