You probably expect all insurance companies to act in good faith when evaluating motor vehicle accident claims. Many insurers do, but fair treatment is not something you should count on when filing an accident claim.
Lowball or bad faith insurance settlements plague many motor vehicle accident victims. Sometimes due to employee incompetence or negligence, but typically because insurers believe accident victims will not fight back.
You have the right to reject a low offer
Did you know that you do not have to accept an insurance settlement that undervalues your losses (property damage and physical injury)? Many people believe they have no other alternative but to take the amount offered and call the matter settled.
If you disagree with an insurance company’s offer, send a polite, respectful letter stating you do not accept it. Ensure that your written response contains the following.
- The reasons you deserve a higher settlement
- Responses to the reasons the adjuster cited for offering a low amount
- The lowest amount that you will accept from the insurance company (your counteroffer).
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your efforts to negotiate a fair settlement will succeed.
Before you try to negotiate, it’s a good idea to learn more about auto accident compensation laws. The knowledge you gain can improve your ability to identify a lowball offer and better equip you to make a reasonable counteroffer. When the insurer sees that you have done your homework, they are less likely to try to offer you more than you deserve. To better improve your odds of success, it’s wise to seek legal guidance and help in negotiating with the insurance company.