5 ways to dispute auto insurance claims
You were in an accident and do not feel that you are receiving the proper repairs or fair coverage from your insurance company for those repairs, here are five options you have to try to fight for what you feel is right. Just remember – except for possibly the first option – the methods below will most likely end up delaying your claim payout.
Negotiate with your repair shop
If you have a good relationship with your repair shop, negotiating the costs of repairs to more closely match what your insurance company is willing to pay may be the most effective way to get your car fixed as fast as possible. Ultimately, the closer your bill is, the lower your out of pocket expense will be, and may be enough to help you avoid a drawn out dispute. However, if your repair shop is unwilling to negotiate, and you wish to argue your payout, here are four options:
A public adjuster
Insurance companies have their own adjusters that determine what repairs are covered on your vehicle under your insurance coverage. If you feel that your insurance company’s adjuster has done a poor job of evaluating the damage on your vehicle, then you have the option of calling in a public adjuster to review your case. In their past careers, many public adjusters worked as adjusters for insurance companies, so they have an experienced perspective of how insurance companies work. Public adjusters can argue on your behalf to your insurance company if they find discrepancies between the insurance company’s initial review and their own.
Another option to dispute your auto insurance company’s payout is to go to arbitration. You will need to split the cost of the arbitrator and (depending on your state’s regulations) the arbitrator’s decision will be final.
Your state’s department of insurance
Your state’s department of insurance holds significant clout with insurance companies operating in your state, and if you feel you have a strong case, contacting your state agency and asking for their help can be an effective way to put pressure on your insurance company.
The Better Business Bureau
This is probably more of a last resort and probably a more effective means of logging your complaint for the public to see than actually getting your issue resolved. That said, the Better Business Bureau may be able to offer you additional advice on how to continue to fight your insurance company’s decision.
February 29, 2012