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1 common car insurance claim mistake companies hope you’ll make

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Car Accidents

Mandatory car insurance is a requirement in large part to protect people from the financial hardship that could result from a crash. The average person doesn’t have enough in savings to reimburse others if they cause a major collision, so insurance is often the primary means of offsetting crash-related expenses for the people involved in a wreck.

Filing an insurance claim after a crash can be very stressful. There may be negotiations required, and people frequently feel uncomfortable about attempting to assert themselves when interacting with an insurance professional. Sometimes, in their eagerness to resolve the matter quickly, they end up making a mistake that puts them at a significant disadvantage in the future.

Beware accepting an inappropriate settlement

Every insurance claim is subject to firm limitations on how much the company will pay based on policy limits. No matter how serious a collision is and how much damage someone causes, their insurance company will never have to pay for more than the policy limit for the coverage that the individual purchased.

The best-case scenario for an insurance company after a major wreck is one in which someone with legitimate reason to make a claim settles for far less than the amount to which they’re rightfully entitled. When offering a settlement, adjusters often make an initial offer that falls well below the policy limit and the anticipated total costs of the crash. A settlement typically absolves the insurance company of any future obligations. Even after someone realizes they have many more expenses to cover, like lost income or continued medical care after emergency treatment, they will not be able to go back to the insurance company and ask for more.

Any insurance adjuster making an offer likely hopes that there will be very little or no negotiation about the amount that they propose. Those who are unfamiliar with their rights and insurance negotiation tactics may accept a settlement offer without question, possibly because they assume that it is the highest and best offer the insurance company can make. However, if the amount offered is below the policy limit, then there is still room for negotiation.

Avoiding common mistakes that people frequently make after car crashes can protect those worried about the financial implications of a recent wreck. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to avoid common missteps.