The thought of having to submit an insurance claim after you have been in an accident can be stressful and overwhelming. Many insurance companies are large and bureautic and dealing with them can be a lengthy process. However, after an accident, you deserve the benefits and protection that come with insurance.
While insurance companies are supposed to help you recuperate from your accident, it is important to remember that they are a business and are trying to make a profit. It is always recommended to speak with a personal injury lawyer so they can help you throughout the entire claim process and ensure that you receive all that you are entitled to.
The following are the top do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind while processing an insurance claim.
1. Notify your insurance company immediately
It is crucial that you notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. If you do not notify them in a timely manner, the insurance company can use that as grounds for denying your claim. The first conversation with the insurance company you will have to provide accurate information about how the accident occurred, the time and place, and how many parties were involved.
2. Read and understand your insurance policy
Thoroughly reading and understanding your policy needs to be done before you agree and sign an insurance contract, but refreshing yourself on the policy during your claim is an excellent idea. It is important that you do not waste your time fighting for something that is not offered in your policy but rather maximise your resources to claim what is possible.
3. Get a copy of your accident report
The accident report will be a crucial document for your insurance claim. It is highly important that you get a copy of this report and check to make sure everything is clear and accurate. The information that you verbally provide to the insurance company must be the same as what is stated on the report to ensure validity in the claim. If there are any discrepancies between the truth of the accident and the report, have a lawyer investigate the report and help support your claim.
4. Don’t settle without negotiation
Insurance companies will always initially offer a settlement that is far below what is owed to you. Negotiate every aspect of the initial offer to ensure that you maximise your claim. You have a right to a full compensation from your insurance company. If you do not know the value of your claim, speak to a lawyer so you have a better understanding of what the settlement should be.
5. Don’t negotiate with the other parties involved
It is very common for the at-fault party involved to offer negotiation with them rather than going through insurance. Especially if this was an accident that caused personal injury, always go through insurance and do not negotiate with the other involved party. An insurance company has the capability to help you completely recover finally after an accident, whereas a single party is most likely not able to provide you with a settlement that you deserve and require.
6. Don’t admit fault
The moments after an accident can be confusing and overwhelming. With these emotions, you may believe that you were the reason the accident occurred. While describing the accident to the police or insurance company, it is important that you do not state that you were the one at fault. Stating this can greatly decrease your claim and after investigation, you may realize that you were not at fault. Do not make any assumptions or statements until the accident has been investigated.