An auto insurance claims adjuster is the point of contact with whom you will have to sit and negotiate the value of your car or damages if in case the need arises. They are the people who will sign out on your forms which will release the money that the insurance company owes you. We will now discuss a few insider opinions which were obtained from a few of these people.
What you will first need to realize is that these auto insurance claims adjusters have nothing to lose or gain by not giving you your just dues. They are just trying to do their job as fast as possible. At any given time, an auto insurance claims adjuster has at least 100 open cases to deal with, and like any paper pusher in an office, they just want to get the job done. In order to do this, they have to convince you that they have made the best deal that they can make. This is where you will need to know a little inside information to make a valid argument.
A claims adjuster will require you to sign a document stating that you are satisfied with the estimate that the insurance company has worked out. This estimate is derived after working out an average from out of around 5 similar vehicles. These similar vehicles are called comparables. Obviously, when an average is being worked out there is going to be a high estimate and a low estimate. Your estimate will be somewhere in between. You can help your case by asking the adjuster to just consider the top 5 comparables or ask the adjuster why your car is not similar to the top estimate.
An adjuster is usually authorized to offer a $500 increment on the estimate over the table. This settles the matter right then and there. But for anything higher than this, the paper work will have to travel through higher echelons of office. And you will also have to make a few more trips to the place to get this extra amount.
Another problem that people face is when they own a classic automobile. The claims adjusters will grossly under value the said vehicle for the simple reason that all the comparables that they might have might be in seriously bad shape. In such cases, you might have to work a lot more to get the message across. It might not be a bad idea to engage an independent evaluator to get the job done. In a lot of states it is allowed to hire an independent appraiser to do the job.
Then there is the aspect of a totaled car. A car is considered totaled if the cost of repairing it is going to be more than fifty percent of its total current value. if your cost of repairs is almost close to this figure, it might in some cases be worth the while to just total it and collect the entire value and invest in a new car. This is because a car that is badly damaged will have a lot of problems with its structural integrity and also its mechanics may have been damaged beyond repair. Such issues might crop up later on in its service life and you will not even be able to sell it for a good value given its accident history. You can tell the adjuster that there might be problems with the air conditioning and power train which might show up later and that it would be better to total the car. They will not usually contest this opinion because you are right.