Using scare tactics on an insurance adjuster can sometimes help in the negotiation process, especially if you’re trying to get your property damage claim settled at its total value.
The surest way to scare an insurance adjuster is to have an attorney fight on your behalf.
If you feel like your insurance company is not giving you what you’re owed, read on to learn more about how to scare insurance adjusters into giving you a settlement that will cover all of your expenses rather than just paying out to cover some of the property damage.
1. Understanding What Insurance Adjusters Do
Insurance adjusters act as middlemen between policyholders and insurance companies.
If you’ve ever had a car accident or your home has been broken into, you’ve probably had some contact with an insurance adjuster.
2. But just because they’re in your corner doesn’t mean they can’t scare you.
Expert manipulators know how to work around any conversation with a carefully calculated approach that could leave you wondering if you want them in your corner.
You should expect some attempts at manipulation from your adjuster—that’s what they do for a living—but understand their tactics and keep them in check by remaining calm, relaxed, and collected throughout negotiations.
3. Play dirty
The insurance industry has a strong incentive to pay out as little as possible, which means that when you’re negotiating with your adjuster, you can never assume that they will be on your side.
After all, most insurance adjusters are trained by their employers to put themselves in a position of power. That said, playing dirty may be necessary for you to get what you want.
For example, threatening legal action or claiming mental anguish over property damage is sometimes just what it takes for your adjuster to see things from your perspective and make them more generous. (Sometimes.)
4. State that you are in contact with another company
These tactics won’t only help you get your insurance adjuster to pay more. They might even scare them into giving you a discount if they think another company will provide you with a better deal and keep you as a customer.
Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for them; all you have to do is say, I’m in contact with XYZ company, who’s willing to take care of me for less money. How much are you ready to negotiate?
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In addition, if other companies can service your policy cheaper or better than your current company, threaten them with switching agencies. This shows them that they need you as a customer and have to work hard for you not to leave their agency.
5. Use their experts against them.
This can be tricky, but you want to hire their experts and make them think they are working for you. We do it by making them sign a statement that they agree not to share any information about their situation with anyone else, including their employers.
This will force them to work as hard as possible on your case because if they don’t, it may damage their reputation, and no one will trust them again! They will do everything in their power and go above and beyond so you do not lose your case.
5. Call during non-business hours.
The best way to scare your car insurance adjuster is by calling during non-business hours. The likelihood of getting someone in human resources or voicemail is much higher, and those conversations are challenging to track down if you’re trying to prove it happened. What you should do next depends on whether they call back or not.
If they call back and get someone on the phone, ask them a question that your car insurance adjuster can only answer (Did you drive over anything sharp?).
If they say no, ask them why their voice sounds so familiar and then hang up. They’ll have no idea what happened because there will be a record of a call coming from your number, but no one will go out.
6. If they don’t call you back, text them first.
This will make you sound busy, and they’ll be more likely to call you back quickly. If you want them to call you back ASAP, text them first.
When your insurance adjuster does call you back, it sounds like you’re in a hurry. Let them know if there’s something urgent about your claim (maybe it’s cold out, and if they don’t get that AC fixed, your pipes could freeze).
7. Don’t get caught up in yourself.
If you decide you want to scare your insurance adjuster, use your imagination. Tell a detailed story about how that tree branch crushed and cracked open your car door on impact; get emotional when describing how upset you were when you saw it happen.
I’m not suggesting lying — I mean, I fell and banged my head is a blatant lie — but if there’s truth in every word, it’s legal for sure.
You don’t need to be caught up in yourself or act like a pompous jerk who lies because he can; all it takes is motivation. Do what works best for you here (we aren’t lawyers), but please note that intimidation is never cool.
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8. Have a reasonable attorney on your side.
You can’t always scare your insurance adjuster into giving you a reasonable settlement. Still, you can have a better chance of getting one if you don’t go into negotiations without an appropriate attorney.
No matter how your claim is, it will be much harder to prove if you don’t have anything in writing. Just because they are trained professionals doesn’t mean they will always see things your way.
If there was negligence, it could lead to fraud charges for them and their company. So be nice about it and offer a more than fair settlement but not crazy either.
9. What Not to Say to an Insurance Adjuster
If a natural disaster destroyed your car, you might be tempted to tell an insurance adjuster that it was stolen. However, insurance companies know that people tend to say things they shouldn’t say when dealing with a high-pressure situation.
So what happens if you lie to an insurance adjuster? If you get caught or claim theft and later have to admit you lied, insurers will use it against you.
They’ll likely find ways to lower your payout or cancel your policy entirely for material misrepresentation. Instead of scaring an insurance adjuster, arm yourself with other methods of convincing them that your vehicle needs to be paid for—ideally before it’s too late.
- Never tell a lie.
- Don’t admit liability, not even partially.
- Don’t answer questions asking what you could have done differently to avoid the accident.
- Don’t comment on how external factors affected the accident.
- Your opinion on the cost of medical treatment and repairs and replacements is unnecessary.