Although it might appear to many consumers that insurance companies are nothing but greedy money making machines that are only concerned with the bottom line and whose job is to shortchange or “low ball” their customers who suffer injuries in car accident and other injury incidents, it is important to remember that insurance company, like all other companies, are run by people. The claim adjusters who handle your injury claim are also humans and they respond to the different settlement negotiation strategies respectfully. Certain things make them happy and unhappy, satisfied and annoyed. Because insurance adjusters often handle a huge load of claims (up to 200), they are actually interesting in settling an injury claim and they will if you play your cards right.
While there are many aspects to a successful injury settlement negotiations, like any other “sales” the settlement is also in many ways a “sale” – you sell your claim to the insurance company and you want to convince them that the price you are asking is fair and reasonable and that they are not being ripped off. Thus, like in any other sales, your attitude toward the other party – the adjuster, is just as important as the substance of your communications.
After speaking with dozens of adjusters informally and becoming friends with some of them, it became abundantly clear to me that the injured person or his representative’s attitude makes a big difference. An adjuster has a certain authority within the range of the settlement that he is allowed to pay, and he will exercise that authority with the people who he likes and enjoys working with, and he might just take it personally and try to make life harder for those claimants who make his life hard as well.
So, you should avoid treating adjusters as your servants or making authoritative demands to them as if you were their boss and they were owing something to you. Acting like you are entitled to a certain recovery will only hurt your bottom line or will significantly delay your receipt of settlement funds. On the other hand, being firm but courteous and treating insurance adjusters with respect will likely make the insurance representative more willing to help you and be more flexible in settling a claim, potentially paying out more than he would have otherwise.
So, the bottom line is this: it pays being nice when you are negotiating a settlement with an insurance company.