When your insurance adjuster is not responding
If you’re going through the insurance claim process, no doubt you have more bills and stress than you care to deal with. What with getting all the documentation your insurance adjuster is asking for, getting property damage fixed, possibly caring for physical injuries, and trying to make all the usual ends meet on top of it all, it’s no surprise that you’d want everything outside your control to go smoothly. But what happens when your insurance adjuster is not responding? Well, this can happen (and unfortunately usually does happen) for one of two reasons.
Your insurance adjuster may be busy
The first possible reason that your insurance adjuster is not responding is simply because they are overwhelmed. They are likely dealing with dozens of claims at one time, all with several contacts to be made and other things to do. An insurance adjuster has a lot on their plate, and their time must be respected. If this is the case, you’ll likely hear back within a few days.
In order to expedite the process, be very detailed in your communications with them. If you leave voicemails, start out by explaining who you are with your full name and contact information, and any other ways that will tip them off to who you are. Then, be very detailed in the reason for your call, either with a question you’re asking or information you’re reporting back (keeping in mind that providing extra information can hurt your claim). This way, if you have to play phone tag with them, you can still be providing/receiving the information.
Better yet, communicate with them through email. This is better because not only do you not have to be available at exactly the same time as your adjuster, but you also have a paper trail in case you need to bring an attorney onto the case. An email ensures that everybody is on the same page, and provides less of a chance for information to be lost in translation or simply forgotten.
Your adjuster may be manipulating you
The other possible reason your insurance adjuster is not responding is to put pressure on you. If this is the case, it is advised that you find legal representation. Many insurance companies will use this tactic to force you to settle for a smaller sum than they owe you. When you’re faced with medical bills, property damage, and can’t work, therefore are losing income, you need the insurance process to be a smooth one so you can pay your bills. Insurance companies know this, and often take advantage of it.
If you don’t hear from your insurance adjuster for weeks at a time, or even at all, this is likely the case. Your insurance company is waiting until your desperation hits, and is trying to manipulate the outcome of the claim. Be sure to document the times that you contact your adjuster, and how you contacted them. You’ll want to provide your attorney with all the information you can.
How long does an insurance adjuster have to respond
Now that you know what to do if your insurance adjuster isn’t responding, how do you know how much time to give them? In a perfect world, an adjuster gets back to you in 24 hours. This isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s unfortunately rarely the case. Keeping in mind all the tasks and all the claims your adjuster is currently juggling, you’ll have to use a little bit of judgement to decide whether your adjuster is busy or just not responding.
That being said, if they’re dragging their feet because they don’t want to pay your claim, it’ll be very obvious that your adjuster has no interest in getting back to you. You might not hear from them for weeks at a time, if ever. Keep in mind that they don’t have to. If they don’t return your calls, the only one who loses out is you. You don’t get paid. There’s no law that says every claim has to be paid, or one that dictates how quickly it should be paid.
If it’s clear that your insurance adjuster does not want to respond to you, find legal counsel. You will need to get the law on your side to force them to pay your settlement.