What is the difference between an adjuster, an estimator and an appraiser?
This is a commonly confusing topic that Justin constantly has to clarify for people inside and outside of the insurance industry.
You would think it would be fairly simple to distinguish the difference but the insurance industry blurs the lines on this topic and fails to train their employees on the very important difference between these three positions.
Justin is setting the record straight today in an article he previously published on LinkedIn that we thought was worthy of posting here again on our site.
If you would like to get a fair settlement for the total loss of your auto, you have found the right article. It will take a little work, but I think I can shed a little light on what you need to know in order to get a fair settlement.
As the owner of an appraisal and claim service company as well as a former licensed adjuster who has settled thousands of total loss claims, I will reveal the tricks to getting an insurance company to take you seriously.
In this article, I will dispel common misconceptions on total losses, tell you how to argue with computer programs and formulas, and give step-by-step instructions on how to best support your claim to get it settled.
Let me start by saying that some people never need an attorney, and others will always need an attorney.
Additionally, this article is based on my 15 years of claims adjusting experience. I have developed a simple little formula that will help you decide if you need an attorney or not. Keep in mind, this quiz is tailored for auto accidents only, and I make no warranties or guarantees that your result is a foolproof answer.
Ultimately, the only person that can decide if you need an attorney is you.
With that being said, simply answer the following 15 questions and then add up your answers. All of these questions are yes or no questions. Whatever answer you have the most of is your answer to the title of this article.
As a former liability adjuster, I cannot count the times that an individual threatened a lawsuit in an attempt to get more money.
I would like to make the point that adjusters are calloused to the threat of a lawsuit. Many times, the adjuster’s ignorance is the reason they do not respond. It is rare for an adjuster to actually be involved in the negotiation of an actual suit, so they never get real experience and hardly ever actually hear or see what the staff attorney or hired attorney does to get the suit settled. Threatening a suit is rarely useful unless the threat is clearly credible.
I get a lot of questions about what the consumer can do to fight the insurance company when it comes to the value of their total loss. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an adjuster’s license or some other credentials that qualify you to render an opinion on a vehicle’s value, then you are at the mercy of the insurance company.
All hope is not lost, though.
There are a few things you can do that may help you get a better settlement without spending another dime on your insurance claim.
This may work if you make some valid arguments. The insurance adjuster should be able to discern whether your arguments are valid or not and if they are valid, they should adjust the claim accordingly. Make sure you have a copy of how they evaluated the value of your car and then look it over very carefully for any discrepancies in the mileage, options, or condition of your vehicle. If there are no discrepancies, you will likely have a hard time arguing value because the value is an opinion of market worth that can only be certified by an insurance company or licensed and trained professional.
Okay, so you have run into a brick wall and can’t get justice served, right? If you live in Texas, if justice means recovering money from somebody or company that owes you $10000.00 or less, then you can probably force the issue to a head by doing a little research on the Small Claims court rules. They are located in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 28. The rules of battle are clear and simple enough for most to understand with just a little research.
In deciding to try and help auto accident victims I seem to have created some enemies, hehe. Oh well. I will continue to give honest and straightforward answers to the questions that accident victims have. Recently I have had quite a few questions that relate to how to calculate how much a minor injury claim is worth. In response to the numerous questions, I wrote an e-book which is available for purchase by clicking on the title of this posting. I will also answer questions for free if you e-mail me or call me, but if you want it in writing to refer to when I am not personally available, you’ll have to make a very small investment. Although I won’t give away all of my secrets here on the blog, I will offer some free tidbits and general information that will compliment the e-book.