Insurance adjusters work to limit your settlement to increase their profits. Insurance companies make their profits when they take in premium payments but pay out far less in claims. Insurance adjusters are representatives of the insurance company. It’s their goal to resolve cases for as little as possible. But how do insurance adjusters limit your settlement? Our Miami car accident attorneys explain.
How an Insurance Adjuster Works to Limit Your Settlement
An insurance adjuster works to limit your settlement by using several tactics, including downplaying the value of the case or asking for unnecessary documents. They may rush to settle a car accident case too quickly. On the other hand, they may stall resolving a claim in hopes that the person making the claim will become discouraged.
An insurance adjuster works to limit your settlement by denying your claim or by trying to entice you to settle for the lowest amount possible.
Do Insurance Adjusters Lie?
Yes, insurance adjusters sometimes lie about a claim. They may want you to believe that you don’t qualify for certain types of damages. They may also allow you to believe your settlement is much lower than the average car accident settlement.
Lying may take the form of withholding information or failing to correct your misconceptions about how the claims process works. Even though they have a legal obligation to act in good faith, sometimes, insurance adjusters lie to try and limit payments and settlements.
Ways an Insurance Adjuster Limits a Settlement
Here are some of the ways that an insurance adjuster may try and limit a settlement:
Denying responsibility – Even if the law is on your side, the insurance company may try to say that it isn’t. They might argue subtle nuances, emphasize an unimportant detail, or exaggerate the statement of a witness to claim that they have no obligation to pay the claim.
Offering a fast settlement – If the insurance adjuster tries to settle the claim quickly, they might be hoping you don’t know the actual value of your case. A fast settlement can be a sign that the insurance adjuster wants to limit your settlement.
Delaying settlement and denying payment – Just like a fast settlement offer can be the sign of a low settlement, repeated denials can be a sign, too. The adjuster may issue denials, fail to respond to phone calls, or ask for more and more information in hopes that you’re going to give up. If you seem to be asking for information without getting anywhere, a delayed settlement can be a sign of an adjuster trying to limit your settlement.
Sending a release of all claims in hopes you’ll get confused – There are two components to most insurance claims: property damage and physical injuries. An insurance adjuster may try to confuse you by sending the release for all claims when you think you’re only settling the property damage claim.
Saying that damages are speculative – Some damages happen far into the future — damages, like lost earning potential, aren’t always known for sure at the time of the accident. Insurance adjusters may try to use the speculative nature of future damages to limit your settlement.
Claiming pre-existing conditions that aren’t covered – Even if you have pre-existing conditions, if they get worse because of the accident, they are included in your insurance claim. To limit your settlement, the insurance adjuster may falsely claim that your pre-existing conditions aren’t covered.
Denying medical treatment as unnecessary – An insurance adjuster may try to limit your settlement by saying that your medical treatment isn’t necessary. Even though they aren’t the one with the injuries, they may try to unfairly limit your settlement by claiming that your physical therapy, follow-up appointments, mental health care, or chiropractic treatments aren’t necessary for your care.
Minimizing pain and suffering and other intangible losses – Some losses aren’t easy to total up by looking at medical bills. Pain and suffering damages can be subjective. The insurance adjuster may try to claim that your pain and suffering damages are much lower than they actually are under the law. They may try to give you an amount that doesn’t even begin to represent your losses fairly. Minimizing pain and suffering damages can be a way that the insurance adjuster limits your settlement.
Insurance Claim Adjuster Secret Tactics
Insurance claim adjuster tactics may be a violation of the law on the part of the insurance company. Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. They don’t represent you, and they’re not your advocate. If there’s something that you’re misunderstanding, you can’t count on the adjuster to volunteer information. They may choose not to explain it to you in hopes that they can low ball your case.
Florida law 624.155 is Florida’s insurance good faith law. The law says that the insurance company must work in good faith to settle each claim fairly and honestly. The law requires the insurance company to act with due regard for the interests of the person who is making the claim.
Unfortunately, too often, the insurance company either completely ignores the requirements of Florida statute 624.155, or they try to do the bare minimum to technically comply with the law. But if the insurance adjuster acts in bad faith trying to limit the settlement, you can bring a legal action for fair payment of the claim in addition to asking for additional penalties because of the bad faith actions of the insurance company.
Contact Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers Today If You Need Help Dealing With Insurance Adjusters
You don’t have to accept it when the insurance company tries to limit your settlement unfairly. The skilled car accident lawyers at Bernstein & Maryanoff can help you fight back. The insurance adjuster doesn’t have the final say when it comes to your payment.
If the insurance company doesn’t pay you fairly, you can take your claim to court. Our attorneys have been helping clients get the compensation that they deserve for more than three decades. Reach out today to see how we can help you. There is no fee unless you win.
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.