Dealing with an insurance company and getting your rightful claim is a complicated process. It can start an endless heated conversation and increase your anxiety. You have already suffered a severe loss, and the insurance claiming process can worsen your situation. Fear not, we are here to help you out any way we can. In the following article, we will list some steps that will help you to decide if you should settle the insurance claim or not.
Things to Consider Before Settling the Claim:
This is a very important decision for you and your family. Its impact will last for a certain amount of time in your future. So you should tread carefully before making any commitments. We have listed a few tips that will help you to claim the best possible settlement offer.
Estimate a settlement amount: This is the very first step of your negotiation. You should calculate the property loss, medical bills, emotional cost, and other relevant factors. Then make an estimated budget for your claim. This is only for you to get an understanding of the bottom line. But you shouldn’t disclose it to the adjuster.
However, do not cling to your estimated figure. If the adjuster brings out some points that make your case weaker, you may have to lower the budget. If he/she starts negotiating around your minimum budget, you may have to increase the figure accordingly.
Do not jump at a first offer: The first settlement offer may be a very poor one. It’s often practiced to see if you know what you are doing. Or, the offer could be the lowest minimum of the reasonable claim. In both cases, make a counteroffer that is lower than your primary claim. It shows good faith and willingness to compromise. This will help you reach a quick settlement that you both think is fair.
Ask the adjuster to justify the lower offer: If the adjuster makes a lower counter offer as a negotiation tactic, ask them to justify it. Take note of what they tell you and address each of the concerns accordingly. The adjuster may present you with some strong reasons. You may have to lower your budget accordingly. But before lowering your budget very far, you should wait and see if the adjuster does anything according to your response. Next time, when you talk with the insurance adjuster, start the conversation with your response. Then the adjuster may make a reasonable offer, and you could come to a fair amount of settlement figure.
Emphasize emotional points: There can’t be a price tag of your emotional distress. But it could be a strong point of your argument. Go over the points that make your case strong. Provide photos of your injury and damaged property. This can make your claim stronger.
Put the settlement in writing: When you and the insurance adjuster reach an agreement, confirm the terms in a letter immediately. It should contain brief details of the amount that you settled, what the settlement covers, and when you expect to receive the documents from the company.
Additional Steps to Take
The process of negotiating and claiming your insurance can be overwhelming. Most of us are not familiar with the terms and wordings of an insurance policy. And estimating your damage is not an easy process. In most cases, the insurance company assigns an adjuster to evaluate the damage. But, they tend to favor the company more than you. So, the best thing you can do is to hire a public adjuster. He/she has the expertise to go through all the processes mentioned enough. And there’s a chance that he/she may find a few more reasons to demand a higher claim than you initially planned. While you focus on recovering from the damage, the public adjuster will work on giving you the larger end of the stick.
Despite hiring a public adjuster you may have to file a case in some situations. And, if you think you have the rightful claim, you should file a case. In that case, you may have to consult an attorney of law. Filing a case represents strong will. And deliver a message to the insurance company that you are not backing down from a fight. Evidence shows that people who are willing to file a case, are likely to claim larger settlement.
We buy an insurance policy to help us when we fall in distress. But claiming insurance is a hectic process. If not done well, you may have to settle for an inconvenient amount. That may hamper your already damaged progress. But there are some professionals who you can ask for help. As this can make a heavy impact on your future, you should consider your options carefully and choose wisely.