Negotiating With Insurance Agencies

After filing a claim with your insurance agency after an accident, you will typically be contacted by a claims adjuster to discuss details on your insurance policy and accident claim. The adjuster assesses your plan’s deductibles, coverage, and other details along with details from the crash and repair expenses to determine your compensation. Adjuster’s often attempt to minimize the amount the insurance company has to pay out, which usually results in settlement offers that are too low.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your adjuster. If you feel you are being underquoted (if you’re unsure, it’s best to seek an attorney), you may counter offer with a higher settlement in a demand letter. In order to approach the negotiations most effectively, it’s best to follow a general plan of action.

Beginning Negotiations

Once you receive your initial settlement offer from the adjuster, you may decline and counter the offer with a professionally worded ‘demand letter’. Like most bargaining scenarios, you’ll likely receive a counter offer from the adjuster that more closely meets your expectations. This process can go back and forth several times before reaching an agreement. If you feel as though you’re not getting anywhere you may want to consider some tips below.

Pre-Negotiation Tips

For any bargaining exchange, knowledge is essential. Knowing what you’re responsible for, what you’ve agreed to, and all your options will help keep you from being underquoted.

  • Determine Your Costs – What is it going to take to be reimbursed for your costs? Keep track of all your expenses as a results of the accident.
  • Get Legal Representation – If you feel as though you’re being taken advantage of, consistently under quoted, or the process is being drawn out, then an attorney may be necessary.
  • Read Your Policy – It is important to know what agreement you’ve made with your insurance company. Knowing your deductibles, coverage amounts, and other details in your declaration page will help in determining a fair settlement amount.

Mid-Negotiation Tips

During the negotiation, there are a number of things you can do to speed the process along or boost your final settlement amount.

  • Legal Representation – Attorneys are well versed in insurance negotiations. Knowing when to accept or when to withdraw from a negotiation will be critical during the exchange. Additionally, in the event that the insurance company is significantly underquoting your claim, an attorney can help you file a lawsuit against the agency.
  • Speak to Supervisors – Your claim adjuster has bosses that he or she must get approval from before adjusting your claim. You may be more convincing that the second-hand account of the accident and its details.
  • Being Proactive – Don’t continually wait for adjusters to contact you. Gather any information required quickly, and stay in contact with your adjuster. Not only will this show that you’re organized and knowledgable, but your persistence may help pull the claim in your favor.