After a serious vehicle accident or hail storm, your auto insurer totals your vehicle. The settlement amount which they offer is comparatively low than you actually deserve. So, it is quite important that you should have a general idea on how to negotiate your insurance claim with the car insurance company. Also, you should be aware of the fact that insurance provider usually try to reduce the amount that they pay to the policyholder as claim settlement.
The following points will help you negotiate an auto insurance claim in a quite fair manner:
- Raise The Insurance Claim At The Earliest: If you are involved in a severe car accident then you should definitely intimate your car insurance provider immediately. In this manner, you can recall all the details of that unfortunate event accurately and update the car insurance company on the property damage/injuries.
- Keep Important Records In Mind: Make sure you keep all the records after an accident. The file should contain all the medical bills & records, police report, car repair slips, or anything else that you seem worthy of being collected. If you have all the required documents readily available, you can utilize all of them during negotiations. As your car insurance company will want to see these documents as well as policy report so organize all of them in advance. In addition to this, it may be worthy to collect pre-accident maintenance slips if you have recently brought new car parts or upgraded any new features in your car. This will help you to prove the condition of your vehicle especially if it is older.
- Determine The Claim Amount That You Stand To Receive: Before sending a letter to your car insurance provider regarding the claim, assess the total amount of damage that your vehicle has incurred and expenditures that are associated with the accident. While calculating the claim account that you stand to receive, keep the following things in mind:
- The cost of replacing your vehicle or getting it repaired
- The cost of repairing third-party property that was damaged due to an accident
- The amount spent on your medical care
- If you are permanently disabled or you require a long-term medical assistance then determine the amount for the same
- Send A Demand Letter To The Car Insurer: After calculating your claim amount, you should send a demand letter to your car insurance provider. You need to write about the facts & circumstances of the accident, describing your injuries, all the damage incurred by your car, the treatment you got, or health issues due to an accident. After mentioning all of this in a precise manner, you should include the amount of money you demand for all the loss you suffered. Please note that your car insurance provider would most probably provide you a claim account that is comparatively lesser than you’ve demanded. So, you should ask for compensation that is about 25-75 percent more than what you would agree for. In addition to this, it is essential that you have complete documentation as it will support everything in your demand letter. Without this, you will not get the amount you actually deserve.
- Don’t Accept The Initial Offer: While it may seem quite worthy, avoid accepting the first offer you are provided. When the insurance company makes the first offer, it may be very low. Even it may be a tactic from the car insurance provider to check whether you are actually aware of the actual worth of the claim or not. Also, it is a quite common practice for insurance provider to negotiate and they start their negotiations by offering you the lowest rate to the table first. So, don’t fall for this tactic especially it is very low that you believe to be a reasonable offer. In such cases, you should ask the insurance adjustor to justify that why the claim amount is very low. Try to respond to each of the points in the reply letter with all the proof of your expenses and tell them the reasons that why you can’t accept this offer. However, you can also make a counter offer yourself that is reasonable enough & one that your car insurance company is willing to accept.
- Highlight The Points The Favour You: While negotiating on your auto insurance claim, you should ideally highlight all the strongest points. For instance, if you are suffering from any serious injury that disrupt the quality of your life, discuss this also that how this will affect you & your family financially as well as emotionally. If you have missed employment due to serious injuries then focus on the loss of income. Be sure that your insurance provider is well aware of all the problems you will be witnessing as a result of the accident. This will only show that you are demanding for the fair compensation.
- Know Your Acceptable Settlement Range: After finding out that how much your claim is worth, just set an upper & lower amount that you are willing to accept.
- Take The Help Of An Attorney If Required: After negotiations, if in case you are still unable to get fair settlement, you may take the help of a lawyer who may file a lawsuit.
Over To You!
By considering all these above-mentioned points, you can successfully negotiate a new settlement and make the most of your insurance policy.