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Auto Insurance Settlement: How to Negotiate with an Insurance Company

Updated: February 8, 2018

Even if you have the best auto insurance policy in the world, it is no good if you cannot get the right auto insurance settlement.

The most important moment relating to auto insurance is the time when you contact the provider to request compensation.

Some accident claims are straightforward, because it is clear that one party was at fault and the other deserves compensation.

But other auto insurance settlements are not easy, especially in cases where it is hard to prove fault.

Here are some tips on how to negotiate with an insurance company and get the best settlement after an auto accident.

How to Settle an Auto Accident Claim

A lot of people have this notion that auto insurance companies will simply hand over the money being requested after an accident. While this is true in some cases, there are plenty of times when an auto insurance settlement is necessary.

Instead of getting angry at an insurance company, it is best to react calmly and follow certain steps to ensure you always get a fair settlement.

Auto insurance settlements are required when the insurance company does not agree with the assessment you have made about the accident. This may relate to deciding what party was at fault for the accident, how much damage was caused and whether you deserve compensation for that damage.

Instead of getting angry at an insurance company, it is best to react calmly and follow certain steps to ensure you always get a fair settlement.

Start by being attentive at the scene of an accident. If there are witnesses, get their names and numbers. Take pictures of both vehicles and call the police if necessary.

By being proactive at the scene of an accident, you can ensure you are one step ahead in your attempts to get a fair compensation agreement with an insurance company.

Start the Insurance Claim Settlement Quickly

Do not wait a week or two before you start the insurance claim settlement. An auto insurance settlement is best resolved in a rapid manner. Contact the insurance company the day of the accident, or the next morning.

It is important to remember that an insurance company is looking for any opportunity to give you less money.

Do not underreport damage do your vehicle or possible injuries incurred because of the accident. If you underreport at first and change your mind later, this will raise suspicion with the insurance company.

It is important to remember that an insurance company is looking for any opportunity to give you less money.

If you start the claims process promptly and are clear on your message regarding damage and medical expenses, this makes it easier to get a fair result in the settlement.

If you have any reason to believe that your case may become complicated, you can also speak with a lawyer about the auto insurance settlement. Attorneys are not required for cases where accident fault is easy to prove, but they can help you mediate with the insurance company if your valuation for compensation does not match the company’s.

Send a Detailed Letter to the Insurance Company

When you start the claims filing process, do not rush anything. The last thing you want is to send an incomplete report to the insurance company.

The only way you can ensure you get a fair settlement is by including every single detail relating to the accident and your incurred expenses.

If you leave out any details that are relevant to the filing, the insurance company will use this fact against you in the settlement. Remember that the insurance company is looking out for their best interests. They are not looking to give you a “fair” amount of money.

The only way you can ensure you get a fair settlement is by including every single detail relating to the accident and your incurred expenses. If you had to see a doctor three times because of injuries sustained in the accident, include documentation of all three visits.

Similarly, include every single picture you took of the vehicle after the accident, any statements you can get from witnesses, contact information for those witnesses and details about the accident itself.

Being able to describe the accident in detail during your report will help in an auto insurance settlement. If your version of events matches those told by witnesses, you are in even better shape.

Keep Accurate Records

Keeping accurate records is one of the most important things in relation to an auto insurance settlement. Even if you have submitted your claim to the insurance company, do not throw away those documents. Keep everything in one file so that you do not misplace any important pages.

If your insurance company sends you any documents in relation to this process, keep those original copies as well.

Keeping records is a sure-fire way to ensure that you can challenge any claims made by the insurance company at a later date. For example, you want to hold onto pictures of your car post-accident, pictures of the other party’s vehicle, statements by witnesses, police reports or anything else related to the accident.

If your insurance company sends you any documents in relation to this process, keep those original copies as well.

While it is not common, you may find yourself in a situation where the insurance company changes their story about how the process went. This is especially true if the auto insurance settlement becomes a difficult fight.

By having the right documents, you can prove or disprove any of their statements during the auto insurance settlement. If you do not have those documents, you are at a disadvantage.

Do Not Accept the First Insurance Claim Settlement Offer

Even if you think that the first insurance claim settlement offer is a very fair one, you are not obligated to accept it. This is especially true if you were not at fault for the accident, and you are dealing with the other individual’s insurance company.

Do not think of yourself as being greedy when you refuse the first settlement. This is a mistake a lot of people make.

The first offer from an insurance company in an auto insurance settlement is always lower than they are willing to pay. By increasing your demands slightly after their first offer, you can get more money for vehicle damage and/or medical expenses in relation to the accident.

Do not think of yourself as being greedy when you refuse the first settlement. This is a mistake a lot of people make. All you are doing is asking the insurance company for money you deserve.

This money will be used to pay for repairs to your vehicle. It will also compensate you for medical expenses or lost wages because of injuries you sustained in the crash.

By refusing the first offer, you show the insurance company that you are serious about getting a fair settlement offer.