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.



  1. marie manley on June 20, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    I was stopped for an ambulance along with a string of cars. Someone trying to beat the ambulance cut into our lane came slammed into the back of me. My car is totaled but am not getting enough to replace it. I was not looking to buy another car. Do I have any recourse?

  2. Thomas on January 8, 2016 at 7:18 am

    My insurance company is denying a claim for theft of a motor vehicle because it was under false pretense of sale. Someone purchased my vehicle, and once funds were cleared they took possession. It was days later discovered that the exchange was fraudulent and I was the victim of grand theft auto. Evidently, if someone steals someone else’s identity and purchases items with the stolen identity, the people they steal from do not get any retribution. There is no covered loss.

  3. Bobby Mcnure Jr. on May 9, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I have a claim that shows up on my insurance that is my fathers claim and I need to know how to clear it off of my insurance. I have called the insurance company that I and my dad have trying to explain the problem but cant get my dads insurance company to call and clear up the screw up where my dads claim shows up on my report, when its not me we are two different people.

    • Justine Suarez on May 21, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      I’m sorry you’re having this problem. Getting in touch with an agent at your current insurance company is a good first step in seeking a possible resolution. Generally, if more than one person is insured under the same policy, it’s the policy and not each separate individual that carries the claim. If you’re unable to get clarification from your company, you can call one of our licensed agents who may be able to give you a bit of clarity and answer your more general questions about claims. Give us a call at: (800) 258-5101

  4. Joe Brennan on May 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Chad mentions arbitration as a dispute resolution. However, piratically all property policies (auto, home, business, contents, etc.) has a cause know as appraisal. The appraisal process is usually better than arbitration because it settles what most disputes are about… the “amount” the claim should pay. The appraisal process settles such disputes.

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