The average person doesn’t think that filing an insurance claim will be risky. Insurance companies invest millions of dollars to make them seem less intimidating and profit-driven than they really are. Between their catchy jingles and advertised promises of quick and friendly service, people making claims typically expect that the company will treat them respectfully and pay them an appropriate amount given the coverage available and the losses they suffered.
No matter how friendly your insurance agent is or what brand the company tries to establish through advertising, the insurance company will seek to minimize losses by reducing how much they pay on individual claims.
The right approach to insurance company interactions can help you maximize what you get for your claim. How can you protect yourself?
Don’t admit that you were at fault
If the police officer responding to the crash already allocated responsibility to the other driver, you might think that anything you say about the crash won’t matter.
However, apologizing or taking partial responsibility for the crash when communicating with an insurance employee could have a direct impact on the success of your claim or how much compensation you ultimately receive. Oversharing is a risk, as is falling victim to leading questions.
Document everything you can
Using your phone can be a great way to help show what really happened in a car crash. Taking photos and recording video footage showing damage to your vehicle can help you prove that you were not at fault and how extensive the damage truly was. Retaining medical bills and letters related to your time off of work because of your injuries will also help you get the compensation you need.
Be wary of initial settlement offers
The insurance company will only pay, at most, the maximum amount of coverage paid for by the driver at fault for the crash. However, they would prefer to pay far less than that if they can. Especially in a situation where you attempt to negotiate a lump sum settlement, you need to anticipate that the insurance company will be aggressive in its approach to the process.
From countering a low initial settlement to having help fighting for an appropriate offer, you may need to prepare yourself for negotiations if you hope to receive an appropriate amount of compensation given the injuries and property damage losses you’ve suffered.
Knowing how to handle the insurance company after a motor vehicle collision can help you limit the financial losses you suffered because of a crash.