How To File A Insurance Claim?
As you file an insurance claim, it sometimes can get stressful, especially if you run into problems or you believe it isn’t being handled correctly. Some even report complaints about the insurance claims process.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), in 2012 a large number of complaints were filed because of the way a claim was handled. In fact, 21.73 percent of these reports pertained to delays and 15.29 percent to denials in the process.
However, other common complaints during the insurance claim process deal with underwriting, such as cancellations, along with policyholder service, such as questions regarding coverage. The following are some ways that could reduce the chance of experiencing a delay or denial when filing a claim.
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim
- First, make sure you have all of the necessary information and paperwork filled out correctly. When the insurance company has to request additional documentation or have you correct paperwork, it causes delays.
- Also, make sure you understand your coverage before you file a claim. This way, you know what is covered ahead of time and the damages you may be able to recover.
- The third tip is to keep track of all communication with the insurance company. Write down who you talked to, when the conversation took place and what was discussed.
- Also, know how to deal with the insurance company. Don’t admit fault, share too much information, agree to a settlement too quickly, or sign anything that you don’t understand.
The final tip is to protect your claim and your rights by consulting an accident attorney who can assist with the process. A Fort Myers personal injury lawyer can provide assistance if you run into problems with the insurance claims process, such as an unjust delay in the decision.
What happens when I make an insurance claim?
A victim may receive a settlement offer letter from the other party’s insurance company shortly after an accident. In order to get money and quickly move on, many people accept the offer but regret it later. Insurance companies may offer lowball offers in hopes to avoid lengthy and costly legal battles that can drain their pocketbooks. Contact a personal injury claim lawyer at Wolf & Pravato in West Palm Beach to go over any offer.
Don’t Agree to an Insurance Settlement Too Quickly
One reason you should hold off on accepting the initial offer is that the insurance companies are basing their offer on your current injuries. In the event of a car accident, injuries may not manifest until weeks or months later. Those headaches can turn out to be the result of a concussion that requires further treatment, for example. Until all appropriate medical tests have been performed, any offers should generally not be accepted.
Once a settlement offer letter is accepted, it cannot be modified or canceled. If you accept an initial settlement and then discover the presence of an injury requiring further medical treatment, you won’t be able to go back and file a new claim to recover compensation for the new medical treatment.
Dealing with the Insurance Adjuster’s Attempts to Reduce Insurance Claims Values
Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be an unpleasant experience. According to the Florida Crash Records Database, 338,112 Florida residents were involved in car accidents in 2010.
Many of these accidents likely involved insurance claims. Insurance adjusters strive to keep money in the company’s pockets, so they may attempt to find any way possible to deny or lower the value of your claim. Don’t deal with the insurance company alone. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can offer advice on dealing with an insurance adjuster.
When You Filing Insurance Claims Remember This!
When filing insurance claims and dealing with an insurance adjuster, the most important thing to remember is to watch what you say. Even things said in most casual conversations can be fodder for a lowball offer.
For example, when the insurance adjuster asks how you are feeling, our usual reaction is to say we are “fine,” no matter how much pain we are in. However, “fine” to an insurance adjuster means that you really are not in pain and therefore you could be accused of dishonesty.
Do Not Undermine Your Injuries
If the adjuster asks how you are feeling, honesty is the best policy. Do not undermine your injuries. Do not tell the adjuster that you feel fine and probably won’t see the doctor. This is because if the pain worsens and you do have to see a doctor, you may be labeled as exaggerating your injuries.
Remember, your settlement depends on the severity of your injuries, so if you tell the insurance company you have little to no injuries, your offer may be close to nothing. It is best to contact an injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale before talking to or attempting to deal with the insurance adjuster.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
If the adjuster asks to record your conversation, do not agree to do so until you have spoken with an injury attorney.
Insurance companies want to settle your claim as quickly as possible. They typically do not want you to consult with lawyers after an accident. They may try to get you to agree to an initial lowball offer soon after the accident. They may also ask you to sign a medical authorization or other paperwork.
However, you have the right to pursue legal action. Just politely tell them, “no,” and contact an attorney right away to file the insurance claim. Do not sign any documents or agree to any recorded statements without your lawyer’s approval.
Beware of an Investigation
If you have suffered a severe injury, you may be under intense scrutiny. Insurance companies often hire investigators to catch potential acts of insurance fraud. Therefore, it is important, to be honest with the insurance companies as well as your attorney.
For example, don’t say that you are unable to walk when you’re really suffering a relatively minor leg injury because if they have evidence of you walking and participating in normal, everyday activities, your case may be thrown out. The truth will eventually resurface, so be upfront about the extent of your injuries. Medical professionals will also need to validate your claim.
Overall, when filing insurance claims, be polite and honest but don’t share too much information. The adjuster is not your friend nor is he or she on your side.
Importance of Hiring an Attorney For Insurance Claim
Dealing with an insurance adjuster can be frustrating. An injury attorney at the law offices of Wolf & Pravato can provide assistance with the claims process.
Contacting an Insurance Claim Lawyer in Florida
If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, don’t feel pressured to settle quickly. Your settlement should provide you with fair compensation for the damages you incur as a result of the accident, some of which may not be evident immediately after the incident. Contact the law offices of Wolf & Pravato. Call us at (954) 522-5800 to discuss a settlement offer letter.