If you are involved in a car accident, you may have to file a claim to get compensation from an insurance company. However, this process is not as straightforward as it seems. Most insurers will want to pay the least amount possible to cover your damages since approved claims are a loss to them. After submitting your claim to the insurance company, a claims adjuster will verify your claims and determine the amount you need to repair your car.
If the claim is first-party benefits, you will deal with your own insurance company. If it’s third-party benefits, that means you will file a claim against another party. It is important to know the true value of your car when negotiating with an insurance company. In cases where the initial offer is lower than your own estimate, you will need to negotiate with the insurance company. This doesn’t mean you have to file a lawsuit, as it is best to avoid the cost and process of continued litigation.
Determining Your Car’s Value
To determine if you are getting the right settlement or not, it is important to know the true value of your car. There are different methods to determine your car’s value. You can consult your own mechanic or various mechanics till you get an accurate estimate. Also, there are websites that can help you find the true value of your car. Once you know the actual value of your car, you can then negotiate with your auto insurer if the figure does not match the estimates you have.
Before you negotiate with the adjuster or the insurance company, make sure to have a desired amount in mind and the minimum amount you can accept.
Negotiating with the Insurer
During the negotiation, the claims adjuster or the insurance company will provide arguments to justify their offer. At the same time, you can also bring up counter-arguments. Your car’s age will matter during the negotiation process.
If your car is old and you need new parts for repairs, this could serve as a valid argument for the adjuster, as new parts could make the car more valuable than it was before the accident. To navigate this argument, you will need to prove that the repairs will increase the value of your car. If not, then you may have to accept the original settlement.
Another factor to consider when negotiating your car’s value is the state where the accident occurred. The pay-outs from claims against third parties depend on the at-fault party. This also depends on the state where the accident happened. In some states, there is a pure contributory fault law which states the driver must not have any fault (0% fault) to receive compensation. Other states may require less than 50% fault. Most insurers pay compensation based on the percentage of fault in the accident. If your estimates are far above the original settlement, you can consult an attorney.
Getting the desired value for your car insurance claims becomes easier with the right insurance agent. If you need help with your auto insurance coverage, contact our experts at Family Financial Insurance Group today! Based in Mesquite, Texas, we offer multiple coverage options for all your unique insurance needs.