I think my insurance company underpaid my claim. What can I do?
No one likes to deal with insurance agencies, especially during the claims process. Whether you sustained injuries in an automobile accident, from a slip and fall, or at work, you’ll likely receive calls from an insurance agency seeking to close your case and offer you a minimum payment.
However, before you agree to whatever the insurance agency suggests, it’s best to consider the facts of your case. If you know that you will be dealing with ongoing medical care or extensive property damage from an accident, don’t accept something that will not put a dent in your actual expenses.
There is hope if you’ve already accepted payment for your insurance claim. Seek the advice of a qualified personal injury attorney at Morgan & Morgan. Our team regularly negotiates fair settlements and claims for our clients, and we can help you, too. Use our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation.
How to Know If Your Claim Was Undervalued?
If you need to come up with out-of-pocket cash to pay for property damage or medical costs after an accident, an insurance company probably undervalued your claim — even though you pay insurance premiums to cover unexpected events like this. It is not unreasonable to expect the insurance company to make you financially whole again.
However, that doesn’t always happen. Keep in mind that insurance companies are for-profit organizations. They have a responsibility to their shareholders to show regular profits and healthy operations. To maintain those results, they often offer their customers lower claims than a reasonable person would expect.
The insurance company may still try to undervalue your claim even if you’re paying for maximum insurance coverage. Rather than accept their lowball offer, seek the assistance of a qualified attorney who knows the tactics that claim adjusters use to lower the value of your settlement.
An attorney will review the circumstances of your case and try to negotiate a fairer claim on your behalf.
What are Signs That an Insurance Company Undervalued Your Claim?
If you’ve never been in a car accident before or have never had to deal with getting a claim from an insurance company, you will likely be navigating uncharted waters. Look out for these signs indicating your claim may be undervalued:
Claims adjusters deal with numerous customers every day. When they’re reviewing the damage to your vehicle or property, it’s in their best interests to complete the job fast and move on to the next customer.
However, you want a claims adjuster to examine every part of the damage to your car, home, or other property. For example, if the claims adjuster is quick to declare your car totaled, make sure they provide you with a complete estimate of the damage.
Both homes and vehicles are high-value items. You’ve likely spent months or years paying for your car, just like your home. You want to ensure the assessor isn’t too quick to throw your money down the drain. If you feel that the adjuster hasn’t adequately valued the damage to your property, ask for a second opinion.
No Word From Your Insurance Agency
If your insurance agency is slow to investigate the damage, they may be stalling. They know that if they delay repairs and make life inconvenient for you, you will be more likely to accept whatever they offer in hopes of moving on from the accident.
Never accept a slow-moving insurance agency. If they can’t provide a status for repairs or can’t get an adjuster to you for weeks, it may be time to seek legal assistance. Remember, you pay them regular premiums to help you in your time of need. They should be at your service when an accident occurs. You shouldn’t have to beg them for help.
What Can I Do If I Believe My Claim Was Underpaid?
If you find yourself digging into your pockets to cover the costs of an accident, stop. Instead, read through your insurance contract to understand precisely what it covers. If you’re paying for a comprehensive automobile policy and the insurance company refuses to repair body damage on your vehicle, you have a valid complaint.
Next, ask for a complete estimate of the claim. Your claim estimate should include every item damaged in your vehicle or home. Using this information, you can hire a private adjuster to provide their opinion on the damage sustained.
If the private adjuster notes significant differences between your insurance company’s estimate of damage and their own, it’s time to seek the assistance of an attorney.
How Long Do I Have to Fight Against an Insurance Company That Won’t Settle My Claim Fairly?
State statute of limitations set a cap for pursuing a legal claim. In personal injury cases, the time limit is generally two to three years. When you contact an attorney, they can advise you of the appropriate time limits to file a claim against an insurance company and the proper steps to do so.
It’s best to file your claim sooner rather than later. Time has a way of making people forget essential facts. You’ll want the circumstances of your accident to be as fresh in your mind as possible.
Morgan & Morgan: Get Legal Assistance for Your Insurance Claim
Morgan and Morgan is the largest personal injury law firm nationwide. Our team of skilled attorneys can help you negotiate with your insurance company to obtain a fair claim. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.