What Not to Say to a Claims Adjuster


If you’re in a car accident, it is an extremely stressful and often emotional experience. This is even more true if you’re in an accident that leads to injuries.

However, what you say at the scene of an accident and also what you say to a claims adjuster is an important part of how your claim is handled and your potential compensation. 

Even if you don’t think you bear any responsibility in an accident, you want to be careful about what you say to a claims adjuster. 

You have to remember that they work for an insurance company, and their goal is to avoid paying out for claims. 

The following are some things to know about the role of a claims adjuster and what not to say to one if you find yourself in a situation where you’re interacting. 

What is a Claims Adjuster?

First, what does a claims adjuster do?

These are the people who determine whether or not someone is owed payment under an insurance policy when that party is claiming loss due to bodily injury or property damage. A claims adjuster is also responsible for deciding how much someone is owed. 

The majority of claims adjusters are employees of an insurance company, but some are also consultants who work independently. 

A claims adjuster is responsible for interviewing, reviewing policies, and going over records. They also negotiate settlements. 

Auto claims adjusters will take a look at the damaged cars in person, and they will review all medical bills. 

Regardless of the specifics of your situation, there are certain things it’s best not to say to an adjuster. 

Don’t Admit Fault

Don’t even give any hint of whose fault you think an accident was when you’re talking to an adjuster. The adjuster is listening to everything you’re saying and looking to find ways to eliminate fault on the part of the insurance company. 

Just wait until an investigation is over for fault to be determined.

There may be things involved in your accident that you weren’t aware of that mean an accident isn’t your fault, even if you think it was initially. 

Along with not admitting fault, don’t speculate about what you think might have happened. Stick entirely to the facts. 

The more you say and speculate, the more an adjuster might have to ultimately use against you. Keep your answers short and to the point. Remain honest, but don’t give unnecessary details. 

Don’t speculate about your injuries in addition to not speculating about the general factors surrounding the accident. For example, you might speculate about your injuries initially when you talk to the adjuster, and then later on you might have a more serious diagnosis than what you thought initially. That can cause problems with your claim. 

If an adjuster asks you something and you’re not sure of the answer, say that. 

Just tell an adjuster the time, location, and date of your accident. You can also tell them information about the other vehicles involved, and if relevant, witness contact information. 

Don’t Make a Recorded Statement

No matter what your claims adjuster tells you, you are not legally obligated to give a recorded statement to them. Most claims adjusters will ask for one hoping you’ll say yes despite the fact that you don’t have to. 

When you give a recorded statement, it’s just going to give the adjuster more potential things to use against you. For example, you might accidentally change your story without even realizing it, but that’s going to create doubt as far as your credibility. 

What Is a Claims Adjuster Looking For?

As has been touched on, a claims adjuster is looking for things that will specifically let them know how much an insurance company will need to pay to settle a claim. In particular, an adjuster is looking for reasons to reduce the value of the claim. 

First and foremost, a claims adjuster wants to make sure the claim is legitimate and not fraudulent. That requires a physical inspection of the involved vehicles. 

Then, an adjuster will look at the medical history of the victim. 

They might call doctors and other medical providers to figure out how much your medical expenses were but also if you had any underlying conditions that they could use as a factor to reduce your claim. 

Once an insurance adjuster is finished with their investigation, they might offer a settlement. A settlement is usually offered when liability is clear-cut, at least from the perspective of the adjuster. 

In almost all cases, the initial amount is less than what a victim is entitled to. This goes back to the idea that the claims adjuster is representing a business, which in this case is an insurance company. 

Claims adjusters have different ways of handling settlements. For example, they might tell you your claim is not worth a lot of money. 

It’s really important that you don’t sign the first settlement agreement offered to you. 

When it comes to the damage of a vehicle, most car insurance policies cover the cash value of the vehicle. The adjuster will calculate the cash value and then assign a percentage of damage. 

The adjuster will decide if it’s financially prudent for the insurance company to pay for repairs. 

Tips for Dealing with Claims Adjusters

In addition to what’s above, when it comes to dealing with claims adjusters, keep your lines of communication open, as far as updating them on your treatment. You should ask for letters each time you have a conversation with the adjuster so that you have documentation that you’ve spoken. 

When you get new medical bills, or you’re dealing with lost wages or out-of-pocket expenses, keep them all and regularly send them to your adjuster. 

After an accident, dealing with a claims adjuster isn’t necessarily easy. That’s one of the big reasons people frequently hire personal injury attorneys—they can avoid possible traps set by claims adjusters, and they don’t have to spend time going back and forth with them.

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *