Watch out for the Insurance Adjuster

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Picture this: You were injured by another driver who failed to obey the safety traffic rules and now you may suffer a permanent traumatic injury. Having to deal with this experience could be overwhelming and having to deal with the next step might push you over the edge.

The other party’s insurance company will often employ the use of an “insurance adjuster” in order get you to admit fault or part fault. Should they be successful, your claim might be denied or greatly reduced.

The insurance adjuster will usually be very vague in identifying themselves as who they actually represent. They will take advantage of the fact that you are still in shock and start asking you questions about the event, with the objective of building a case against you.

Here is what you should watch out for:

1. It is unclear who they represent or why they are calling you

The “insurance adjuster” will present himself or herself as working for the insurance company xyz. It could even be your insurance company. But they will never mention who they are representing. Because most injury victims are still in shock and traumatized, they will automatically assume it is their insurance broker trying to clarify a few things.

2. The line “This call may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes”

In order for your call to be admissible as evidence in court, the insurance adjuster or an automated message will inform you that the call is being recorded. If you agree, then the next words you speak will become evidence, in compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

How you can protect yourself

  1. Ask who they represent.
  2. If they fail to identify themselves as representing you, then hang up.
  3. If they claim to represent you, but you are still unsure, then ask for the person’s extension and call them back using the 1-800 number found on your insurance policy.

Keep in Mind: You have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company. They also have a duty to act in your best interest. The same cannot be said for the other party’s insurance adjuster.

Norm Assiff

Norm Assiff

Norm was awarded the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association (ACTLA) President's Award for 2012--awarded to a member of the Alberta bar who has distinguished himself or herself by his or her contribution to the profession or the community, the advancement of the law or their service to ACTLA. He has appeared at all levels of court in Alberta (Provincial Court, Queen's Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal) as well as the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Federal Court of Appeal.

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The information presented on this post is not legal advice. We encourage you to perform further research on the topics described here, and if you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our personal injury lawyers, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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