South Carolina insurance adjusters are people too, but insurance companies are in the business of keeping money in house. They are a business and don’t make a profit by paying out on claims. More money kept in house then the more money they make. Here are some common tactics insurance adjusters employ in an effort to limit the amount of money the insurance company has to pay out:
1. Deny liability/Or “It’s Still Under Investigation”. The adjuster’s starting point is that their client is not at fault or that the claim is STILL under review or investigation. They may also say you are entirely at fault, or their account of the accident is severely flawed. The other option is that they continue to say they are still investigating the claim whether that is the case or not. Meanwhile, you have no money to pay medical bills and are stuck wondering what to do.
2. Request a recorded statement. The idea is to elicit as much information that can be later used against you. Many injuries don’t become evident for days and even weeks after the accident. Surgery is not always an immediate option and many doctors wait for a period of time. Changes in your medical condition after a recorded statement can make you look bad. Do not agree to a request for a recorded statement. Direct the adjuster to your attorney.
3. Request that you sign a medical authorization. Signing this will give the insurance adjuster and who knows who else access to any and all medical records from any and all medical providers you’ve ever seen, including counseling, psychological, and psychiatric records. Once a claim is made, your South Carolina attorney will release only the and relevant necessary information. Do not sign a medical authorization until then.
4. Quick Settlement. Probably the most common of all of the tactics is to offer a quick settlement and “easy cash” before the full extent of the injuries are truly known. The only good insurance claim is a closed claim and the way the adjusters do this is by trying to buy their way out quickly and inexpensively.
5. Misrepresent insurance policy benefits available to you or not know the benefits available. Your own insurance company might fall into this category as well. I recently handled a case where the insurance carrier told my client he was not entitled to certain death benefits from the death of his mother but when we educated the adjuster, to her credit, she immediately offered the $100,000 policy limits.
6. Draw Out the Process. The process is slow at times to begin with. A less than diligent adjuster can draw it out even more causing your bills to accumulate, wear you down and frustrate you only to eventually filing a lawsuit which can take up to 2 years to get to court or taking a low settlement.
7. Surveillance. Watchful eyes may be monitoring your every movement, looking for something to misrepresent. Follow doctor’s orders and don’t exaggerate your injuries or limitations.
Knowing how to deal with an insurance adjuster is an important part of the insurance claims process and many injury victims don’t have that experience. When you’ve been involved in a car accident, your first phone call after alerting the police or requesting medical attention is probably going to be to your insurance company.
Some car insurance companies advertise instant claim resolutions via phone apps or rapid response adjusters. Please remember insurance companies are a business and this is for the benefit as well.
The best piece of advice I can give to those in a car accident is be careful, read everything and trust your gut. If you’d like a free consultation to discuss your issues, please give us a call at
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