Getting A Fair Auto Insurance Settlement

on September 25, 2012

If you’ve been in an accident on the road that has left you free of injury, but has done quite a bit of damage to your car, you may need some help in dealing with the insurance company. While it is not always the case that an insurance company does not want to see you receive a fair settlement, insurance companies are ultimately in the business of saving money. This means that they may offer you less that you deserve in compensation for your damages, and if you don’t take the time to do some research, it’s a bad deal you may very well be happy to accept.

In order to maximize your chances of receiving a fair settlement, it’s typically a better idea to deal with your own insurer than the other driver’s. While the driver at fault should technically be the one responsible for filing the claim with his or her insurance company, it’s important to remember that another driver’s agent isn’t in business to help you. In fact, you may find that the other driver’s insurance company is hesitant to help you, wants you to agree to recorded telephone conversations, or is insistent upon gaining information such as your Social Security number. It is a wise idea not to agree to any of this.
Both your insurance company and the other driver’s are looking for your Social Security number in order to pull information relating to any past claims or injuries.Instead, if you’ve suffered injuries as a result of the auto accident, simply submit the paperwork and medical records requested to the insurer yourself, with your Social Security number redacted. They are not entitled to this information, and typically seek it to find grounds to avoid paying a claim.When you file a claim with your own insurance company, the first thing that will happen is that your case will be assigned to an adjuster. It is important to remember that the adjuster may want to help you, as a client, but his primary focus is on saving money. He works for the insurance company, and wants you to agree to a settlement that may be less than you deserve.

One of the best ways to fight this, in addition to submitting your own medical claims, is to insist on using your own repair shop. An adjuster will typically recommend a repair shop who gives a lower-than-average estimate on what it will take to fix your vehicle. You’re under no obligation to accept this estimate, nor to have the work done by their suggested repair experts. In fact, it’s a good idea to get an assessment and estimate from your own mechanic, and provide the insurance company with this information.

Finally, if you’re having difficulty getting results or feel as if you’re getting the run-around from your adjuster or the insurance company, it’s a valuable idea to contact an attorney. There are numerous lawyers who specialize in handling these types of cases, even when personal issue is not an injury, and merely having a lawyer intervene on your behalf may be enough to get you the type of settlement you deserve.

Found in: Insurance
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