Automobile insurance can be an enormously important purchase, and choosing a policy requires extensive thought. When it comes to claims processing there can also be many complexities to keep track of. Whoever was at fault in an accident can have […]
Automobile insurance can be an enormously important purchase, and choosing a policy requires extensive thought. When it comes to claims processing there can also be many complexities to keep track of.
Whoever was at fault in an accident can have a tremendous effect, from whether or not a liability claim will be granted to incurring a merit rating surcharge on their premiums.
Review Your Policy
Regular reviews of your policy should ensure it still fits with your lifestyle, while protecting loved ones and possessions. This is particularly essential after significant life events which could necessitate changes to coverage such as having a baby, getting married or buying a home; also significant milestones like graduating high school or sending your kids off to college can warrant revisions in coverage. It’s wise to review it when any major lifestyle or life events change occur such as birth of new siblings.
One of the first steps when reviewing your policy should be reviewing its declaration page, which details your levels of coverage and who it covers. Furthermore, read through definitions and exclusions sections thoroughly as well as reaching out to your agent if any difficult wording arises.
Make Sure You Have the Right Coverage
As part of your auto insurance policy, there are various coverages you can add to protect you against the expense associated with an accident. Liability coverage should meet state requirements while collision and comprehensive cover can protect against damage from an accident or vandalism to your vehicle. Medical payments coverage as well as uninsured motorist coverage should also be considered when purchasing auto policies.
Reducing premium costs typically requires agreeing to a higher deductible, though you should first ensure you can cover any potential claims should any occur before agreeing to a high deductible policy.
When it comes to car insurance, always compare prices and financial strength of companies before selecting one. Pay close attention to their claims-paying ability rating which provides a good indication of how they will handle paying out claims in the event that something goes wrong. Be wary of agents selling more coverage than is needed as this could cost you extra money in premiums and claims payments.
File a Claim
Filing an insurance claim can be an intricate decision that varies based on your unique circumstances and damages sustained. If, for example, they fall below your deductible, filing is probably not worthwhile as doing so would likely increase premiums down the line.
If you intend to file a claim, it’s essential that you be prepared with documentation of the accident. This includes damage to your vehicle and photographs or written accounts of what transpired, along with details about both drivers involved and their respective policies.
An effective demand letter that details all your losses – medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering as well as any economic damages – should also be prepared and submitted. An insurance adjuster will then assess the value of damages and issue appropriate compensation; they may even inspect your vehicle or request an estimate for repairs.
Talk to an Attorney
After filing a claim, your insurer should make a timely determination as to liability. If they seem unwilling to do this or seem intent on making decisions that disadvantage you, then consulting an attorney may be worthwhile.
An attorney will be able to guide you through the process and ensure all necessary information is available. Insurance companies can sometimes mislead accident victims into false sense of security through being friendly or nice – which may cause them to make statements that could hurt their case by saying or doing things which might compromise it.
If the insurer denies you coverage, they should give an explanation in writing for their decision and you should inform them that if they fail to reconsider it you might file a bad faith suit against them. This can give them pause; once an attorney is engaged they might move more swiftly towards finding solutions. In any event, this shows them you mean business and are prepared to fight for what’s right.