Who is Your Car Insurance Adjuster and What You Need to Know

Most vehicle owners buy car insurance with the hope that they’ll never actually have to call their insurance company and use the full coverage they’ve purchased. That’s because any such phone call to an insurance company means that an insurance adjuster will arrive to inspect the damages, and this is perhaps one of the most unpopular occupations in the country. There are a few good reasons that most drivers fear an insurance adjuster, but also a few ways to ensure that this intimidation and fear doesn’t get in the way.

What Insurance Adjusters Do — and Why They’re Intimidating

After you’ve been in an accident, you will immediately need to call your insurance company and report any damages to your car as well as any injuries you’ve suffered because of the accident. In response to this phone call, they will send an insurance adjuster to your home — or wherever the vehicle is located after the accident – in order to inspect the damages and assess the amount of money it will take to repair or replace the vehicle.

Most drivers fear this part, as insurance companies typically send out one of their in-house representatives whose job is largely all about reducing the amount of money the insurance company has to pay for repairs. They’ll ask invasive questions, assuming that many of the dents, dings, and scrapes were pre-existing or the fault of the owner — and therefore not covered.

Because of this, customers often view insurance adjusters negatively. They are the people whose job it is to shield the company from over paying. Unfortunately, that can sometimes translate into making you pay large out-of-pocket sums to repair your vehicle.

How to Work With, Rather than Against, Insurance Adjusters

You can avoid the intimidating process of dealing with an in-house insurance adjuster from the first day you choose your insurance company. While many of these companies do use their own adjusters who they keep on their own payroll, an increasing number of insurance companies are contracting independent insurance adjusters in order to provide an unbiased assessment of a vehicle owner’s post-accident balance sheet.

Look for an insurance company that uses these independent insurance adjusters and you’ll almost guarantee a smoother process in the event of an emergency. They receive no benefit from the insurer for lowering estimates or damage costs.

Take Pictures and Know Your Options

Always take pictures of your vehicle’s damage immediately after the accident — and perhaps supplement them with pictures of your vehicle when you first began your policy with your present insurer. Having lots of information on hand is the best way to make sure you receive fair treatment the maximum protection your insurance policy offers.

Insurance adjusters will calculate two numbers: one that estimates the price of a high-end garage’s repairs to your vehicle, and another that estimates the cash value of the repairs at a local garage. If you’ve recently been in an accident, now is the time to consult your local mechanic and get his expert viewpoint on the cost of repairs. This is another way of being prepared, informed, and defeating the intimidating insurance adjustment process.


Many drivers regard insurance adjusters with fear for good reason. Their job is not a pleasant one, and the price tags they calculate can be even more unpleasant. Be informed, prepared, and ready to talk about your vehicle, and you’ll make the best of this process.

Leave a Reply