If you’re involved in a car accident, there will come a time when you need to contact your insurance agent. While this sounds simple enough, there are many mistakes lurking that could have a big impact on your claim.
Before you do anything, review your policy to ensure that you understand what’s expected of your car insurance company. Remember, your policy is a contract, not a guideline.
Here are several things to avoid when making a car insurance claim:
- Don’t provide a written or recorded statement: There may come a time when you do this, but it shouldn’t be before you read your policy and understand your legal rights. Saying the wrong thing can harm your ability to obtain the compensation you deserve.
- Accepting the first estimate of your losses: Your insurance company is in the business of making money, meaning that a low ball offer is not out of the question. Don’t be happy to receive just anything after your accident. You should fight to receive everything you deserve.
- Don’t sign anything: Your insurance agent may ask you to sign some type of waiver or release. Don’t think twice about doing so until you read it over and receive legal advice. There could be language in the document that works against you.
- Be careful about payments marked as final: When you accept a final payment, it means that you’re not interested in seeking any additional compensation for your loss.
- Taking your time: Your health and well-being is most important, but there are time limits in place. Do your best to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. If your injuries don’t allow you to do so, ask a loved one to assist you.
You should never feel bad about filing a car insurance claim. You pay for insurance coverage, month after month, so when the time comes to use it, there’s nothing wrong with doing so.
Even if you have a good relationship with your insurance company and agent, don’t assume that they’re on your side. You have to do what’s best for you, and that means taking the time to understand and protect your legal rights. When you do that, you’ll feel better about what’s happening in the days, weeks and months after your car accident.