Complaint 8 of 8 in “Offering Too Little Money”

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  • Insurance Carrier: American Reliable Insurance Company
  • State: NJ

Consumer Complaint:

My wife was seriously injured when a stool she used at a vacation rental house collapsed. This caused great pain and disability and terminated in her death. The insurance company’s inspector photographed the defective stool and said he saw the defect that caused it to collapse. The claims adjuster says that because the home owner was unaware of any defect she is not liable. He offered me $10,000 \”cost of defense\” if I will drop the claim.

Insurance Expert Answer:

This is a horrible situation, and we offer our condolences.

This is NOT anything that you should be dealing with on your own, and the claims adjuster is NOT your friend and is there to protect the insurance company and hold down its exposure. 

Surely the insurance company's adjuster will say that his company is not liable and he's making you a good offer. However, you should never trust any such determination ever made by an adjuster who is in an adversary position -- you need to have someone on your side who knows what he or she is doing and will be acting for you and your interests. 

Further, even if the adjuster was right -- and merely by the size of his offer I am certain he was wrong -- the manufacturer of the ladder and the retailer who sold it may also have liability.


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