Who Makes the Insurance Offer?


Insurance companies frequently make low settlement offers based on their assumption that you will accept them unquestioningly. To prevent being pressured into accepting their first offer, get multiple estimates or research comparable cars available locally if it’s totaled.

Knowing how an insurance company determines a vehicle’s value can help you and your attorney negotiate a higher offer.

The policyholder

Policyholders (also known as owners) sign an insurance contract and assume full responsibility for making timely premium payments and updating it if their situation changes, such as moving or changing beneficiaries.

The policyholder can be confusing as it refers to multiple individuals at once; for instance, married couples who share homeowners insurance would count as policyholders and insureds. Therefore, you must understand what a policyholder means before entering into any agreements with an insurance provider.

Policyholders can include individuals, organizations, and businesses. While it is often assumed that policyholders act as the insured themselves, this does not always have to be the case; for example, a business partner could insure a colleague for the benefit of the company should something happen to them; if their death would only benefit themselves then that partner alone should be named as insured; otherwise multiple partners might benefit differently depending on their roles within the organization and won’t necessarily share similar needs.

The agent

Once an applicant has agreed to the terms of an insurance policy, they are typically required to send a payment for both policy cost and agent commission directly to the insurance company. Once they have confirmed receipt of payment, they then accept and enter it into their system. Insurance agents can sell policies from multiple providers (captive agents) or only from their representative company (captive agents). On the other hand, insurance brokers are considered independent agents since they compare policies from various insurers independently.

The insurance company

An insurance company creates products designed to take on risks and sell them profitably, typically organized into departments including claims, finance, legal, marketing, and underwriting. While underwriting may look for ways to say yes to customers while finance and claims try to find ways to deny coverage, insurance contracts typically have written terms binding the insurer to them; changes can be made during open enrollment or special enrollment periods such as marriage, losing job-based coverage or having a baby.

The adjuster

Whether it’s home or auto damage, an adjuster reviews what happened and assesses how much compensation should be awarded. They might inspect damages, interview witnesses or review police reports to ascertain what transpired and why. They will consider policyholder loss estimates and settlement terms when reviewing them.

When dealing with an adjuster, requesting written documents rather than verbally communicating is best. This will allow you to track what was discussed while helping prevent miscommunication and potential misunderstandings. Having receipts, photographs, quotes from contractors, and any other relevant information can be beneficial to deal with an adjuster effectively.

Insurance adjusters are specially trained to foster relationships with injured parties, so they’ll often call every two or three weeks to inquire about medical treatment and monitor progress. Although the calls appear caring, their true purpose lies elsewhere: the adjuster concludes this recorded interview that could change or void your claim altogether.

There are various kinds of insurance adjusters, including staff and independent adjusters. Staff adjusters work directly for an insurer, while insurance companies contract independent adjusters to handle multiple claims simultaneously. Some adjusters specialize in particular areas, like investigating liability.