Whether you are dealing with USAA, Farmers, State Farm, Nation Wide, GEICO, Progressive or one of the many other auto insurance companies, they all have the same objective... to reduce auto claim costs as much as possible.
Auto insurance adjusters that work for these companies are highly trained negotiators.
Their primary job is to:
- Establish rapport and build relationship with you (it is easier to settle when you are best of buddies)
- Gain your cooperation (they know you want to settle your claim as soon as possible and they use this to their advantage)
- Get your agreement to the facts (the facts as they see them... these facts benefit the insurance company not you)
- Lead you step by step through their "claim settlement process" (that's right, they have a claims play book and if you let them run the play successfully... they win... you lose)
Insurance adjusters use this negotiating process to lead you away from your arguments, opinions and YOUR facts (like the value of your car) and towards the "facts of of your car accident claim" as they see them. The facts as they relate to your total loss car claim is getting your agreement to settle at the insurance company's actual cash value appraisal for your car. Which in most all cases (unless they messed up) is lower than what you can actually get paid for your total loss car claim.
The entire process is methodical and structured to get your agreement for the purpose of settling your claim quickly and for the lowest cost to the insurance company.
The truth is, their "settlement process" works and the result is the insurance company saves money... money they don't have to pay you.
Watch this video to get a better understanding of how insurance adjusters are trained to get you to settle your claim.
While I understand the insurance companies business case for needing a "settlement process", most people do not have the same level of experience or the tools (your own actual cash value appraisal) to effectively counter the insurance company's low value settlement offer.
The fact is, the insurance companies settlement process is so effective most people I have spoken to actually believe they got a fair car accident claim settlement. These were people who settled their total loss car claim using arguments, classified ads or the blue book.
It is actually very easy to get the insurance company to increase their cash offer by using these methods. Truth is, insurance adjusters expect you to complain, quote the blue book value or some car ads. This is why their initial offer is so low; so they can increase it a bit so you feel like you "won".
In reality they are happy, ready and eager to pay you just a bit more if it means settling the case and saving money paying your claim.
This may be hard to believe or you may think this won't happen in your case, but from my experience, people who did not negotiate their car accident insurance settlement with an actual cash value appraisal... almost everyone of them lost at least $2,000 to more than $7,000 on their insurance claim payout.
Remember, insurance adjusters are trained pros at making your believe you go a fair deal.