When a person files an insurance claim, it has to go through a process to be approved or denied. The people responsible for this process are known as insurance adjusters. They are responsible for the following tasks:
- Reading and understanding the insurance policy
- Gather information involving the claim (including investigating an accident scene, gathering police reports and hospital files, getting estimates for repairs, and any other related information)
- Determine if the policy covers the damage or accident
- Negotiate settlements between the insurer and the policyholder
There are three types of adjusters that might handle a policy claim. These include the following:
Company or Staff Adjusters
Company or staff adjusters are employees of the insurance company, and they work only for that insurer. While they are supposed to be fair, staff adjusters do aim to save their employer money.
Independent Insurance Adjusters
Independent insurance adjusters are those that are not employed by an insurer, but the insurer does hire them. This typically happens if the insurer:
- Does not have staff adjusters. This is sometimes the case as having full-time adjusters can get expensive.
- Has too many claims for their staff adjusters to process at once. This is common at times, such as when natural disasters hit and during the summer when the number of car accidents rises.
- Feels that having an external adjuster would lead to a better settlement. It’s easy to view staff adjusters as unfair and biased. An independent adjuster is a third-party, so policyholders often view their offers as more fair than a staff adjuster’s offer.
An independent insurance adjuster CO works on behalf of the insurer and does aim to save that insurer money. However, they also aim to provide an objective view so that the settlement is fair to everyone involved.
Public insurance adjusters are unlike the others. These are adjusters who work on behalf of the insured. A policyholder hires a public adjuster to help them get the best and fastest settlement.
If you are a policyholder that needs to file a claim, it’s important to know that you do not have to rely just on the adjuster your insurer sends. You have the right to hire a public adjuster separately, and the two adjusters can negotiate the settlement.
Insurance claims are complex and need a professional that can dedicate their time and knowledge to the process. Adjusters are invaluable to the claims process, but it’s important to keep in mind that not all adjusters work toward the same goal. Knowing the difference in the types of adjusters can ensure you have the proper help on your side.