It is no secret that insurance claims adjusters have a few tricks up their sleeves when trying to get you to agree to the cheapest settlement. Here are a few tricks for you, from the words of an ex claims adjuster, that may help you negotiate a higher claim.
Question the evaluation report
When a customer disputes a claim, the adjuster will explain how he got his figure. Often times, the adjuster will have prepared an evaluation report that uses the average of two to three similar vehicles as pricing references. The adjuster, however, can use 10 or more comparables to find his figure – a fair market value is determined by taking the average of the comparable vehicles. So, if you can find a few top comparables that are worth more than others, you can ask your adjuster to base his evaluation report on the comparables you have found.
Similarly, you can ask your adjuster to reduce the number of comparables he used in his report if you think he is using comparables with lower worth to decrease the average market value.
The adjuster usually has an extra $500 to settle your case – give him a reason your car is worth it!
Hire an Independent appraiser
In some states, you have the right to hire an independent appraiser. However, doing so may not be worth the cost of the service if the difference in potential settlement does not offset the cost of the independent service.
Total out your car
If the repairs to your vehicle will total more than 50% of your car’s value, you can ask your adjuster to “total it out.” This means that rather than getting your old car back, you can receive a check for your car’s as-is value. To get your adjuster to total out your car (if you are close to the 50% threshold), you can argue that there is more damage that the insurance company didn’t find.
Choose your own body shop
You should be aware that your adjuster will try to send you to his company’s preferred body shop – the body shop that treats your adjuster to lunch once a month. It is usually better to take your car to a shop that specializes in your vehicle since they can offer a more accurate account of the costs associated with your damages.
Use the Claim Calculator to estimate the value of your case.