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Handle Insurance Claims With Care

Insurance policies are a bit like gambling: you’re betting that something bad will happen to you at some point while you hold the policy, and the insurance company is betting that nothing will happen. Insurance companies spend a lot of money on actuarial tables to figure out the odds that something will happen to a certain demographic, and it sets its premiums carefully so that it will always make a profit.

However, insurance companies don’t limit themselves to simply playing the odds. An insurance company’s biggest expense is (or at least should be) paying out claims, and as such fewer, smaller claims translate directly into more profit for the company. That’s why claims adjusters are constantly encouraged to reduce claim amounts by as much as they legally can. As such, you need to be very careful regarding what you say and do when you submit and wait for a claim.

Keep All Your Records

If you’ve been injured, either take pictures of your injuries or else seek medical attention right away. If your car or other property has been damaged, take pictures of the damage before you get it repaired and then keep the bills for the repair job. If the incident is significant enough, call the police and file a police report.

If you need to submit your claim personally, hold onto your original copies and send in photocopies or scans of the paperwork. Your claims adjuster probably won’t lose your claim application, but better safe than sorry.

Mind What You Say

Anything you say to an insurance agent can and will be used against you just as sure as if you said it to a police officer. This means you should avoid admitting fault, but you should also avoid lying or knowingly exaggerating the truth. If the claims adjuster finds out you’ve been lying, your case will most likely sink like a stone even if all the rest of it is actually true, and you may even end up charged with insurance fraud.

On the plus side, the fact that the insurers are recording your statements means that you have a right to say nothing without a lawyer present. So if you aren’t sure what to do, you’re allowed to hire a personal injury lawyer to coach you on what you need to tell the claims adjuster and what you don’t have to tell them.

Don’t Sign Anything You Haven’t Read

Your claims adjuster may suggest at some point that signing a certain document is the only way to move forward. This may turn out to be true, but don’t sign anything unless you’ve read every last word you’re agreeing to, and contact a lawyer if you have any questions. If it turns out that the document is a settlement, you need to make sure that you can agree to the terms before you accept them.

If the time does come to negotiate a settlement, a personal injury lawyer becomes especially valuable. A lawyer can often get you a better settlement even after his or her fee, at least if you choose a law firm with the resources to go to court. A court trial is an expensive prospect for an insurance company, and very frequently they will prefer to give you a more generous settlement instead.

If you live in southwest Florida and you need help dealing with an insurance company, you should contact the All Injuries Law Firm. We have the expertise you need to navigate this often tricky process, and we’ll do our best to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.