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How to Deal with Angry Policyholders and Disputes

No job is perfect, and you’re bound to have hard days no matter what you do for a living. By definition, the position of an insurance adjuster is a stressful one. You spend your days assessing the damage and negotiating payouts with policyholders. So, even when everything goes according to plan, the work is hard. However, what happens when things don’t go your way? What happens when angry policyholders dispute your assessment? Well, then you’re dealing with conflict and should go into problem-solving mode.

Managing Conflict

The primary skills you need to resolve the conflict are assertiveness and cooperativeness. The goal isn’t to defend your assessment or work — the goal is to make sure all parties involved get a favorable outcome. 

If you’ve ever dealt with angry policyholders shouting in your face about how unfair you are, then you probably think that effective conflict resolution strategies are almost close to magic. But, don’t worry — there are tricks to handling conflict that will make dispute resolution simple. 

Here are the best ones.

Don’t Get Angry Or Defensive

The most important trick you can use is not being defensive. Sure, getting in a dispute and having someone critique your work or even question your expertise can be challenging. However, the only proper way to respond to conflict is by remaining calm.

It’s perfectly understandable to be dealing with angry policyholders. After all, they are experiencing a difficult time. Sure, they have no reason to be mad at you, since you’re only doing your job, but there’s also no reason for you to respond to that anger. Keep your cool.

Know Your Facts

Don’t assume you’re right. You probably are, but if you get a dispute, don’t automatically declare that the policyholder is in the wrong. Instead, go over your work again. 

You need to have all the necessary facts about the case on hand and know them by heart. Only like that will you be able to:

  • Figure out if you’re actually right
  • Take an authoritative stance regarding the matter at hand.

Check Your Work

If you’ve followed our previous advice, you probably documented everything thoroughly. That will come in handy when you have a dispute to solve. A potential conflict is much easier to manage and handle if you have documentation that backs up what you’re saying.

Don’t Rush Things Just to Get Them Done

To resolve disputes effectively, you have to let them unravel at their own pace. If you’re rushing to get things done and get rid of the dispute as quickly as possible, you probably won’t find a resolution that works for everyone.

Allow Them to Talk and Show Them You’re Listening

Active listening is essential. The other side needs to know they’ve been heard. So, show them you are listening and paying attention to what they are saying. 

Show Empathy but Don’t Take Sides 

Empathy is a crucial skill for an insurance adjuster. However, as much as you care and feel the other side’s pain, you can’t let those emotions sway your decision. If the dispute doesn’t have a leg to stand on, then you have to hold your ground. But, do it with compassion.

2021 Training

Getting into a dispute is never pleasant, but it happens even to the best of insurance adjusters. If you apply our conflict resolution strategies, you shouldn’t have any problems coming to a solution as successfully and efficiently as possible.

If you’re at the very beginning of your insurance adjuster career path, we have your back. 2021 Training Practical Adjusting courses have plenty of information you’ll need to become the best insurance adjuster you can be!


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