How Adjuster Arrives At Number For Settlement Offer

Negotiations for a settlement begin when the insurance adjuster has made the initial offer. How do adjusters come up with the figure that will be proposed at the start of negotiations?

The adjuster’s first steps

Get the facts; learn the story, as told by the policyholder, the person that is also the defendant, according to the claimant’s allegations. Obtain the police report, of the accident report. Study the claims databases, which are kept by the insurance company. The databases show whether or not a given claimant has submitted other claims in the past.
Ask for relevant documents, such as the medical bills, the proof of earnings, the copy of the latest tax return, and a proof of property damage.

Next, the adjuster prepares to make the first offer.

Determines the value of the claimant’s case: Adjusters today often use software, in order to obtain a number that represents the pain and suffering. That number must go into an established formula. By using that formula, adjusters manage to determine the value of each assigned case.

Understand that the formula does not give an adjuster the number that should be used when making the initial offer. Instead, that calculated figure becomes the starting point for further calculations. The adjuster’s considerations indicate when and how some percentage of the result from using the formula should shape the decision, regarding the amount of money to be offering with that initial proposal.

Adjusters use a low percentage of the formula’s result, if the individual that submitted the claim has failed to retain a lawyer. In contrast to that approach, adjusters use a higher percentage of the same number, if an attorney stands ready to represent the claimant/client during the negotiations.

Adjusters’ challenge

The approach outlined above came into existence before the appearance of men and women that could offer paralegal services. A paralegal does not have the same status as a lawyer, but does understand how to negotiate with an adjuster. Sometimes claimants tell the insurance company that it needs to speak with the adjuster, in order to reach an agreement on a settlement. Why does that request create a challenge?

Smart paralegals keep reminding the insurance adjuster that the insurer does not want to deal with a personal injury lawyer in Mount Prospect, someone that could represent the claimant in a courtroom. In that way, a paralegal’s comments can work to alter an adjuster’s planned approach.

Those comments could push the adjuster to increase just a bit the monetary value of the proposed compensation the one that gets offered, as the initial bid from the insurance company. Paralegals can also guide claimants, regarding why or how to change a specific figure in their head, namely the lowest acceptable offer.

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