After being in an accident, the last thing you need is the stress of dealing negotiate with an insurance company. Your priority needs to be seeing that your injuries are cared for and getting medical attention and treatment required for you to recover your health.
If you have been unable to work because of your injuries, you could be at risk of suffering financial difficulties. Additionally, if this was due to a car accident, your car may require repairs. It may also prove challenging to get around without your vehicle.
When you file a claim with the insurance company, you expect a fair offer, sign on the dotted line, and use the money from your lawsuit to cover your expenses. However, you might discover that the amount you have been offered is not enough to cover your needs.
If you’ve never had to deal with an insurance claim or company before, then you may feel stressed after receiving this offer, unsure as to whether there are any options available to you. Should you try and negotiate with the insurance company or take the money and say thank you? Read on to find out.
Understanding First-Party and Third-Party Claims
After an accident, you may find yourself having to deal with your own insurance company or with that of the other driver. First-party benefits refer to those granted by your insurance, while third-party ones come from the other driver’s insurance.
Get Ready to Negotiate with an Insurance Company
As if having to deal with the aftermath of a car crash was not enough, you may now find yourself entangled with the insurance company. Your hope is not only to get the fairest amount for your settlement but to get them to pay you in a timely fashion.
Before you even begin a negotiation, it is imperative to know exactly what information they need and how you can maximize your chances of obtaining a successful outcome. Keep in mind that the insurance company loses money every time they have to pay out following an accident.
Before negotiations begin, do some research and figure out the actual value of your car. Have documentation or sources to prove your point. Although you will be dealing with a claims adjuster who will be the one to determine how much it will cost to perform the necessary repairs to your vehicle, if you know how much it is worth, you will start the negotiation from a stronger position.
Determining the Amount, You Expect for Your Settlement
To come up with a minimum amount that you would feel comfortable with for the damages, be sure to consider:
- The cost of your medical care and all related expenses such as therapies and medications.
- The income you are not earning by being unable to go back to work due to the injuries.
- The cost to fix or replace your car.
- The cost to fix or replace any personal property that might have been damaged during the accident.
- Any pain and suffering that you might be experiencing.
The first step towards a successful negotiation with an insurance company has a clear settlement amount in mind. So, decide on an amount that would be the minimum you would be willing to accept.
Don’t waver even when under pressure to negotiate and never reveal this minimum amount to the adjuster. If the insurer’s starting offer comes close to your acceptable minimum, you can always adjust accordingly.
Also Read: Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Ask for Justification
By getting an explanation as to why their offer is this low, you can respond to each one of their facts. Don’t waiver from your amount until you receive a counteroffer from them. Before you come down, ask them to give a written response to your demand letter. Once this is completed, you are ready to start bargaining for an amenable amount.
Emphasize Your Strong Points
When negotiating, stick to your strongest arguments and use them to support your claim. Stress the amount of pain and suffering you have been experiencing, even though it may be difficult to attach a specific dollar amount to these non-economic damages. If you cannot care for a child and affect your child or children, these emotional points could work in your favor.
Get the Settlement Amount in Writing
Once you and the insurance company finally reach an agreement, Hope Public Adjusters recommends that you confirm the terms you were offered and have them put everything in writing, including the amount and the date by which you can expect to receive the funds and settlement documents.