After being involved in an auto accident, your insurance company will offer you a financial settlement to pay for covered property damage, liability or injury. While the process often goes smoothly, there are times when your insurer may offer a settlement that you believe is too low. In these situations, it is often necessary to negotiate with the insurer to attempt to obtain a larger settlement.
Steps to Negotiating an Insrance Settlement
Consult with an attorney that specializes in car accidents to determine if the settlement you are being offered is fair. Be sure to give the attorney all paperwork associated with the claim.
If proceeding without an attorney, send a letter to your insurance carrier that will serve to support the amount you are seeking for the claim. Be sure to send any additional documentation you have obtained.
Contact your adjuster's supervisor to seek a higher settlement. The supervisor possesses the authority to increase the initial settlement amount if you can present a convincing case.
If you are still unsatisfied with the settlement offer, request to have the dispute resolved. Two common processes are arbitration, where the dispute is settled by an impartial third party, or mediation, where a third party attempts to help the two sides reach an agreement.
If you still feel you are not being offered a fair settlement, file a complaint with your state's insurance department. You can locate its office by visiting http://insurance.freeadvice.com/doi.php.
If all else fails or you are not comfortable handling the negotiations yourself, hire an attorney to negotiate for you, or as a last resort file a lawsuit against the insurer on your behalf.
Chris Joseph writes for websites and online publications, covering business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from York College of Pennsylvania.