Six Ways to Ensure That Your Insurance Claim Doesn’t Rip You Off

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You may have had to go through the insurance claims process once before, or you’ve been in an accident. These six tips are from professionals who can help you ensure that your claim is paid. You may have heard some of these tips before but may not have realized why.

1. Take pictures of the scene and try to remain calm. Not everyone has a camera with them everywhere they go. However, almost everyone has a cellphone and can take photos that are good enough. Photograph the cars, the road, and any obstructions. If possible, take pictures of their passengers. This is regardless of whether the accident was caused by you or the other driver. This preserves evidence and helps prevent fraud. These photos may be needed later to prove who was responsible for the accident, and who was not. It is equally important to get the information of the other person. A good photograph of a license plate can prove involvement, and a simple tag trace can provide a wealth information.

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2. Call the police. It doesn’t matter how kind the other driver appears to have been at the scene. Things could change. When they see the potential impact on their insurance rates, people aren’t always willing to take responsibility. Do not let minor damage discourage you. You cannot see underneath your bumper or any other parts to determine what kind of damage is there. Even for minor accidents, the police will file a report and preserve evidence. The police will keep a record at the very minimum of your call.

3. You should immediately report the accident to your insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. He may later change his mind. Your insurance company is your advocate. You pay your premium. Your insurance company should be notified immediately if you are at fault. This will ensure that things don’t spiral out of control. Insurance companies expect you to cooperate in the investigation into an accident. Otherwise, coverage may be denied.

4. Do not rush to settle a personal injury case. It is worth waiting. Insurance adjusters also have monthly settlement goals, just like car salesmen set monthly quotas. They may settle your claim by putting a little more money aside at the end. A personal injury case that is not settled within the time limit will cost the insurance company more in terms of bank reserves and adjuster salaries. An insurance company must set aside money to cover each claim. This can reduce investment revenue opportunities. They want to settle. They may tell you they will close your claim without paying if you don’t settle the matter or get back to them within a set time. You have until the statute expires in your state before you can close your claim. The adjuster will only have to reopen the case when you are ready.

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5. Take the time to read every line before you sign. Even the forms that an adjuster says are standard can be modified to suit your needs. Even if you have a small claim, medical authorizations do not need to contain years of previous medical records. Settlement releases should contain only the details of the part being settled. Releases for personal injury claims do not have to mention property damage and vice versa. This is also true for settlement checks.

6. Be aware of your limitations. There are many people who can handle the insurance claims process. If you are grieving, seriously injured or dealing with an unprofessional adjuster (most are professionals, but they are human just like us), you may need to get help. This will allow you to focus on healing physically and emotionally. It is then time to ask for the assistance of a friend, family member, or an attorney.