How To Negotiate A Settlement With An Insurance Claims Adjuster
You and I. M. Strong, the adjuster from Granite Mountain Insurance, are sitting at your kitchen table in an attempt to settle your motor vehicle accident claim.
Strong is all wound up and on the offensive, rambling on and on about how your injuries weren't serious. His typical pitch usually goes something like, "Look, I've been at this a long time. I've talked to people like you, day in and day out, for over twenty years. People who've gone through exactly what happened to you, with the same sort of claim as yours. Sure, you had a period of discomfort but your so-called injuries were routine. Believe me when I tell you they aren't worth much."
You're stunned. You can't believe what Strong is trying to pull. You say, "I've been miserable! There was no way I could get back to work because of the pain in my neck and back."
Strong shift's in his seat and a victorious look (one that says he knows it all) begins to march across his face. At that point he predictably states, "Look, I can tell you, after handling thousands of cases like yours, that the discomfort you may have had, for a couple of days at the most, are relatively minor. They don't even come close to justifying the three week's of work you lost and the disability you and your doctor are claiming".
Now you're thunderstruck! He smiles to himself and comes at you from another angle, "I've seen thousands of cases like yours and I've had more than my share of exposure to personal injury claims, examinations, doctor-talk and recovery - - the whole nine yards. I've seen physical trauma at its slightest and its worst. Any judge or jury would know, once they heard about your so-called 'injuries' that your physical problems were almost non-existent".
He'll take a minute to let that sink in and then he'll attempt to sway you even more by telling you he can prove your time lost from work was not compatible with the injury involved. He'll hint around about some "independent information" he's supposedly gathered from your neighbors and/or business associates, which indicate you've been involved in "very active" physical activities since the accident.
Once he lets that one sink in he'll ramble on about the "independent examination" the doctor hired by Granite Mountain executed, telling you, with outrageous confidence, that his doctors Medical Report states there was little, if anything, wrong with you. Then he'll surely try this one on for size: "My doctor is a professional .The only people he ever sees are those who've been in motor vehicle accidents. That's what he does all day long, check out personal injury claims like yours. His report clearly states your physical problems were almost non-existent".
He hums a happy tune to himself as he observes the amazement marching across your face and that drum beat he's heard so very often begins to pound away within the gray matter between his ears: Boom/Boom/Boom, declaring, "I gotcha!, I gotcha!, I gotcha!, I gotcha!"
If you let Strong get away with that than his attempt at downgrading your disability will have been successful. As a way of "proving" what happened to you wasn't serious he'll describe your "so-called injuries" with fancy medical language and then compare them to the more extreme types of personal injury problems or conditions he's dealt with in the past. The implication being yours were obviously minor and have little, if any, value.
At that point he'll read the statements and opinions in your own attending physicians Medical Report in such a way which, if not read properly, he'll insist proves, "You may have been a little sore from a slight injury but it clearly states you certainly didn't have any serious physical problems". (You can bet every dollar in your wallet that he's made that statement several thousand times)!
You're quickly discovering that neither Adjuster I. M. Strong nor his supervisors at Granite Mountain Insurance are going to be fair. They're out to take advantage of you. That's the name of their game and that's what they get paid to do. Question: Is that really true? Answer: Yes, it's really true. Take it from Dan, I was on that firing line for 30 years!
From that point on you shut down. You be the listener. Let him babble on. When he's finally done, you say, "Your points about my injuries are very interesting. I'd like to discuss them in detail with my doctor". Pause and then add, "We'll call this off for now while I go back and consult with him."
Before he answers you should get up, smile, point towards the kitchen door and bid him "Goodbye". If he balks, sneak a peek at your watch, tell him you're late for another appointment and insist your meeting is over. He'll have no choice but to leave.
If you do that here's what you'll have accomplished:
(1) You'll have seized the bargaining "momentum" and control from the adjuster and, if you remain adamant he'll never get them back.
(2) Served notice on him that it's you, not he, who will now call the shots in the negotiation "Power Game" he's been playing.
(3) Impressed the adjuster that the settlement will be done on your terms, not his.
You may ask: Okay, I threw the adjuster out and let him politely but surely know I'm not going to buy into his nonsense. So, when this all gets played out, what have I accomplished?
The answer is: I. M. Strong is aware you've not bought into his pitch and in his secret heart he perceives that reality. For those in the home office (so as to know exactly where they stand) his instructions have always been that everything that passed between the two of you is placed into the report's he continues to send in, regarding the settlement talk's he's been having with you. So, the fact that you're not buying his story, will go into your file to be read by that adjusters superiors.
Once they do they'll have no choice but to conclude that you're no pushover!
You're going to stick to your guns because you're right and the Medical Report your attending physician executed for Adjuster Smart is legit. You know that both your "pain and suffering" and the length of recovery from your injuries, has been clearly stated.
Smart has correctly assumed that you're not accepting his usual pitch, filled with mumbo-jumbo nonsense, yet so often works. It's beginning to dawn on him if he doesn't change his tactics you're going to hand you case over to an attorney and his superiors at Granite Mountain won't be dancing for joy should that come to pass.
Wait five or six weeks then call Smart and ask him to come back to talk some more. I flat out guarantee you the next time you meet the power will have shifted into your corner and you'll never again hear him attempt to minimize your injuries. That often comes to pass because he's received this typical six word, one line memo, from his supervisor at the home office, "Settle this one and move on".
