Last month we were running a commercial on the radio that talked about people who deal with adjusters directly. I pointed out that when they give legal advice the adjuster is doing something illegal and practicing law without a license. Besides that, whose side do you think they are on? So it was interesting that I got the following email:
You ad on KQRS is totally false — as a insurance adjuster for XXX, our estimates must pass the state rules / regulations – our estimates are open for review at any time and at no time do we ever tell an insured not to contact a lawyer..
I love comments because it means our message got to someone and they felt it enough to say something to us about it. So I respond:
There are a number who do. Do you adjust auto claims?
I get this response:
you may want to re-word you advertising…..because StateFarm, MetLife just to name a few have very stringent rules as to writing estimates and these are always scrutinized by higher ups at the company not to mention the State board and the independent adjusters I know have to follow the same guidelines if they want to work for XX or XXX…
I get some specifics this time:
You want me to name companies? Clearly there are companies that train their adjusters to keep consumers away from lawyers and tell them that. That is what the ads addresses
Again do you adjust auto?
That must have brought us a memory because then I got :
this campaign sounds just like the election — you're covered because there may be a few bad adjusters so you lead the public to believe all are bad to win them over
So I pointed out :
No, like everything else I know a number of good companies and adjusters I think try their best. But they have a job and they don't represent the consumer.
So we finished with
consider this closed…..just wanted you to know you are misleading….
So I guess they were done.
The exchange was interesting because
A) Maybe they are sensitive about how they talk to represented people.
B) They know other adjusters do this and they don't want to be painted by that brush.
C) They heard the word "adjuster" and felt unfairly attacked.
I went back and listened to the ad a couple of times and it clearly points out that it is illegal for an adjuster to give legal advice. When they advice the insured in a way only a lawyer, should they are violating the law. If this adjuster doesn't do that, I'm very glad to hear it and the ad wasn't about them at all.
So if you are unrepresented, what is the adjuster saying to you? Did you bring up talking to a lawyer and they went into a whole bunch of reasons not to or offer you a better deal?
The regulation that the emails talk about are helpful, but unless each of these conversations is taped and reviewed, what help does the overview have?
Do you think any of these adjusters will say "Hey wait a minute, you should ask for more"? or "hey you forgot about this extra protect"? To be fair, there are some of them who will tell the consumer that they would be better off to at least talk to a lawyer. Usually, that is in situations where there is a claim against another insurance company.
You want someone who knows the law, is allowed to give you advice, and will be on your side. Contact an experienced lawyer who does this type of work. Most of all, keep the comments and emails coming.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.