Handling an insurance dispute caused by a settlement offer

You’ve always paid your insurance premium on time, and you expect that, in return, insurance companies will handle your claims reasonably and quickly. After all, that’s the exact service that these companies provide to consumers.

Unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily your insurance company that will handle the claim if you get hurt in a car crash caused by someone else. Instead, you will likely have to file a claim against the other driver’s policy.

The worse your injuries and property damage are, the more critical getting an appropriate settlement in a timely manner becomes. When the insurance company responds to you and offers you far less than you expected in a settlement, how do you handle that situation?

Compare the settlement offer to the expenses you’ve incurred

Have you had to rent a vehicle to drive while you wait for repairs or possibly an insurance payout to buy a new vehicle? Did you miss work because the injuries you suffered were serious enough to keep you off the job? What medical bills have you already received, and what future treatments did your doctor recommend?

You need to be able to answer these kinds of questions before you attempt to evaluate the settlement offer. If your verifiable expenses have already exceeded the amount of the settlement offer, it is probably too low. In fact, if the settlement amount is only a little bit higher than your current losses and expenses, you may need to seriously consider rejecting it and negotiating. Countering a lowball offer with a more reasonable figure is a common approach to this process.

You have no obligation to accept an unreasonable settlement offer

Insurance disputes often arise because an insurance company denies a reasonable claim or doesn’t offer an appropriate payout for a claim deemed valid. Insurance companies will sometimes take unethical steps to limit their costs, which might include denying valid claims, intentionally delaying the payout of valid claims or offering a low settlement in order to eliminate the company’s future liability for costs that you incur.

Handling an insurance dispute while also trying to deal with the consequences of a car crash can be quite difficult. Getting help with this process will make it easier for you to stand up for yourself and to hold the insurance company accountable.

Archives

FindLaw Network