How Do I Ask My Insurance Company for a Settlement?

Negotiating a reasonable settlement with an insurance company isn't usually the easiest thing to do. This is because insurance companies will always try to avoid spending huge sums of money on settlements. So if you find yourself wondering, "how do I ask my insurance company for a settlement," chances are you've been frustrated so far, or you want to know how best to approach them.

Regardless of the reason, knowing the dos and don'ts of negotiating a settlement with an insurance company could be the difference between getting reasonable compensation, a lowball offer, or nothing at all. 

However, even before we look at the process of asking your insurance company for settlement, let's first examine different scenarios that could force you to seek settlement from your own insurance company. 

In most cases involving personal injury, the plaintiff usually sues the other party's insurance company if they are the cause of the injury. For example, if you get into a car accident clearly caused by the other party, you might be eligible for compensation through their insurance company.

Similarly, if you slip and fall while at work due to your employer's negligence, you may be able to sue them directly or their insurer. 

But don't be surprised when you find yourself in a situation where you'll have to contact your own insurance company for compensation. It can be extremely heartbreaking knowing how difficult it is to convince your insurer that you deserve compensation. It's even more painful when you realize you've been paying your premiums on time and without fail.

More answers to commonly asked questions

Let's face it, not every defendant involved in a personal injury lawsuit is insured. Similarly, not every car you see on the freeway has insurance. 

Here's an example.

Suppose you get hit by a car driven by an insured driver. In that case, suing the driver won't get you the compensation you deserve. The fact that they can't afford car insurance (or aren't bothered to obtain one) means you'll probably be wasting your time trying to sue them.

In most cases, the worst that can happen to them is facing the consequences of causing the accident (if caught) and driving without insurance. For instance, in Washington state, all drivers are required to have certain levels of auto insurance.

Failure to have such insurance could lead to a fine, loss of driver's license, or even jail term in the case of a serious car accident.

Now, rather than chasing the other driver for compensation, which you'll most likely not receive, turning to your insurance company could be your best option. 

This works especially if you have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance. 

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance is the type of coverage that protects you and your loved ones involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver or one who doesn't have enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages. 

So if you have this kind of coverage, your insurance company should be able to compensate you for the damages. 

Here's how Morgan & Morgan can help if you've been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. 

Most insurance policies usually have limits (unless you purchase unlimited insurance, which is expensive). For example, in Texas, the minimum amount of bodily injury liability insurance required by the state is $30,000. 

Now picture this:

You get involved in an accident because of the other driver's negligence. While in hospital, doctors discover that you've suffered a traumatic brain injury. This is an expensive injury that could require surgery, many months of recovery, unexpected expenses, pain, suffering, etc. 

Even if you successfully sue the other driver for the injury, the most you'll get from their insurance company is $30,000 if they had the basic bodily injury liability insurance. 

And, it's common knowledge that $30,000 isn't enough to treat an injury of such magnitude. So, when you find yourself in such a situation, you may have to seek additional settlement from your own insurance company.

If the accident occurred in a no-fault state, it means you'll be legally required to seek compensation from your own insurance company first, even if the other driver was at fault.

A no-fault state requires drivers to have Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP insurance coverage, covering their own medical expenses. As of 2021, there are at least 11 no-fault states in the US. They include:

  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Massachusetts
  • Kentucky
  • Hawaii
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Michigan
  • Florida

Puerto Rico, a US territory, also enforces no-fault laws. 

However, it's important to note that no-fault car insurance doesn't cover pain and suffering or other non-economic damages. This is because your insurance company isn't responsible for the accident and can only cover economic damages resulting from the accident.

So if you need to claim non-economic damages in a no-fault state, you'll have to sue the other party's insurance company. 

Click here to read more about no-fault states. 

After a hit-and-run accident, the victim always hopes that the perpetrator of the accident will be caught. But that's not always the case. Sometimes, it may take days, weeks, months, or even years for the police to find the suspect.

This doesn't mean that you should wait for that long to seek compensation. If you're insured, your insurance company should compensate you for the damages. 

