Dealing with an insurance adjuster

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
If you're involved in an automobile or motorcycle accident, immediately inform your insurance company, who will let you know what paperwork is required. Most companies ask for a 'proof of loss' form and other documentary proof to justify your claim. An insurance adjuster, who works for your insurance company and has the job of assessing how much is to be paid to you in the event of a claim, will examine all documents relating to your claim and decide on payment. It's important to keep copies of all your expenditures with a bearing on your claim, such as medical bills, auto repair bills, and copies of police reports. In some cases, the adjuster will call you for further information about the accident. The information the adjuster is most interested in is the actual cause of the accident, any injuries to people covered by your insurance policy, the exact damage to the vehicle, and any liability issues. Police reports aren't legally conclusive, and you can be held liable or partially liable for causing an accident even if this isn't clearly stated in the police report. Be brief and factual in your answers to the adjuster's questions. Following an investigation, the insurance adjuster generally proposes a settlement. If you don't agree with the adjuster's proposal, you can hire your own appraiser to estimate the value of your claim and appeal the adjuster's decision.
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