When you are involved in a car accident, you rely on auto insurance to help you repair or replace your damaged vehicle. After all, you have auto insurance in place specifically for this purpose – to avoid the financial stress of having to suddenly repair or replace a car.
Some insurance companies, however, may try to avoid paying out a claim – leaving you to pick up the pieces. Knowing in advance how insurance companies work – and how you should interact with them – can help you avoid certain pitfalls should you ever be involved in a car accident. Here are a few useful tips for dealing with an insurance company after a car accident.
Answer the question – and nothing more
When an insurance claim is filed, the insurer will always contact the customer to collect an official statement. There isn’t any way to avoid this if the customer wants their claim paid out. However, there are keys to answering their questions that can help the success rate of the claim.
First and foremost, consider consulting with an experienced auto accident attorney before speaking with an insurance company. Once you have your game plan in place – and know what you’re going to say to the insurer – answer the insurer’s questions directly and honestly. Don’t deviate from information contained in the police report (if there is one) unless the police report is incorrect. Any inconsistencies between your statement and the police report can give the insurance company a reason to avoid paying out a claim. Also, don’t offer up extraneous details, unless asked directly. Unnecessary details can create reasons for the insurer to avoid paying out a claim.
Review the insurance policy
Everyone is required to have car insurance to drive a motor vehicle. However, people can have varying degrees of coverage. Some people may have liability only while others may invest in comprehensive coverage.
When getting auto insurance, it’s important to review the details of the policy to determine what is and is not covered. This can help you understand, in advance, what kind of claims are likely to be paid out and what type of claims are not likely to be paid out.
What about the other driver?
Generally, if a person is involved in a car accident involving another car and driver they only need to talk to one insurance company – the insurance company of the person who is at fault. People shouldn’t get other insurance companies involved because this can simply create more opportunities for inconsistencies to arise. If the two insurance companies are having hesitations over which will pay the claims, they will generally settle this between themselves in court after the claims have been paid out separately.
Sometimes, insurance companies refuse to pay out an honest claim. If this should happen to you or someone you know, it’s best to contact an experienced car accident attorney who understands how to force insurance companies to honor their policies.