When you’ve been in an auto accident or experienced a house fire, there’s always a certain level of shock involved. When police, fire, insurance adjuster or other authority figures are involved, people tend to make statements and speculations that can have a negative impact on their claim. There are some things you should never say to an insurance adjuster or other official.
Never say you’re sorry. It implies that you were at least partially at fault. Common phrases to avoid are “I didn’t see him,” “I’m sorry” or “It was my fault.” Telling an insurance adjuster that you forgot to do something and similar statements are admitting you’re guilty and liable. Wait for an official investigation to be concluded to determine who was at fault.
Don’t Deny Injuries
Don’t assume the absence of bloody wounds means you didn’t suffer an injury. You’ll be feeling the effects of adrenaline, a hormone that’s effective in masking symptoms. The effects of some types of injuries aren’t immediately evident. Don’t tell an insurance adjuster that you’re fine, don’t need a doctor, or that the injuries haven’t affected you that much. Your condition can deteriorate and prior statements will cast aspersions on your injury claims.
Never discuss your injuries with an insurance adjuster and never sign a release to let them access your medical records. They’ll be trying to see if they can classify an injury as a pre-existing condition to reduce payable coverage or deny the claim.
Making assumptions, statements or judgements about what caused a vehicle accident or house fire will be held against you later. You’ll have to cooperate with an insurance adjuster, but you can’t answer questions to which you don’t know the answer. It’s perfectly fine to tell an insurance adjuster you don’t know – traumatic events happen quickly and your recall can be faulty.
Never agree to make a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster. You’re not obligated to do so. Your recorded statement will be used as the basis for reimbursement, medical coverage and other elements of policy coverage. Pieces of the statement can and will be taken out of context if it can save the insurance company money.