Dealing with Difficult Adjusters – Useful Tips and Tricks
This article is inspired by a message I received from somebody on Facebook.
The person messaging me asked for some useful tips on how to deal and communicate with insurance and independent adjusters, particularly when they’re not being super professional or pleasant during inspections.
Naturally, as someone who is dealing with numerous different people on a day-to-day basis, I’ve had the opportunity to come across various adjusters – and situations – throughout my career.
That’s why I’ve decided to share a list of 7 tips and tricks that I most commonly resort to when dealing with other adjusters.
Be nice right off the bat
The easiest way to ensure that you have a positive interaction with the other adjuster – and the majority of them will be positive – is to just be nice from the get-go.
There really is no reason for anything less than pleasant and respectful interaction as both of you are basically doing the same thing.
Both you and the field adjuster, for instance, are simply there to assess the situation and note down anything you deem as relevant.
Since field adjusters don’t commonly deal with the “desk portion” of the claim, the best way to ensure a positive interaction is to be polite and let each other do their job.
Desk adjusters, on the other hand, are the ones that are more commonly a bit more difficult to deal with. One of the reasons why desk adjusters may initially come off a bit more unpleasant could be the fact that some of them expect the PAs to be more combative.
However, once they see they’re met with nothing but kindness, most of them will respond the same way.
Don’t be judgmental
Another important tip to keep in mind is to try and not judge the other person, even if they’re not being super nice or pleasant right off the bat.
You need to understand that we’re all humans.
As such, our emotions and mood can be heavily affected by things that don’t necessarily have to do anything with our jobs.
So, by not being judgmental and trying to understand where the other person is coming from, you may have the opportunity to turn the entire situation around.
For instance, if you receive a call from a desk adjuster about a claim while you’re out with your friends enjoying a happy hour, and the adjuster is anything but polite, try to understand where they are coming from.
Unlike you, they’re still sitting in their artificially-lit cubicle on a Friday afternoon. Of course, this in no way justifies their attitude but it does help bring more light to it.
Try to relate to them
Similar to the previous point, you should also try to relate to other adjusters you come across with.
Like I mentioned before, field adjusters are more or less doing the same job as you are. So, if they are a bit stand-offish try to talk to them and find a topic you both can relate to.
Tell them that both of you are out there for the same reason and the same goal – to assess the damage, make note of it, gather the necessary documentation and file a claim – nothing more and nothing less.
Additionally, chances are that some of you worked as a desk adjuster in your career. So, try to remember those days and use that knowledge to try and relate a bit more to the person on the other side of the line.
If they don’t reciprocate as expected, at least you can rest assured knowing you’ve been nothing but kind and respectful to them. Keeping your cool can be quite challenging, but it’s extremely important to try and remain as professional and respectful as possible.
Emphasize the fact that you have common interest
Another thing you can use in the efforts of making your whole interaction as pleasant as possible is the fact that both of you have a common interest – and that’s the insured.
The reason both of you are out there doing your job is the fact that the insured suffered some kind of loos or damage that needs to be covered as soon as possible.
So, instead of making each other’s jobs more difficult than they need to be, make sure both of you do your jobs as quickly and as efficiently as possible. That way both of you will be able to get your insurance claims out the door sooner, rather than later, which will only benefit your common interest – the policy holder.
Focus on the fact that you also have a common goal
Along the same lines, since both of you have a common interest, both of you will likely have the same goal.
The goal of both you and desk adjusters, in particular, is to get the claim settled as soon as possible.
For you, it will mean more time you can dedicate to your other insurance claims and clients. For the desk adjuster, it will mean less time that needs to be spent on a single claim.
Aside from this, the sooner the claim gets settled, the sooner your client will get paid. And the sooner your client gets paid, the sooner you get paid.
So, it’s always a good idea to try and work towards this common goal. Sure, it will sometimes require both you and the other adjuster to compromise a bit, but your client’s interest should always be your main priority.
Trust your instincts
Another important thing to keep in mind is the fact that you always need to trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you that things are not unraveling as they should be, you need to trust that feeling and try to turn the situation around.
This is particularly important if you feel like the situation is getting more and more heated with the possibility to escalate into something worse.
The ability to recognize this type of scenario and act upon your instincts is something that will come with years of experience. But it is also something that will help you protect both yourself and your client from any potentially unpleasant situations.
Take control of the situation
Finally, if things do happen to escalate and the situation you’re all in becomes negative and unpleasant, do know that there are still things you can do.
First of all, you can pull the other adjuster to the side and let them know that neither you nor your client feels comfortable with the way they’re acting. If they don’t seem to understand the issue or even don’t seem to care, you have every right – and even the responsibility – to ask them to leave.
In case a similar scenario plays out whenever you’re doing the inspection, make sure you contact their supervisor immediately and have the claim reassigned.
Of course, even though it can sometimes be quite difficult, make sure you keep your cool and remain as professional as possible.
In most cases, dealing with other adjusters – and particularly field adjusters – is quite positive and professional.
However, tricky situations can sometimes happen so you need to make sure you know how to act.
These are just some of my tips and tricks I can share with you guys. Do make sure you leave your experiences and ideas in the comments below.
It’s time to take full control of your claims. Of your business. Of your life.
A community can help you get there faster. It can offer support during these tough times. Inspiration. Guidance.
Together, we can get you to where you want to be.
What are you waiting for?