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How to negotiate a car insurance claim

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Motor vehicle accidents are over in a matter of seconds, yet victims in California spend weeks, months, and sometimes even years dealing with the aftermath. One of the most time-consuming tasks after a mishap is negotiating a settlement. However, with some preparation, you can make the process go more smoothly.

Deal first with the insurance agency

The first step in getting settlements from motor vehicle accidents is to read your policy, or have a trusted person go over it with you so you fully understand what is in the policy. Look at the declaration page to learn about your coverage and payment limits. Have a number in mind when petitioning for a settlement and determine a minimum and maximum payment range after you have tallied hard receipts and estimates from healthcare providers. You’ll want to aim high to cover your expenses but keep your range private from the insurance company.

Once you have this range, write a demand letter to the insurance company, asking them to address the amount needed to cover damages. Attach documentation supporting your claim. The insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your case with the intent of settling your claim quickly for as little as possible. Don’t be surprised if the first offer is low, as most are. Be persistent but patient and keep asking your insurance company for their reasons for their offers.

What can I do if the claim settlement is unsatisfactory?

Frequently, insurance companies will keep delaying the claim settlement by repeatedly giving you low figures, hoping that you will get tired of the negotiation process and throw in the towel. For these cases, consider taking your case to court to get just compensation. Make sure you have records of all correspondence with the insurance company along with all pertinent documentation.

More severe accidents may necessitate filing a legal claim against the insurance company, as well as against the driver who caused the accident. For severe injuries, auto insurance liability policies are often insufficient to cover medical payments, so you can consider filing a claim seeking compensation for living expenses, lost wages, and more.