Good faith and good sense

Negotiating with the Typical Claims Adjuster

by Dan Baldyga


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How to Proceed with the Claims Adjuster: Be pleasant, but firm when negotiating with an adjuster. No matter how much in the wrong the person is that hit you, no matter how they acted at the scene of the accident, and no matter what they may have verbalized to or at you, don't take it out on the adjuster. It's not their fault if their insured is an idiot.

Always show the adjuster you are willing to negotiate in good faith and you understand the process. The first rule of bargaining is never lower your demand until the adjuster makes a counter-offer. If you lower your demand once or twice during a single negotiation contact (whether in person or during a telephone conversation) without the adjuster making a counter-offer, you have revealed to him that your initial demand is weak.

If you lower your demand wait until the adjuster makes a counter-offer before reducing your demand a second time. Think of a negotiation process as similar to selling a car or any other property. You initially ask for more than you are willing to accept and the potential buyer offers less than they're willing to pay. After some negotiations you settle on a price somewhere in the middle making both parties feel as if they got a good deal.

Be Patient: A claim settled in haste is rarely paid its fair and full value.

The Adjusters Claim Load: The job performance of insurance adjusters is judged not only on how little of the company's money they spend in settlement. They're also expected to bring each claim they are assigned to a conclusion as soon as possible. They're under constant pressure from their superiors to settle your claim; to get rid of it and move on! The adjuster will never tell you, but the weight of their caseload comes down on your side of the scale. It is an advantage most people are never aware of.

Not an auto club member? Compare roadside assistance plans.

Disclaimer: This claim tip is intended for background information. Its only purpose is to help people understand the motor vehicle accident claim process. Neither Dan Baldyga nor The Dollar Stretcher makes no guarantee of any kind whatsoever, nor do they purport to engage in rendering any professional or legal service, nor to substitute for a lawyer, an insurance adjuster, or claims consultant, or the like. Where such professional help is desired it is the individual's responsibility to obtain it.


Before he retired Dan Baldyga was an insurance adjuster, supervisor, manager and trial assistant. Check out his book, Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim: (How To Evaluate and Settle Your Loss). Copyright (c) Daniel G. Baldyga. All Rights Reserved.

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