Insurance Adjuster….Friend or Foe?

Insurance Adjuster….Friend or Foe?

Insurance claims are very personal.  No one relishes the thought of reporting a claim.

If you are lucky, you may have a trusted agent to walk you through the preliminaries. But in the technology age, chances are you will be given a toll free number or a website address to report your claim.

I worked in the insurance claims industry for 30+ years and I know a good deal about customer relationships.  I am also well aware of how the adjuster and customer dealings can become combative.

Insurance adjusters are highly trained professionals. but it is not an easy job. Most insurance carriers require applicants to have a college degree or equivalent work experience and most states require a separate professional license.  In Florida and Texas, licensed adjusters are also required to maintain continuing education credits.

Of course, you have heard all the stories about adjusters who are incompetent, greedy and generally mean spirited.  They are usually portrayed on television and in the movies as a man in a cheap suit and a bad comb over.  The truth is that the large majority of claims adjusters are hard working people who genuinely want to help you with your claim.

Although you have been through a terrible life altering experience, it is important to remember that it is not your insurance company’s fault.

Everyone (including your adjuster) feels that they pay too much for insurance, but that is an entirely different issue from the handling of your claim.  Unfortunately, the amount you pay in premium or the years you have paid those premiums does not alter whether your claim will be covered.  Because of that, it is important to keep emotions out of the equation and focus the lines of communication on the handling of your claim.

An insurance contract is a binding contract between the policyholder and the insurance company.  What you may call “red tape” or unfair bullying by the big insurance company (or the incompetent adjuster) may be a clause or exclusion that is contained in all policies.

All insurance policies are reviewed and approved by the Department of Insurance of the state where it will be sold. Insurance is a strictly regulated industry and insurance carriers have to adhere to a multitude of rules and standards before a policy or change in a policy will be approved. There is absolutely nothing arbitrary or capricious about the approval system and each company uses essentially the same policy language.

My best advice is to be patient, listen carefully and allow your adjuster to be your advocate as you go through the claims process.  Everyone should be working to move your claim along smoothly which includes answering your questions and addressing your concerns.

There should never be a reason for harsh words or accusations and if there are complaints of that nature, they should be directed to appropriate departments.