You might be a business owner or operator, and if so, you may have a vehicle, or an entire vehicle fleet, that your company uses. If you make physical products rather than digital ones, you have to manufacture and ship them. You also might have business vehicles that you offer to high-level executives as a way to attract them to work for you.
If one of your business’s vehicles gets in an accident, it’s a little different than if you get in one when you’re driving a personal car. That’s because the vehicle and the damage it did might have a direct impact on your company’s cash flow.
For instance, you should know what to do if an insurance adjuster wants you to give a statement following an accident in a company vehicle. You should also instruct your employees on what to do if the same thing happens.
Let’s talk more about insurance adjusters and how saying the wrong thing to one of them can be a huge business detriment.
What Exactly Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?
If you’re dealing with an insurance adjuster, you should know precisely what their job is and why they want to talk to you. The insurance adjuster works for an insurance company. That provider covers the car that your company’s vehicle hit or the one that hit one of your business’s vehicles.
The reason they want to talk to you and why they want you to give a recorded statement is so they can ascertain what happened. They’ll want to speak to one of your workers if that worker was driving the vehicle when the crash occurred.
However, that’s not the only reason why the insurance adjuster wants to talk to the vehicle’s driver and why they hope to get a recorded statement from them if at all possible. They want to trick you into admitting wrongdoing, even if what happened was not your fault. The other thing they might want is for you to say something that they can later use to downplay any damage or injury that occurred.
Why Would an Insurance Adjuster Act This Way?
The other driver’s insurance company adjuster wants you to pay as much money as possible for the damage they claim you caused, or else they want to pay you as little cash as possible if what happened was the other driver’s fault.
Insurance companies are not nonprofits. They want to keep as much money for their executives as they can, and their adjusters are one of the weapons that they use.
How Can a Recorded Statement Hurt Your Business?
Let’s go back to the scenario where you or one of your workers got in an accident while in a company vehicle. If this happens, you always want to consult with your lawyer before giving an insurance adjuster a recorded statement. If your legal counsel tells you that you don’t have to provide one, then you shouldn’t.
That way, the adjuster can’t take a seemingly innocuous statement that you made and turn it against you. They often do that, and it’s something you want to avoid unless a court determines that you must give a recorded statement.
If you do give one, and the insurance adjuster latches onto something you said and uses it against you, that could mean you get less cash if the crash was the other driver’s fault. It could also mean that you have to pay more money if a court determines that you or one of your workers caused the accident.
You could have used either the money that you have to pay or the money that the other driver would have paid you for business-related expenses. You could have used it to pay for ad campaigns, R and D, to design a business app, or one of the other myriad things that companies need.
What’s the Bottom Line with Insurance Adjusters?
If you or an employee gets in a crash while driving one of your company’s vehicles, you’ll likely have to deal with an insurance adjuster, but unless your lawyer says you have to, don’t give a recorded statement.
Don’t treat the insurance adjuster like a friend. Remember that their interests and yours are directly opposed. You don’t need to be actively hostile toward the adjuster since they have a job to do. Just be very careful when you speak to them, or you could make an already difficult situation worse.