Posts Tagged ‘Dealing with an insurer ICBC’

Don’t Take It Personally When Dealing with an Insurer

Adjusters tend to be suspicious of claims; or they appear to be.  Though I do not believe the incidents of fraud as as high as insurance companies would have us believe, some adjusters have later found they have been misled by people making claims.

When dealing with ICBC, or another insurance company, keep in mind that they work for an insurance company; not you. Their first duty is to the insurance company. Their second duty is to the person who caused the accident – to pay out as little as possible on their behalf. They have no duty to you.

To add to this, most adjusters have had an experience where they paid out on a claim, but later find out something, that if they knew prior to paying out, would not of paid out as much, or at all.

What the adjuster is looking for is consistency. Are the medical records from the doctor and other practitioners, the witness statements – friends and employers, the car damage, and the statements given by the claimant all consistent? Do they make sense; are they supported by receipts and other documents?

The degree to which an adjuster checks and confirms facts varies. It is at their discretion and turns on the consistency of the information, and the way you come across. Some people appear straight forward and consistent. Others, through no fault of their own, appear “sketchy” or just don’t come across as accurate or truthful.

If the adjuster finds one inaccuracy, they will assume there are more. Examples are inaccuracies about working or income – working under the table (there will be another blog devoted to this, about treatment or doing exercises, about things you did or didn’t do.)

The most common inaccuracy is, “I can’t”. When people are in pain, they avoid pain by not doing things that make the pain worse. Often it’s not that they couldn’t do it, it’s just that it causes pain and they will pay for days. That’s not, “I can’t” but “if I do, I’ll pay for it later.”

Another common inaccuracy is saying “never” or “always.” ie I never had a headache before this accident. Even if true, that seems unlikely. If there is any evidence of just one headache, even ten years ago, you just lied.

The adjuster could come across as cold, disbelieving or even condescending. The best way to deal with this is to have as much supporting documentation as possible. Keep a diary setting out what you went through, what you missed and a list of your appointments. Obtain and keep receipts.

Though a claim against an insurer is very personal and about you, try to not take it personally.