The Biggest Mistake People Make After Filing a Car Insurance Claim

Marcie Pate
· 4 min read
Car accidents are stressful, and having to file a
car insurance
claim can make it even more unpleasant. It’s especially frustrating when the claims adjuster who’s assessing the damage on your vehicle gives you a much lower reimbursement offer than you think is fair.
It can feel like you're at the mercy of the
insurance companies
, but you aren't entirely powerless in this situation. You can negotiate with claims adjusters, and if you do it well, you’ll be able to get more of your repair costs covered.
You can get more of your repair costs covered after an accident if you negotiate | Twenty20

How are car insurance claims typically processed?

If you’re involved in an accident, it's important to file a claim with your car insurance company as soon as possible. Some companies let you do this by taking photos at the scene and submitting them to your agent using a smartphone app.
Other companies need you to call or email your agent, but it's still a good idea to take detailed photos or videos of the scene. According to
, in most states, even for minor accidents, you’re legally required to call a police office.
The officer will typically file an accident report. If not, you’ll have to complete one yourself at a police station. The officer will document details about the accident, and your car insurance company will consider this to calculate your insurance claim amount.
If you don’t report the incident to your insurance company, you can have your claim denied, and the company might even cancel your policy. Once your claim is filed, a claims adjuster will analyze the
damage to your car
and determine what amount to give you for the repair costs.
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Negotiate to get more of your car repair costs covered

According to
Fox Business
, you should never accept the first settlement offer from a claims adjuster. You might not realize that you can, and should, always try to negotiate your claim for a higher reimbursement or a better settlement offer.
An adjuster's job is to reduce the amount of money an insurance company has to pay, but they expect you to negotiate. The first offer is often incredibly low because they want to pay the smallest amount possible.
If you’re given a low initial offer, ask about how they came up with it and suggest your own offer amount instead. It can be intimidating to stand up for yourself against a claims adjuster, but it's important that you stay firm and calm. The reimbursement amount is probably going to be higher than the original offer as long as you have valid reasons for negotiating.
You may have to accept a settlement offer that is lower than what you wanted, but you should aim for a fair amount. If your company won’t budge on an unfair offer, it might be worth the cost to hire a car accident lawyer that can negotiate for you.

How to save money on car insurance

Buying car insurance
and going through the claims process can be confusing. When you sign up for coverage, you want to know that you’re paying a good price for the coverage you need. If you’re not happy with the rates or the service for your current car insurance company,
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