After experiencing a car accident and filing your claim with a claims adjuster, you look forward to receiving a fair settlement offer fast. You may be surprised to learn that chances are your claims adjuster's first settlement offer could be too low. Why would that be?
One of the reason's why your claims adjuster's offer may be too low has to do with the adjuster's job expectations. Your auto insurance company expects your claims adjuster to settle claims within a certain dollar range. In order to save the company money, the adjuster will often make an offer to you from the low to middle end of your settlement range. Their goal is to settle your case as quickly and cheaply as possible. It may be in your best interest to turn down her first offer, even if it sounds fair to you.
Countering Your Adjuster's First Offer
What if you have no idea of what dollar value to place on your claim? After all, you probably don't have an insurance background. You might have no clue about how cases are evaluated to come up with fair settlement numbers. If your claims adjuster has made an offer to you that sounds good why shouldn't you just take it? Because if it's the first offer, chances are that it's still too low.
Try making a counter demand for more money. Be reasonable. For example, if your adjuster has offered you an $8,500 settlement, don't ask for $100,000. Don't ask for some outrageously high amount for your settlement just because you know the adjuster is probably making you a low offer. It won't help settle your case any faster. Counter the adjuster's offer just enough to begin negotiating a fair price.
Negotiating Your Own Claim
Negotiating your settlement offer on your own is only advised when you are dealing with small settlements. If you have a realistic idea of what your claim is really worth, draft a demand letter including all documentation including any reports, medical bills, receipts and proof of any lost wages to support your case. Close your letter with a demand for a settlement and a time limit for a response.
Make sure that you have thoroughly researched the accident. You should know how much it will cost to repair your vehicle. If the insurance company wants you to use a certain repair shop, investigate the shop thoroughly before you agree.
Document all your medical bills, receipts, estimates for repair, and days off from work. Even if your company paid you for those days, you have the right to request reimbursement since you had to spend your vacation days recuperating from an automobile accident.
Making a request for more money is one thing. But it is not generally advisable for policyholders to handle their own claim, especially if it involves a significant settlement without the proper representation. Take your time to negotiate wisely if you are handling the claim on your own. If it is a large amount of money, it may be wise to hire an attorney.
Working with experienced professionals you trust is essential when dealing with auto insurance claims. Ask friends for referrals, browse the Internet or start making phone calls to make sure that you've got the coverage you need and a company which meets your needs.
Choose A Reputable Auto Insurance Company
Be sure that you shop around and not only find the best car insurance rate but that you choose a trusted auto insurer. These auto insurance companies have a trusted reputation for a reason. Performing research and comparing auto insurance companies is a must before making a decision on a policy