Insurance companies get a lot of negative publicity — and injury victims often start the entire claims process with an adversarial mindset. A lot of accident plaintiffs automatically assume that every insurance company adjuster is out to “rip them off” or devalue their claim unfairly.
If you’re an insurance adjuster, is there anything you can do to protect against a bad faith insurance claim? Absolutely. As an insurance adjuster, you know that loss mitigation can take many forms — including preventative measures. Here are some suggestions you may be able to use:
- Take your time and evaluate all the evidence. The last thing you want to have to admit is that you didn’t properly evaluate some evidence. Even if you know from the start that the evidence isn’t going to be important, don’t file it away without the appropriate documentation.
- Document the reasoning behind your offer. Some injury victims are going to be unhappy with the settlement offer you make. That’s normal. However, you can make an offer harder to dispute by carefully laying out exactly what factors went into the decision.
- Keep the insured party informed. Good communication can ease several potential frustrations. Take the extra time to return phone calls and keep the insured up to date on what is happening.
- Make use of experts whenever necessary. An occupational expert or vocational expert can sometimes help clarify where a claim should stop. You should also make use of your available legal counsel whenever necessary.
No matter what you do, you can’t always avoid a problem. Sometimes, the insured party or plaintiff will simply be angry about the entire process or convinced that you’re biased against them. If a bad faith claim arises, there are options for a defense.