What is the Job of a Claim Adjuster?

An auto insurance claims adjuster investigates and handles auto insurance claims. They are assigned multiple claims at one time, and they deal with the claimants and any witnesses available. Put simply, the adjuster will have to decide if the claimants should get paid. They gather information such as photographs and documents that they have received from the claimants. They check hospital and police records and inspect the property damages in order to determine what the auto insurance provider is required to pay. Claims adjusters may handle property or liability claims. Property claims involve damages to buildings, and liability claims involve personal injury or property damage to a third party. A claims adjuster that handles both of these claims is called a multi-line adjuster. In addition, they investigate and make payments to the victims for their damages, when they qualify. Any claim that is not settled is usually brought before a court. The adjuster may have to appear in court, where he or she will present the facts and the paperwork to the judge.

The adjuster is required to follow company policies and procedures. For example, if a storm caused an automobile accident or damage to a house, the claims adjuster would investigate the facts and interview the claimant and any witnesses available. He or she would consult the hospital and police records, and inspect the property damage in order to determine how much the insurance agency should have to pay. The adjuster may consult with professionals, such as construction workers, engineers, lawyers and physicians, to get an expert opinion. Further, the adjuster will gather tapes or written statements, documents and pictures, creating a report based on the information he or she has gathered. If the adjuster determines that the claim is legitimate, he or she will negotiate with the claimant and settle the claim. If the claim is questionable, the adjuster will work with the witnesses and lawyers to defend the insurance company, and he may have to appear in court.

An adjuster’s job duties includes investigating liability, filing paperwork, dealing with policyholders, responding to auto insurance claims promptly, assessing damages, researching and detailing every aspect of insurance claims, negotiating with service providers for the cost of fixing the damages, and offering a settlement to the insured party after creating a claim report. Many times, adjusters are required to work 50 hours each week or more. Sometimes, they work at night and on weekends. This is because when it comes to investigating claims, an adjuster has to be able to work not only with client schedules, but also the schedules of any professionals or other people involved in the investigation. As demanding as a job as it can be, someone’s got to do it.

What is Accident Forgiveness and Who Gets It?

Accident forgiveness is a new policy offered by some auto insurance companies. It’s designed to give a ‘break’ to people who are otherwise good drivers and haven’t had any problems. These people have clean driving records, and they haven’t given their auto insurance companies any reason to doubt them. But, when these drivers get into an accident and it’s their fault, their good history with the insurance company buys them a little mercy when it comes to their insurance rates. So, the agency ‘forgives’ them for causing an accident. It pays the claim, and the driver’s rates don’t go up. However, this is usually a temporary offer. If the driver causes another accident — usually within a set period of time — the forgiveness will no longer apply and the rates will start to go up.

If you have a good driving record, accident forgiveness can be a great thing in the event that you make a mistake and cause an accident. In some cases, drivers who file numerous claims, or fail to report claims for an accident at all, will have their insurance revoked by an agency. With accident forgiveness, you won’t have to worry about your insurance company dropping you, and you won’t have to be concerned about your auto insurance rates going up. Worrying about increasing insurance costs can be stressful in the event of an already traumatic accident experience. Not having to deal with those worries is a lot of pressure off of a person who thought that they might not be able to pay his auto insurance anymore — or that they wouldn’t even have any auto insurance coverage after the company paid out on the claim.

If your driving record isn’t perfect, you generally won’t be eligible for accident forgiveness when getting an auto insurance quote because your history shows that you’ve already caused at least one accident. However, if your record is spotless and there aren’t any tickets or accidents on it, it can be a wise decision to sign up with an insurance company that offers accident forgiveness. When doing so, make sure to find out if it is applied to your insurance policy automatically, or whether you have to be insured by the company for a certain amount of time before that particular benefit is available. Even if you think you’ll never cause an accident, it’s still a good idea to have accident forgiveness. It’s also nice to see your good driving rewarded in the event that you make a mistake.

It’s unfair from a logical standpoint to charge the same rates to someone with one accident as you would to someone with a history of them. Accident forgiveness can help keep that unfair rate change from happening to you.

What Does “At-Fault” Mean and How Does it Affect Insurance?

If you’ve been in an auto accident, whether you were the cause of that accident can have a lot to do with what kind of auto insurance rates you may be paying in the future. An accident will result in an auto insurance claim, and if you’re found to be “at-fault” in that claim, meaning you caused the accident, your insurance company will have to pay for the damages to your car and to the other person’s car. If there are injuries, your auto insurance company is also responsible for medical bills up to a certain dollar amount.

An auto accident is never enjoyable, and neither is an auto insurance claim, but they are facts of life, and they happen to almost everyone at some point. The best thing is to be as prepared as possible by having good quality auto insurance with high coverage amounts from a reputable company that you know will be there for you. Being at fault in an insurance claim can have other repercussions, as well. You may end up with points on your driver’s license, have to go to traffic school, and will likely see your auto insurance rates go up. If you are found to be at-fault, your provider can also cancel your insurance policy. Luckily, most auto insurance companies won’t do this for one auto accident. If you have a history of driving problems, though, that accident could cause a cancellation. When this happens, you need high-risk insurance — a type of coverage that can be quite expensive. After this, another auto insurance claim could make you almost uninsurable — at least for a price that you could afford.

