It doesn’t matter what kind of accident or injury you’ve suffered—when the time comes to start settling your claim, an insurance company is likely to come into the picture at some point in time. It’s unfortunate, but these organizations are rarely eager to pay out the full amount that you feel you deserve to recover from your injury. It’s vital to understand the tools you need to challenge their lowball offers and difficult sign-away tactics. Learn these easy tips for negotiating with an insurance company so that if you’re hurt in car accident or other injury, your case goes as smoothly as possible.
Know What You Want
The first step in negotiating with an insurance company is to know what you want. Keep the settlement amount you think you deserve in mind from step one to closing. You may not end up with every last cent, but knowing how to value your claim and keeping a minimum and ideal amount ready will provide you with much more solid ground.
Don’t Sign Lowball Offers
It’s a foregone conclusion: the insurance company is likely to lowball you at first. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible. Never just sign away on the first offer, even if it’s more than you expected. This is a tactic to see if you know what you’re doing or if they can get you to just sign away your rights.
Instead of signing off on the low offer, make them justify it. Keep notes about their rationale or excuses, and respond to each point in writing. If anything they say is actually reasonable, you might lower your demand somewhat, but first see if they’re willing to come up before you go down. Ask them to respond to your response—this give and take is part and parcel of negotiation.
Play on the Emotional Factors
You’re the victim in this. You know it, and the insurance company knows it. Make sure they don’t forget it. Play on the facts that support your claim. Your injury is painful. It’s interfering with your ability to live your life. Refer to photos and evidence that support your claim and tug on emotional strings.
Car Accident Attorneys
Whether your case is a slip and fall, premises or product liability or of the “hurt in car accident” variety, it’s vital to have an attorney in your corner to help take on the big business of insurance agencies. An attorney will be your best friend and ally through this process. Lawyers have the expertise, experience and ability to tackle the tough tactics of insurance companies and to go toe-to-toe with their legal teams. Best of all, with no fees unless you win, you’ve really got nothing to lose.