Car Insurance Coverage Details - Your Auto Claims Adjuster

Auto claims are the insurance claims that you file when you get into a car accident in order to get your auto insurance company to cover the damages. If you don't file a claim, the insurance company won't pay you and you will be left to pay for the damages out of your own pocket. Once the claim is filed, the auto claims adjuster must step in and evaluate whether your claim is legitimate and figure out just how much (if anything) the insurance company will actually cover.

Auto Claim Adjuster Basics

The key difference between auto claims adjusters and other claims adjusters is that they make a point to learn as much as they can about cars. That way, they are better equipped to understand the finer points of the claims. Another important difference between auto claim adjusters and some of the other claim adjusters is that they deal with both property claims and liability claims. Like other claims adjusters, they possess extensive understanding of state insurance laws and standards. Auto claim adjusters can be divided into three categories, based on the interest of the party they represent:

  • Staff adjusters - adjusters that are employed by employed by an insurance company or self-insured entity on permanent, full-time basis.
  • Independent adjusters - adjusters that act as independent contractors, so they are not employed by any insurance company in particular. Rather, they work for several insurance companies simultaneously.
  • Public adjusters - adjusters that you can hire to handle your claims. While adjusters that fall into the preceding categories work for the companies and thus try to defend the interests of their employers. However, public adjusters place the emphasis on your needs.

What Auto Claims Adjusters Do

In order to evaluate the merits of your claim, auto claim adjusters conduct extensive investigations into the accident. Ultimately, they aim to determine who was at fault and how much the insurance company must pay for the vehicle damage. Depending on the policy, the fact that you are at fault may allow them to deny you coverage altogether.

Auto Claims Adjusters' investigations involve an examination of the site of the accident, interviews with people who were either involved in the accident or observed the accident . They may also visit the auto body repair shop where your car was taken in order to examine the damage for themselves and consult with the mechanic.

Once all the data is collected, auto claims adjusters file reports. The insurance company will then use that report to decide whether to accept or reject your claim and, if the company accepts it, how much it will cover you for.

Negotiating the Amount of Coverage

If you feel that the amount the insurance company is willing to cover you for it's enough to take care of your expenses, you have a right to challenge it. However, it is a complicated process. You are required to conduct your own investigation and collect your own evidence. More likely than not, you will need to hire a lawyer. The auto claims adjusters will work with you to try to come up with a compromise. Depending on your situation, accepting it may not be a bad idea, but this is something you should decide for yourself.