The best thing to do is simply never to cause an auto accident, but that’s also not overly realistic. Everyone has the potential to make a mistake or a bad judgment call, and those can easily result in an auto insurance claim. Most people who are at fault in an auto accident don’t mean to be. They just got distracted, thought that they had time to make their turn, or honestly didn’t see the other car. Often the weather is bad or it’s dark outside, or both. However, being at fault can cause you serious problems. If you’ve been found to be guilty of causing the accident, and if there are other circumstances — like drinking, texting while driving, or some other obvious issue — a lawsuit is usually more likely, as well as potential criminal charges. Make sure, if you are found to be at fault that you work with your insurance company and the authorities. It’s a much better situation that way.

Rare Cars: Bugatti Veyron

The rare things in life come at a significant cost: The Hope Diamond, true love and the Bugatti Veyron are three. Assembled by hand in the Bugatti headquarters of Alsace, only 150 2009 Bugatti Veyrons will be produced — with the first 50 earmarked for existing Bugatti customers. True love and the Hope Diamond may be easier to acquire.

Though then number of Bugattis to be produced is limited, the options for each model make each one unique. The newest edition, The Grand Sport, a targa top edition, was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concourse in August of 2008. The first one produced was donated to charity and was auctioned for a cool $2.4 million. Production of this model began in March of 2009 with a starting price of $2.2 million. No matter your taste, as long as you have deep pockets, you may be able to drive a Bugatti Veyron into your garage — a big maybe. So many models, so many ways to spend your dollars, but so few available. The Bugatti Veyron is one of the rarest super cars in the world today.

One of the most unique Bugatti models is the Hermes Edition Bugatti Veyron FBG. FBG stands for “Faubourg” — the street where the famed house of Hermes resides. The interior of this model is a fashionista’s dream enrobed in bull calfskin leather. From the dashboard and the rear bulkhead to the leather-lined trunk filled with custom-made Hermes luggage, the Veyron FBG is seat candy of the optimum kind. At a catwalk price of $600,000, there are only two paint job options: none and chocolate Hermes brown. This price makes the paint for the Bugatti Veyron FBG more expensive than purchasing three houses on a block of many suburbs in the U.S. The interlocking “H” s in the updated grille and air intake add a little Hermes bling and recognition to the already over-the-top Bugatti Veyron FBG.

For optimum rarity, the Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang is the winner. With only five produced, owning one of these models is almost as rare as being struck by lightening. In direct contrast to the Veyron FBG, the Pur Sang has no paint job. It is described as “naked” in that the carbon fiber and aluminum body is unpainted. Even without paint, the nude Veyron Pur Sang is priced at $2.2 million. The Veyron design is enhanced by the simplicity of the dark carbon fiber and shiny aluminum two-tone contrast. It is artwork in performance, design and complex simplicity.

As one of the world’s rarest cars, owning a Bugatti Veyron, no matter the model, is the ultimate calling card of the privileged.

Assigned Risk Auto Insurance and Who Has It

A few speeding tickets, a collision, maybe a DUI conviction? One mess up too many and your insurance company will label you high risk, meaning your coverage could be canceled. If you face this issue, you are looking at an expensive problem. Almost every state requires drivers to maintain auto insurance; you do not want to be caught driving without it. If you lose coverage, find out if you can buy a new policy as a “high risk” driver. Many insurance companies offer these non-standard policies; they are expensive but cater to drivers with poor records. However, some drivers have besmirched their records so badly that the voluntary market will not insure them. If several companies turn you down in your quest, you have entered the world of assigned risk auto insurance.

Assigned risk auto insurance is a state-mandated insurance pool for drivers with poor records who cannot obtain insurance from the voluntary market. No state wants uninsured drivers on its roads, so it requires insurance companies licensed in the state to provide minimum coverage for high-risk drivers. The Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office (AIPSO) notes that all states have some form of assigned risk auto insurance. Each state deals with the particulars of its program differently. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), companies usually provide insurance to a state’s pool in proportion to the amount of business they do in that state. Once drivers enter the pool, they are assigned randomly to an insurer. The company will provide minimal coverage for three years, but it will be very expensive.

Many issues can land you in this situation: multiple speeding tickets, collisions involving property damage or injuries/fatalities, DUI/DWI convictions, lapses of coverage or poor credit. Young drivers, drivers of high performance sport cars or drivers of non-standard vehicles, such as RVs, also may fall into this category, but often are serviced by non-standard policies in the voluntary market. According to AIPSO, the assigned risk market has decreased as more insurers are creating their own non-standard policies for high-risk drivers. In fact, an AIPSO study cited the value of assigned risk policies in 2006 at only 1.2 percent of auto insurance premiums, but that still represents more than $2.2 billion.

When you join the state-mandated pool, you are in the land of “last resorts.” You cannot negotiate the amount you pay for your coverage. However, your rates are still based on the same variables as all drivers: your driving record, your age, what kind of car you drive, etc. During your “probation,” keep your record clean. After three years, you hopefully will be able to move on to buy a standard auto insurance policy on the open market.