One issue that can come up if an auto insurance claim is filed is an auto insurance dispute. This can be a real stresser and lots of money can be at stake. If you have never had to deal with one and are facing one now, your immediate question is how do I deal with auto insurance disputes?
Two Main Types of Auto Insurance Disputes
There are two types of auto insurance disputes. You may dispute payments offered to you by your car insurance company because you think it is unfair. Also, if you are at-fault in an accident, the person receiving payment from your insurance company may dispute that payment. In the first instance, you may have to fight to get a larger payout. In the second, your insurance company will do the fighting until the amount exceeds the limits of your policy. At which point, you may be liable for the rest.
Get Your Own Estimates in an Auto Insurance Dispute
If unhappy with the amount being paid to you, your first step is to get the damage estimated by an independent repair shop. If the dispute is over a totaled vehicle, you will want to get an independent appraiser. It is your legal right to have your vehicle appraised or damages estimated by someone of your own choosing that does not work for the car insurance company. You can use your appraisal or damage estimate to fight the insurance companies.
Request Mediation with Your Auto Insurance Company
The next step is to make a formal request with your insurance provider for mediation. This is where both sides sit down with their own estimates and try to come to some agreement with the help of an independent mediator. In many cases, if the appraisal you have is higher than that of the insurance company’s, the insurance company may settle for a number in between. In other cases, if they stand firm, you may have to take the matter to court. It is usually in the interest of both parties to settle the matter in mediation as it prevents the expense and time of taking the matter to court.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Deal with Your Auto Insurance Dispute?
It is not uncommon to need a lawyer to help you with an auto insurance dispute. In many instances it is recommended. Bringing in a lawyer early on will show the insurance company you are serious, but it may also mean higher fees for you. If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, then you will certainly want to bring in a lawyer if the amount of money in dispute is enough to make you want to take legal action. The biggest thing to consider is whether the amount of money in dispute is worth taking what can be expensive and time consuming legal action.
Compare Auto Insurance in the Wake of a Dispute
If have a sour taste in your mouth with your current insurance company over your claim, you may want to look elsewhere. There are lots of auto insurance companies out there that can service your policy well and offer you cheap rates. Do some research to find the companies with really solid reputations and reviews for customer service and claims service. From that list, you can then get rate quotes online to compare prices and find the best deal out there. You can use our free rate quote tool to compare the rates of the top companies in your state in minutes to find the service you deserve and the auto insurance rates you feel good about.
How Do I Deal With Auto Insurance Disputes?
March 31, 2012March 31, 2012 0 Comments