Once you start the process of making a settlement claim with an insurance company, you will be assigned a particular claims adjuster to work on your case. These are people who are insurance agents. These people are responsible for selling and to maintain your policy. They do not however do the actual handling of the claim. There are people who will report their claim or accident to their agent. The agent will, however, report the claim to the appropriate department within the insurance company and then proceed to removing himself from the picture. This is when an insurance adjuster will step in.
The adjuster working on your claim can be working in three capacities. They can be working for the insurance providing company or they could be an independent adjuster or they can also be a third-party administrator adjuster. The last two types of adjusters are basically adjusters who get outsourced jobs. Adjusters who are the ones brought in from outsourcing will typically work on claims that are smaller and will also have authority that is limited. You can tell if an adjuster is an outsourced adjuster by looking at their letterhead or if their email address is different from the email address of the insurance company. It will be good for you to make sure you know which type of adjuster has been assigned to your case. If it is a TPA adjuster, they may need to get a bit more authority to properly handle your claim. It will also be beneficial to show the adjuster that you know the way around the system and that you actually really understand it.
Factors for hiring one
This is the number of cases an adjuster is currently working on. There is only a finite amount of time that every adjuster has and there will be a maximum amount of cases that these adjusters can handle responsibly and properly. It will do you good to know that almost all adjusters will be working on a lot of cases simultaneously. In fact, they may be working on so many different cases, that many a time they can recall a particular case by simply searching it up in the journal of the computer system that they do have.
Experience in being an adjuster will most definitely be important if your particular case is a little bit more complex than usual. The adjusters who have more experience are the ones who have dealt with complicated cases before and therefore, a claims manager will be more likely to assign them your case if it is one in which experience is required.
Know that every adjuster has a limit to their authority. This means that there is a cap on the maximum amount of money they can offer in order to settle a claim. Adjusters who are new, will be given very little authority, sometimes something within the range of only about 5000 USD. All the cases that will be going to this particular adjuster will be estimated by the department handling claims to be under this authority amount.
One thing that does seem to happen a lot is that your claim may get transferred to another adjuster while you are in the middle of the claims process. The reason behind this is that insurance companies aggressively evaluate claims when people do it by themselves. When an insurance company realizes that the claim amount may exceed the initially thought out amount, they will obviously need to transfer it to an adjuster who has a lot more authority.
Another scenario in which claims are transferred is when the holder of the policy (that is you) decides to hire an attorney. It is very likely that the claim will definitely not stay with the same adjuster once a personal injury attorney has gotten involved with the whole process. The reason behind this is that insurance companies recognize that a whole another skill set is required in order to deal with an attorney.
Responsibilities of the adjuster
Insurance companies will very likely monitor the adjusters that they do have for the total amount of settlements they make each month. You should ideally play dumb at the very beginning by asking the adjuster you have assigned how exactly it is that their performance is monitored. Understanding what they have to do on a daily basis and also the concerns they have about their performance at work can really help you when it comes to negotiating. You will be better equipped to make your case by providing an argument that will appeal to the concerns they have over their work performance.
Negotiating the relationship
You need to properly understand the relationship you have with your adjuster, recognize that the adjuster holds the power here. They are the ones controlling the money and it also does not matter to them if the whole case goes into litigation. This means that they will have ample patience and will try to see just exactly how desperate you are for a quick settlement. They will also take this time to understand if you know what you are doing.
These are people who are also overworked. Recognize that claims do not make the insurance company any money. They in fact lose money. The management at insurance companies are constantly cutting how many adjusters they have and then piling the ones they do have with more work.
This knowledge should be crucial to you in how you decide to negotiate your relationship with the adjuster. The knowledge provided above will help you go a long way in developing better relationships with adjusters and then use it to your advantage.