Monday, August 3, 2020

Be nice to your adjusters!

I get it.  You have suffered a catastrophic event.  You are seriously injured, or your house burned down,  or you have made a mistake that you are worried has put your career in jeopardy.  You have faithfully paid your insurance premiums and you don't understand why your insurer is giving you a hard time, or not moving quickly enough.

A word of advice:  Be nice to your insurance adjusters.

Be polite to them.  Be calm when communicating with them. Say thank you. 

Don't vent on them.

I work with adjusters from both sides.  I represent policyholders and claimants seeking coverage.  I also represent insurance companies and get hired by insurers to represent policyholders.  From both perspectives I have known many adjusters who have the highest professional standards and who work hard to resolve claims quickly and fairly.  I've also known adjuster who are poorly trained and overworked and who let their unhappiness with their job situation seep into how they handle claims.

But one thing all adjusters have in common: they are human.

Yes, they are required by law to use good faith in adjusting losses, and there are penalties to the insurer if they fail to do so.

But you know what?  Every adjuster will treat you better if you are pleasant to them.  That doesn't mean that they will overvalue your claim, or find liability when there is none.  And if you are rude to them they will not necessarily undervalue your claim or purposefully give you a harder time.

But they are human.  Remember that they are going through the Coronavirus pandemic too.  They may have kids at home.  They may have elderly parents they are worried about, or have their own health problems.

Be pleasant to them.  Then (politely) document your interactions with them so that you have a record.  If you can't resolve the claim, turn your documentation over to the attorney you will hire.  If there was bad faith, the lawyer will have that fight for you.  That's our job.