Filing Car Insurance Accident Claim: Negotiate Settlement and Damage Advice

January 27, 2012

Filing a car insurance accident claim means you are seeking a certain amount from another driver’s car insurance company to cover the amount for any repairs needed on your damaged vehicle. Often times, you have a certain idea of how much is needed to repair your vehicle. However, the amount you need or want does not necessarily mean that you will get it. In this regard, it is important to get the appropriate advice on how to settle the claim.

Insurance Adjusters and their Role

When you have already made all the reports and filed your claim, you are now in the process of an investigation. This is where the insurance adjuster comes in. An insurance adjuster is someone who will investigate your claim. There are several classes of insurance adjusters.

An insurance adjuster or claims adjuster who is a self-employed entity or is employed by an insurance company is referred to as a staff adjuster while an adjuster employed by the insurance company or an independent adjusting company is referred to as a claim service representative. There are also public adjusters which refers to an adjuster employed by the policy holder themselves and an independent who are not employed by any insurance company.

The role of an insurance adjuster in an accident claim settlement is vital because they are the ones who will essentially determine how much should be given to you. One of there main roles is also to investigate the claim by checking all the pertinent records like an accident report or medical record. They will also interview any witnesses aside from talking to the claimant. Insurance adjusters would also be sent after an accident claim to look at the damaged property to determine the extent of liability the insurance company should or can cover. 

Negotiating the Settlement

Once the insurance adjuster is done with their job, the negotiating process will begin. Generally, they will provide you with a specific amount which they think is appropriate to cover any damages on your vehicle. If you are satisfied with the amount then the claim process will be almost over.

However, if you are not satisfied with the amount you can always negotiate. There are two ways to go about negotiating a settlement. The first is to seek advice from a car accident lawyer and the second is to do it on your own.

If you prefer to do it on your own, it is recommended that you seek support from your own insurance company. Include all the documents and records you have gathered. It is also then important that you have an uninsured motorist claim provision in your auto insurance policy in case the other party is an uninsured driver.

On the other hand, it is also advisable to seek advice from a car insurance lawyer to determine if the amount you are requesting on your claim is reasonable based on the documents and facts you have. In case you have reached an impasse with an adjuster then you can always seek an alternative dispute resolution.

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