After an auto accident, there are many reasons an insurance adjuster may not call you back. Here is a brief list of some common reasons insurance adjusters don't call people back:
1) They are a lousy insurance adjuster who doesn't want to do his/her job. Here at my office, there are a handful of insurance companies that are notorious for not returning calls, putting people on hold indefinitely, or they route every call to voice mail! You are not alone!
2) There are overworked. Most insurance adjusters are hard working folks who simply have too many files on their desk. At any given time, they might have about 200 files on their desk. Usually, this work load mandates they pay more attention to fires on their desk. Your file may simply not be a priority because they have too much work.
3) They did not get your message. Email and voice mail aren't fool proof. Email is usually a good way to communicate because you have a paper trail. Do both when you can.
4) There is no reason for them to call you. For example, if you don't have collision coverage on your car, your insurance company isn't going to fix your car (or rent you a car). Therefore, even though you contacted your insurance company to report an accident, there's really no reason for them to call you after that. If your policy doesn't provide any coverage for your injuries or to fix your car, then they're pretty much done. Don't expect them to call you if there is no real reason for them to do so.
5) You haven't asked them to actually do anything. Calling and reporting an accident doesn't necessarily mean anything. Sometimes clients tell me, "Yeah, I called the insurance company and told them about the accident. They haven't called me back yet." Then I ask, "Did you ask them to actually do anything?" The client replies, "No. I just thought they'd call me..." Well, here is the truth - in most cases, they will call you to inquire if you are making a claim etc. However, in some cases, unless you actually ask them to fix your car, or to help you with an injury claim etc., then some adjusters simply won't call you. In short, you haven't affirmatively asked them to do anything, and it certainly isn't in their best interests to move YOUR personal injury/property damage claim forward. That's your problem - not theirs. So if they don't call you back, ask yourself if you actually asked them to do anything.
Dealing with insurance is often a very frustrating ordeal. There's nothing fun about it. Clarity is key. If you want an insurance adjuster to do something, ask them to do it. If you have a question, ask your question - don't try to read the insurance adjuster's mind. Sometimes you may think the next step in your claim is painfully obvious, but it may not be quite obvious to the insurance adjuster. Truthfully, there are many excellent adjusters out there who can make things easier. If you end up with an excellent adjuster, be thankful!
Also, you need to ask questions and get clarity whenever there is any hint of ambiguity. For example, if they say, "Sure you can rent a car! Just send us the bill when you're done." You then need to ask the follow up questions: "How many days of rental will you pay for? How much per day? What kind of car can I rent?" Don't assume anything. Be clear and ask questions. Send an email follow up for confirmation. If they don't allow email, then fax them confirmation. Don't leave things to interpretation.
So if an insurance adjuster isn't calling you back, there are many reasons for that. Either they are incompetent, overworked, don't owe you a duty to act, or you simply haven't asked them to do anything. If you still can't get their cooperation, it would be a good idea to get their supervisor on the phone. Whatever you do, be civil and maintain your cool at all times. Civility and professionalism usually go a long way.
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by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,