Granite Mountain will have reached the point where they're satisfied to pay and get rid of you. Why? Because personal injury claims continue to pile up and clog their incoming pipeline. They've got a lot of other unsuspecting prey to trap and shoot and it's clear you're an individual who's too wise, too tough and too difficult for them to fuss with any longer.
DISCLAIMER: The only purpose of this claim tip is to help people understand the motor vehicle accident claim process. Neither Dan Baldyga nor (name of magazine/newsletter and/or web site) make any guarantee of any kind whosoever; NOR to substitute for a lawyer, an insurance adjuster, or claims consultant, or the like. Where such professional help is desired it is the INDIVIDUAL'S RESPONSIBILITY to obtain said services.
Dan Baldyga's latest book AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY INSURANCE CLAIM (How
To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss) can be found on the internet at his web site http://www.autoaccidentclaims.com or visit your favorite bookstore.
Copyright (c) 2002 Danil G.Baldyga. All Rights Reserved
About The Author
For 30 years Dan Baldyga was a claims adjuster, supervisor, manager and also a trial assistant. He is now retired and spends his time attempting to assist those involved in motor vehicle accident claims so they will not be taken advantage of.
Insurance For Those Who Run Bed And Breakfast Properties
A Bed and Breakfast, often referred to as a B&B, is a private residence with several rooms of which are set aside for overnight guests whose paid accommodations include breakfast. Modern Bed and Breakfast often consciously tries to recall...(related: Insurance)
Does An Hsa Cover Alternative Medicine?
A Health Savings Account (HSA) does not really cover alternative medicine. However, there is a bit more to it.A person using an HSA can withdraw money from this special type of savings account for any type of "approved medical expense." Approved by whom? The IRS.So, the IRS pretty much thinks that proper medical expenses are any types of Western medicine ? pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, doctor visits, etc.However, there are a few things on the list that are alternative medical options. Chiropractors are on the list. So is acupuncture.With acupuncture, it must be considered "medically necessary." That means that a doctor (MD or DO) must say that h...(related: Insurance)
About Online Term Life Insurance Rates
Online term life insurance ratesHow simple it is today finding online term life insurance rates. At the click of your little mouse, fingers on the keyboard off we go into the world of cyber space. Never before have we had...(related: Insurance)
Insurance Claim: Collecting Your Lost Wages
A couple months ago you were toolin' on down the avenue, minding your own business, when out of nowhere, this fumbling, stumbling man by the name of Freddie Fuddle flew through a Stop Sign and plowed into you with a gigantic, rip-roaring, screeching broadside. You were wearing your seat belt but it was still a thundering crash that wrenched and whipped you around the inside of your motor vehicle something fierce!Now, after a long recovery period, Fuddle's carrier, Granite Mountain Ins...(related: Insurance)
Is Your Auto Insurance Company Rated?
Several national rating institutions rate insurance companies. Do coverages, rates, and service vary from company to company? Why can you pay less with one company than another can for the same coverages? Choosing the best insurance company for you is a crucial financial decision. Does your insurance company have the financial strength to safeguard you and your family? If the company cannot pay future claims or benefits, other issues become far less relevant. Financial strength ratings are an analysis of a wide variety of risks that could affect an insurance company's long-term viability. Insurance companies have failed or ceased to operate due to inadequate financial...(related: Insurance)
Credit Card Insurance
A word of warning about Credit card repayment protection schemesThe people who sell you the policy and who take out your monthly payment for 'card protection' are not always (in fact, often aren't) the people who you will be dealing with in the event of a claim.So be careful.I took out my credit card protection cover last November (2004). I merrily watched the monthly payments being taken up to date. I recently made a claim. ) I had a heart attack and had to be off work for 8 weeks) I sent off for the claim forms, I sent them back, together with doctor's ...(related: Insurance)
Long Term Care And Long Term Care Insurance
A person might need long term care (LTC) if he/she cannot perform activities of daily living such as eating, taking shower or getting dressed by him/herself anymore. Certain disease can also make long term care necessary.Long term care is not the type of care offered by a hospital or a doctor's clinic. Long term care can be re...(related: Insurance)
Underwriting Life Insurance For Diabetics And Diabetic Life Insurance Information
Life Insurance Companies differ in their "underwriting philosophy" when it comes to diabetes. Offering life insurance for diabetics can be risky if the underwriters are not fully trained. Underwriters at the insurance companies that are fluent in underwriting diabetes have the ability to look at all of these factors and determine if the company will accept them as a risk. Moderately controlled diabetes cases would usually merit a "rating" or an increase in the premium, but not necesarily a declination for coverage. If the client with diabetes that is looking f...(related: Insurance)
New Concepts In Car Insurance - Pay As You Drive
You can pay as you talk with a cell phone plan, so why not pay as you drive auto insurance? It sounds like a good idea; but would pay as you drive auto insurance work for you?The idea behind pay as you drive auto insurance is simple. Basically its this- if you do not drive very much, you will not pay high insurance premiums. Advocates for this type of insurance policy think that there are many merits to this type of program. Less air pollution, lower gas consumption, and lower costs to the consumer among them.What if you car pool to work, or take public transit? You are not using your car very much so why are you paying high premiums. With a pay as you drive auto insurance premiums you would be able to quite literally pay as you go. Another situation where this plan would be of benefit is that of many retirees who have wint...(related: Insurance)