Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • When you file a claim following a car accident, your claim will be thoroughly investigated by an adjuster
  • It’s the claims adjusters duty to ask questions, review evidence, and ultimately to determine the party at fault
  • Anyone who’s in an accident should take pictures and gather information while at the scene
  • If you want to protect yourself against false information, it could benefit you to install a dash camera in your car
  • The adjuster can use footage from the dash cam to verify your accounts of the events leading up to the against

Insurance companies have to investigate all claims that are made against a policy. This is true whether they’re paying the policy owner or a third party making a claim in an at-fault accident. Sometimes, it comes down to he said, she said, and the insurance has to decide who they believe.

If you’re in an accident, your car is stolen, or someone keys your car in an empty parking lot, the adjuster will go down a list of questions to try and look for signs of fraud and also to determine if coverage applies. It’s part of the claims process with every carrier.

It’s a lot easier to investigate a claim when there’s only one party to interview. When two or more drivers are involved, there are almost always going to be contradictory statements because each driver has a different perspective on what led to the collision. Both parties may even believe theirs is the true account. A video provides an objective piece of evidence, but many drivers don’t keep them on hand.

No matter how you feel about dashboard cameras, make sure you’re prepared for an accident by having the proper insurance in place. Compare quotes today by entering your zip code above.

Since it’s difficult for drivers to admit fault, adjusters have to rely on evidence to make their final decision. Having a dash cam can be a big helper.

What does a claims adjuster do?


Adjusters are claims representatives who are assigned to the following claims:

  • Property damage
  • Physical damage
  • Bodily injury

They are employed by an insurance company and their role is to settle claims for as little as possible while still offering people with legitimate claims a fair sum of money to repair all of the damages. When adjusters are assigned to a case, it will generally affect your insurance premiums at the next renewal. Any time an insurance company has to assess and pay a claim, they may consider that added risk.

Adjusters are there to assess the damage based on company guidelines. Their findings may determine if the drivers involved were safe drivers at the time of the accident. But their primary role is to determine how much it will cost to repair the car or replace it and how those two numbers balance out.

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What questions will an adjuster ask you after an accident?

A loss can only be thoroughly investigated by asking the right questions. The adjuster might not speak with you right after the loss, but once the claim is filed and the basic details are sent over to the adjuster, you’ll get a call where you’ll be asked to make a statement.

This statement will be recorded to protect all parties involved.

Having all of the information on hand can be very helpful when you’re making your statement. Knowing what types of questions you’ll have to answer might help you get everything that you need at the scene of the accident.

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Common questions you’ll be asked after accident claims include:

  • What was the date and time of the accident?
  • What was the location of the accident and the weather conditions at the time?
  • Did you get the name of the driver and the name of the registered owner?
  • Who is the car insured through and what is the policy number?
  • Did the police report to the scene of the accident?
  • Do you have the officer’s badge number and the police report number?
  • How did the accident occur? What actions did you take to avoid a collision?
  • Were there any passengers in any of the vehicles?
  • Was anyone hurt and did anyone go to the hospital?
  • What direction were you heading, and what direction was the other driver heading?
  • Were any of the cars damaged? Where was the damage sustained?
  • Were there witnesses and can the witnesses verify your version of the events?
  • Do you have pictures of the scene of the accident or pictures of the damage?
  • Are you being treated for injuries that you sustained in the accident?
  • Are you missing work because of an injury?

What is a dash cam?


When you think of dash cams, you might think of the audio/visual devices that are installed in patrol cars to record encounters that police have with suspects.

These dashboard cameras are mounted inside of the vehicle so that they can continuously record what happens in front of a vehicle. They may be installed in squad cars, but they are also very useful in personal cars.

If you’re not convinced that you need to spend the money on a dash cam, you have to consider how installing the device in your car can protect you. There are so many different models that vary in price, but any model that records quality footage can help with the following:

  • Identify who hit your car while it was parked in a parking garage and unattended
  • Showing that a pedestrian purposely jumped in front of your car in an effort to file a fraudulent injury claim
  • Document your road trip for future memories
  • Capture unexpected and unbelievable moments
  • Showing exactly what happened prior to an accident and post-accident to avoid the nonsense that comes when people try to blame one another

Can insurance adjusters use footage that’s found on dash cams to investigate accidents?

Having the footage that supports your account that someone did an illegal U-turn can be helpful, but you have to verify whether or not the footage is admissible.

You’ve probably heard accounts where people have played audio recordings in court just to be told that the recording isn’t evidence because of state laws that protect a person’s privacy.

There’s no guarantee that an insurance company will be able to use the footage on your dash cam to prove that you’re not at fault. It’s better to have more evidence, but there’s no official dash camera policy in place at any of the five leading insurers.

When asked how the footage is considered, agents from Geico, Progressive, Esurance, Nationwide, and State Farm answered:

  • Most companies will accept dash cam footage but will classify it the same as photos taken after an accident
  • Footage in the cam doesn’t hold more weight unless the video captures the cause of the accident
  • Many times, individual adjusters are given the power to make a judgment call on how useful the footage will be when negotiating fault

If you’re found to be liable for an accident that you didn’t cause it will affect your rates. By simply installing a camera powered by a 12V battery, you could get the evidence that you need to protect yourself against dishonest drivers.

If your adjuster wasn’t helpful, it may be time to shop around. Look for a new policy from a new carrier by getting instant online car quotes. Use our free comparison tool today!