If you have been injured in an accident, you’ve totaled your car, or your home has suffered damage from a storm, you count on your insurance to put things back the way they were before the event occurred. Unfortunately, insurance companies count on you to accept their first offer, which often is not enough money to return things to normal. If you have come up against a stubborn insurance company, then there might be things you can do to get more money from them.
Why Insurance Companies Don’t Want to Pay Claims
While most consumers believe that an insurance company pays claims from the money that you and others have paid into the company, nothing could be further from the truth. This source says that an insurance company could take the money received in premium payments and just hold onto it but that would be a bad idea since there are ways of investing money to make more money. Instead, an insurance company takes all that money and invests it. In fact, in most cases, their investments make the company more money than all the insurance payments added together. Therefore, an insurance company does not want to pay claims because they have less money to invest.
Why Refuse the First Offer?
Insurance companies train their adjusters to be very friendly in an attempt to get you to accept their first offer. This offer is usually not in your best interest. Follow your company’s policies to appeal the first offer, and you will probably end up with more money. This source explains that your insurance company may try to trap you into saying a statement that accidentally makes you liable for the accident, or it may pressure you to accept a settlement that it far below the value of your claim. Remember that the adjuster is paid by the insurance company to protect their investment. He works for them and not for you.
What Can You Do?
In addition to appealing the first offer, there are several other things that you can do. This source advises you to gather documentation from any witnesses to the accident. If you are filing a claim for property damage, then obtain at least three estimates for the cost of the repairs. If you have medical bills, then make sure to get copies of their reports and bills. Often times, hiring an attorney can increase the amount that the insurance company is willing to pay you. If you are still not satisfied, then you may need to file a claim with the state agency overseeing insurance companies.
Remembering that insurance companies make their money off investing your payments can give you an insight into why insurance companies treat their clients the way they do. Be your own advocate by gathering the information that you need to fight back.