So, you have submitted all your paperwork. You have had several conversations with the insurance adjuster, but things do not seem to be moving forward. What if things are moving forward, but not going the way you had hoped? If the settlement offer that you have received is insufficient, there are a couple of actions you can try.
Go Over the Adjuster’s Head
If you have reached an impasse with the adjuster, suggest to them that another set of eyes might be needed. Ask to have your case escalated to the adjuster’s supervisor. They may give you additional settlement offers and bring the amount up closer to what you are looking for if the situation seems to be going nowhere.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Sometimes, changing gears can motivate an insurance adjuster to revise the offer and give you a better settlement. Hiring a personal injury attorney puts the insurance company on notice that you are serious about your claim. It’s the best way to let them know that you are not going to back down and accept a bad offer for settlement.
Even if you decide not to hire the lawyer, in most cases, you can pay them for their time and get some strategic legal advice.
Threaten a Lawsuit
This is a bit trickier. First, make sure that your claim meets the criteria for escalating to a lawsuit. Arbitration is mandatory on some claims, and they cannot be resolved through a lawsuit.
If you decide to go this route, you need to hire an attorney. Choose a personal injury attorney that is local. You will need to consult with them on a regular basis, and you want someone that understands the laws that pertain to your case.
If you decide to use the threat of a lawsuit as a tactic to move an adjuster to settle your claim, you may get results from the threat alone. Adjusters know that lawsuits bring lawyers, and the settlement is going to go up and not down in value.
Be the Squeaky Wheel
If you have patience, this tactic might work for you. Be persistent and call the adjuster on a regular basis. Let them know that you are not giving up and that you will wait for them to give you the offer you deserve.
When you are continually given a low settlement offer, and it seems like the adjuster won’t budge, let them know that you are willing to be patient. Remember, they need to settle sooner, rather than later. It comes down to who gives in first.
As a last chance in this situation, you can tell them that they are acting in “bad faith.” This is not something an adjuster wants to hear since a charge of bad faith can be very costly to the insurance company. It may end up costing them more, in the long run, to have you pursue this charge, and they know it.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that the insurance adjuster wants to settle your claim quickly and for a small amount. Do not feel intimidated or give in too easily,or you could lose money on the deal.