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Car Valuation, Auto Appraisal Specialist

5 Steps to Negotiating with an Insurance Adjuster


Value My Car | Car Price | Used Car Values | Car Valuations

When you start to negotiate with an insurance adjuster you have one end goal: a fair settlement. Never go in trying to win more than what is fair. The purpose of the insurance company is to bring you back to how you were before an accident occurred. Below I will list the steps you should take when you approach anyone in the insurance field handling your claim.

Look and Listen

Usually the adjuster or the person handling your claim will be in a hurry to get you to settle. They have multiple claims on their desks and they want you out!! The first thing they are given is a range that they can settle your claim at. What will they do first? Low-ball.

Consider your claim.

If this is a Total Loss Claim, think about the maintenance you had on the vehicle; check your area and see what the other cars are going for. Then, make a list of the vehicles and make sure they’re close to your area and submit them to the insurance adjuster.

Diminished Value? Investigate and get a quote from a local dealership to back up your Diminished Value Claim.

Bodily Injury? Take into account the total costs and the hidden costs involved with your accident. Do not settle for the first offer, all of your bills haven’t come in yet!

Get Ready for It

Paperwork. I recommend you take the following documents when dealing with car valuations, also known as used car values.

  1. Police Report – this is important usually overlooked. Have a copy at hand just in case the adjuster tries to make you impatient and starts asking for random documentation.
  2. Blue Book, Red Book, NADA Values are important. Print them out, or PDF them into one document and have them ready.
  3. Possibly, depending on the claim, have a copy of the medical bills you have incurred so far

Go Overboard

Pick a number a bit far off from what you think is reasonable. Yes, I did mention you want a fair amount but just because you say you think you 1998 Toyota Corolla is work $25,000, it doesn’t mean they will give it to you. Pick an amount that is reasonably high…if that makes sense. It shows that you are not anywhere near the number they’re offering and that they need to take into consideration the real amount the vehicle is worth.

The Waiting Game

Don’t let them know you are pressed for cash. If you are, please don’t show it. It shifts the power out of your hands. Usually this is the hardest step, and you will feel like you’re being ignored or completely forgotten. Do follow-ups, but space them out so that they know they need to hurry up but you’re not too much in a hurry.

Other Options

I recommend getting an Automobile Appraiser to evaluate the Fair Market Value of your vehicle. The insurance company has a clause termed the appraisal clause in every policy that gives the auto appraiser or appraisal company the authority to handle or pursue your negotiations. The insurance company must utilize the appraisal to reach a desired settlement for all parties. This gives you the confidence that your claim is being handled in the best way possible.


I hope that if you follow these steps, you have an easier time dealing with the insurance company.


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