Filing a claim is far and away the least fun part of owning insurance. Well, either that or paying for the insurance. Whether you have car insurance, homeowners’ insurance, or renters’ insurance, filing a claim is simply not a very fun process. But unfortunately it needs to happen anytime you want your coverage to kick in.
When you file a claim, you’ll meet with an insurance adjuster. An insurance adjuster is a person who inspects what happened, looks at the evidence, listens to your story, and essentially determines how much money and coverage you should receive. They’re important people, and they’re also fair. They won’t try to trick you, or trick the insurance company; they’re just there to find out what happened, and determine your payout.
To help them do that you’ll have to answer several questions, and it’s very important to avoid saying the wrong thing. Here are seven things you should never say to an insurance adjuster.
1. It was my fault
Admitting fault is a surefire way to make sure that your coverage will be low, or nonexistent. Not admitting fault doesn’t mean you’re sticking it on someone else—no one will be hurt by you doing this. It just keeps your claim from being dismissed by an insurance adjuster.
Even if you feel like you were at fault, there are often other things that transpired that clear you from being at fault in the eyes of an insurance adjuster. Don’t throw away your case from the start.
2. I’m pretty sure I know what happened
One thing you should never do is speculate. If you’re sure of what happened, tell the insurance adjuster. If you’re not sure what happened, just tell them you’re not sure. That’s totally acceptable. But always avoid language like “I think,” or “I’m pretty sure,” as those point to you not knowing what happened.
3. Things are totally fine
Many people involved in car crashes say that they’re fine, which can result in the claim being finalized. Then, the next day, they might notice discomfort, go to the doctor, and find out that they’re more severely injured than they thought. There’s no rush with these things. If an adjuster asks if you’re OK, tell them you’re not sure, and that you need to check with a doctor first.
4. I didn’t see it coming
It’s common for drivers involved in car crashes to say that they didn’t see a collision coming. Some variation of “they came out of nowhere” is quite common. It may be true, but that also sounds like you’re admitting that you weren’t paying full attention, and an adjuster will take note of that.
5. Yes, you can record my statement
Don’t ever let an insurance adjuster record your statement and put it on record. You should always talk with a lawyer before having a statement on the record.
6. Any exaggerations
It’s always tempting to exaggerate, especially when retelling the story of something dramatic. But while it’s probably OK to exaggerate a story when telling your friends and family, you always want to avoid doing so with an insurance adjuster. An exaggeration can look an awful lot like a lie. Speaking of which…
Never, ever, ever lie to an insurance adjuster. If an adjuster is able to prove that you were lying, you could lose your entire claim and not be covered. It’s never worth it, even if the lie feels small.