After a car accident, you’ll want to file a claim with your insurance company. However, it’s important to exercise caution when your insurance provider contacts you. You could hurt your claim or forego the settlement you deserve if you provide too much information or take the first offer that comes your way.
Be wary of the following tactics
Insurance companies will employ several different tactics to settle your claim quickly. Be skeptical when:
- They seem overly friendly: The person you speak with may come across as sympathetic. While it’s true that they may personally care how you’re getting along, this is also a common ploy to get you to volunteer information. Remember, insurance companies only exist to make a profit. They are not operating with your best interests in mind.
- Requests to make a recorded statement: It’s likely your insurance adjuster will ask you to agree to a recorded statement. They may tell you that this is the normal process for adjusting your claim. However, any recorded statement you make can be turned against you. Resist these types of requests.
- Asking for extensive medical records: Your insurance company will ask you for records of your medical treatment for injuries you suffered in the crash. While there is nothing wrong with this on its face, be careful of authorizing a deep dive into your medical history. Insurance providers may go back years to pin any complications on a previous injury or medical condition.
- Offering a quick settlement: It’s tempting to take the first settlement offer. After all, you want to move forward with your life. However, an initial settlement offer is usually less than you need, and you deserve. Don’t take an offer unless you’ve discussed your options with an attorney.
Remember that insurance is a business. They are there to serve their interests, not yours.
Protect your interests when dealing with insurance companies
If you have no choice but to engage with your insurance company or with the company of the other driver, protect your interests. Stick to the facts and don’t volunteer any more information than what is asked of you. Never admit to anything resembling fault on your part. The most effective way to protect yourself is by seeking help from a legal professional. A legal professional understands how to negotiate with insurance companies. You will also have a skilled advocate for your interests.