But just because the other driver fled the scene of the accident doesn't mean that your insurance company will compensate you without asking further questions, even if you've always paid your premiums on schedule. Instead, they'll probably offer way less than what you deserve or even dispute the entire accident. 

Wondering what to do after a hit-and-run accident? Here's everything you need to know!

To avoid finding yourself in a situation where you'll be forced to settle with a lowball offer or nothing at all, consider the following tips when negotiating a settlement with your insurance company.

Collect Information About the Accident

Proving that the accident actually occurred is the first and most important step in negotiating a settlement. There are multiple ways to prove that such an accident indeed happened. Examples include:

Obtaining a Police Report

A police report usually contains important details about the accident, such as: 

  • date;
  • location; 
  • description of the accident;
  • witness statements;
  • individuals involved;
  • cause of the accident;
  • persons at fault for the accident;
  • insurance information of the persons involved;
  • among others. 

This kind of information is more trusted given that police officers are sworn to uphold and protect the law. So rather than having your best friend testify on your behalf, a police report holds more weight at the negotiating table.

Proof of Liability

Proof of liability establishes the individual responsible for the accident. While this information might be readily available on the police report, there are instances where you might have to go the extra mile to prove that the other party was responsible for the injury.

Other equally-important information the police report might not provide include photos of the accident. If you can, take detailed photos of the scene and keep them in your list of evidence detailing how the accident occurred. 

Talk to Witnesses

If you find anyone willing to talk to you about the accident as a witness, record their statement and contact information. Their testimony could influence the settlement should your insurance company dispute your claim. You can also find out if they would be willing to testify in court if called upon or speak to your attorney when necessary. 

Keep Important Receipts and Records

It's essential to keep the receipts of any expense incurred due to the accident for further reference. By doing so, you should be compensated for your expenses. 

For example, if you hire a towing company out of pocket to tow your vehicle to the nearest mechanic or safe spot, your insurance company should compensate you for such an expense. Without this kind of evidence, you won't be able to prove that you actually spent your money on something the insured company should have been responsible for. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

Now that you have everything needed to approach your insurer for settlement contact them and provide the details of the accident or claim you wish to submit. Remember to provide as much detail as you can. They'll probably send out a claims adjuster to evaluate the damages and then write a report, which will decide the amount of compensation they'll be willing to provide. 

Unfortunately, insurance companies are usually good at taking money from you and not giving it out when they are supposed to. As a result, dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating - you'll even question if they deserve you as a client. 

It doesn't matter if you've been their most loyal customer for years or paid your premiums on time every month. To most insurance companies, you're just another customer.

If you ever find yourself in such a situation where you might need to sue your own insurer, a Morgan & Morgan attorney comes in handy. Our law firm consists of over 800 attorneys specializing in different kinds of personal injury laws.

So whether you need to sue your insurance company for medical benefits, lost wages, funeral costs, or anything in between, you can be guaranteed that we have the right attorney to handle your case.

Insurance companies will always find ways to dismiss and reduce your claim, but when they find out that you're being represented by Morgan & Morgan, the largest injury law firm in the US, they'll have the option to choose between an out-of-court settlement or have the matter proceed to litigation. 

Either way, our attorneys are always prepared for any situation as we fight for your right to settlement. While some insurance companies might threaten to take the matter to court, hoping to intimidate you or have you settle for far less than what we deserve, such tactics don't work when a Morgan & Morgan attorney represents you. 

In fact, most insurance companies that proceed with the matter to court end up paying up to 20 times more than the original offer. This is because we don't leave any stone unturned in the pursuit of your rightful settlement. We'll have your insurance company compensate you for every damage as long as it's legally acceptable. 

Despite receiving over 5,000 phone calls a day, Morgan & Morgan is a law firm with room for every individual whose right to compensation has been violated by another party. If you don't know where to start when seeking a settlement from your own insurance company, send us a message online providing details about your case for a free evaluation or call us at 877-602-8690. We'll take charge of your case and confront your insurance company on your behalf, ensuring you get the settlement you deserve.