The most important aspect of having car insurance is that you are financially protected n case of personal and property damages during an accident. However, there may be times after filing a report the insurance companies do not provide sufficient funds to cover all damages. For this reason, this post will provide you with some vital tips on how to dispute a car insurance claim so that in case of an accident you will know the necessary steps to follow in order to help you win your claim.
Accidents do happen no matter how careful you are or how well you drive as the accident could be caused by the other party and completely out of your control. This is the reason you have obtained car insurance so that you are protected in such incidents. However, there may be times where the insurance companies do not fully compensate you for damages. Below, we will discuss the steps to take when you are in a car accident.
- Statement of Witnesses – The most important rule to follow at the scene of accident is to obtain the statements of any witnesses. Even if some are reluctant to give you their personal information, be sure their statement is included in the police report. You should try to get statements from at least two witnesses. Their statement will strongly help to back-up your case. If there are serious damages to one or both vehicles you should always wait for the police to arrive to fill the report. You must make certain that the statement of the witnesses is accurately included in the report.
- Independent Appraiser – Contact an independent appraiser to evaluate the damages. The advantage of hiring an independent appraiser is that his or her evaluation is not biased or influenced by any party, especially your insurance company. The appraiser sent by your insurance company always tries to protect the insurance company; and therefore, you are not getting a fair evaluation of what the cost or damages are. Ask the independent appraiser to send their report to both your insurance company and yourself.
- Hire a Mediator – if you are still unable to resolve your dispute you may choose to hire a mediator before going for an arbitration process. A mediator is an expert in the field who can review the appraisers report and advice you on how to best proceed to settle the insurance claim. You can certainly choose to follow the mediator’s advice but you are not obligated to do so.
- Arbitration – If mediation fails the next step is arbitration in which you present your case along with all evidence and supporting documents such as the appraiser’s report and the statement of your witnesses before an attorney. However, you must know that the final ruling is official that means whatever was decided by the arbitration, you must accept and follow.
- Lawsuit – There is still a chance that following an arbitration process the insurance company does not budge. Therefore your final option is to take them to the court and fill a lawsuit. You should only fill a lawsuit if you have the arbitration and mediation on your side.
Before going through these procedures you should find out if it all be worth the money you have to spend for mediation, arbitration and court filings. If the amount you are claiming is significant, meaning it will be more than the fees you have to spend for these proceedings then it makes sense to follow through. Therefore, do your calculation properly before deciding to go through these processes.