Insurance Companies Have Their Own Investigators
- Story Highlights:
Some people have had the experience of needing to collect on insurance and finding that what they feel they are owed is not necessarily the amount the insurance company agrees with. While very friendly when convincing people to sign up for a policy, insurance companies can change their behavior dramatically when it comes time to pay out and can quickly prove they were not the friends you thought they were.
One of the key people you should be aware of if you run into a dispute with insurance collection is a "detective" of sorts. Except this person works on behalf of the insurance company itself.
Tallying The Numbers
They may be called insurance investigators or insurance adjusters. Their job, however, is a specialized one, and that is to investigate cases on behalf of insurance companies themselves. In this case, however, the incidents they investigate are where a claim is made about paying out the insurance.
The insurance adjusters job has two primary components. The first is to investigate an incident, such as a car accident, work accident, or any other situation where an insurance claim is made, and verify all the details, ensuring legitimacy. The second task is to use the respective insurance company's metrics and guidelines to determine the actual financial damages if a payout is required.
In other words, insurance adjusters make sure an incident occurred as those involved claimed and then assign a dollar value to that incident so that the insurance company can take appropriate action concerning paying out on a policy.
It is crucial to remember that an insurance adjuster is not a position within the police's standard legal framework. This is a corporate investigator working on behalf of an insurance company. While an investigation is being done ostensibly to uncover the facts, those facts will be used in the insurance company's service.
So for people who encounter insurance adjusters over the course of an accident, especially if those adjusters are trying to determine the cause and scope of injuries you may have sustained, remember they are not investigating to help you. They are working at the insurance company's pleasure and will have that company's interests primarily at heart.
Dealing With Adjusters
You may meet with and recollect an incident with both an insurance adjuster from your own insurer and those of an opposing party. In either case, there are a few things you should keep in mind during your interactions.
Honesty Is Important
In the same way that lying in court can threaten your chances of victory; the same is true with an adjuster investigating an incident. Any lie you tell or attempt to conceal the truth can work against you if it's discovered.
Volunteer Only The Requested Information
Don't speculate on an event, and do not give any more information than has been asked. Your speculations may be used against you in the investigation, especially if such unasked for information could absolve the insurance company of having to pay.
Do Not Admit Fault
Any statement—even a vague suspicion—you voice that you may be at fault for your injuries can be taken as a legal admission that you accept responsibility and surrender any compensation from the insurance company. Even if an adjuster asks you if you think you are at fault, do not admit anything.
Don't Agree To Be Recorded
Verbal statements that are recorded with consent are fair game as submission of evidence. If you agree to be recorded, those statements, even accidental ones, can be used against you.
Always be cautious when dealing with insurance adjusters. For more advice on how to handle such situations, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.