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Can I trust the insurance adjuster?

Wayne Ridgeway | September 25, 2017

Can I trust the insurance adjuster?

Can I trust the insurance adjuster?

The short answer to this question is no. You cannot trust the insurance adjusterInsurance companies make billions of dollars every year paying injured parties less than they are entitled to.  

The insurance adjuster that has contacted you may sound nice at the outset. He could be like someone you can trust, but this is not the case. Insurance adjusters are trained very well to:

  1. Coax information out of you
  2. Have you answer questions in such a way as to prejudice your case

It is never in your best interest to provide extensive information to an insurance adjuster. Consider what the law says about it. 

In South Carolina, you have 3 years from the date of an event to pursue justice. Therefore, the insurance adjuster does not need your personal information immediately. He also does not need a recorded statement within the first 5 days of an event.  

You have plenty of time to prepare and present your claim. Make the most out of it. And before finally presenting your claim, always consult with a qualified attorney.  

Here are three common tactics that an insurance adjuster might use against you:

1. Voluntary Recorded Statement

Dealing with insurance adjusters can be tricky. The biggest mistake that we see clients make is the voluntary giving of a recorded statement.  

“A recorded statement is simply an unfair tool that a well-trained insurance adjuster insists upon.” – E. Wayne Ridgeway, Jr. 

There is no need or reason for a recorded statement. It only serves to protect the insurance company’s money and to drive down the value of your claim.

These adjusters are trained well on which questions to ask and which questions to leave out. It is never in your best interest to give an insurance adjuster a recorded statement.

2. Name of Medical Providers

As mentioned, you have plenty of time to prepare your claim. The insurance company does not need to know your medical providers within the first days or weeks of an event.

“You have time to prepare and submit your claim to an insurance company for valuation.” – E. Wayne Ridgeway, Jr. 

Oftentimes clients are threatened when they put up some level resistance to the insurance company. If they do not provide the information, they are told that the “claim will be closed”.   

I have had clients very confused about what it means for the insurance company to close the claim. They wonder whether or not this meant that they would not be able to recover.  

But this is simply a tactic that an insurance adjuster uses against an unrepresented party. He uses it to attempt to convince the party that there is some sense of urgency.

Understand that an insurance company does not need to gather this information immediately:

  • Your Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Medical Providers
  • Etc. information

Again, there is no sense of urgency. Any information can be used against you. This is simply a tactic that insurance adjusters use to deceive injured parties.  

3. Medical Authorization Forms

Insurance adjusters also use the tactic of mailing medical authorization forms to clients. They insist that the injured party sign the forms and return to them.

Often the adjuster will explain that the company:

  • Would like to do the right thing
  • Would pay the medical expenses when the time comes

And to gather the medical expenses, hence, they need the medical authorization forms.

But a close look at the forms sent by the adjuster reveals that the forms are requesting more than an authorization to a specific record. The forms will allow the insurance company to gather any and all medical records on the client.

“It seeks to access records whether related to the crash or not.” – E. Wayne Ridgeway, Jr.   

In a small town, for instance, these medical authorization forms would allow the insurance company to send correspondence to the local hospital. That way, they could gather any and all medical records ever generated on the patient at that particular hospital.  

As you might imagine, the insurance company then uses this to diminish the value of your claim. They make all sorts of arguments that you have had medical treatment in the past.

You cannot underestimate the lengths that an insurance company will go to to protect their money. You wonder, “Can I trust an insurance adjuster?” Think again. We hope you found this article helpful.

Find Legal Help at Burriss and Ridgeway

If you have been injured in an accident of any kind we strongly suggest that you contact our office or some other qualified attorney to make sure that you are well advised on the claim’s process.

This process can vary from company to company and should not be entered into without legal guidance. Feel free to call our office directly at 803-451-4000 or visit us online at burrisslaw.com.

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