The Process of Negotiating an Auto Insurance Settlement

Negotiating an insurance settlement involves filing a claim with the insurance company. The claims settlement process is in accordance with the provisions of state law and allows for a policy owner to fairly derive a value for damages associated with a vehicle answer. The negotiation process is typically set forth in the policy or what is communicated between the insured and the insurer at the time that damage or loss occurs to the vehicle.

Filing the Claim Form

Part of the process involved in settling and negotiating an auto insurance claim includes filing a claim form. The claim form starts the process for determining the extent of liability for the insurer relative to the auto accident or loss. The form is accompanied with proof that loss occurred. This is in the form of the repair estimate, bill, police accident report or other document that shows that a loss has occurred.

Working with the Insurance Company

Once the claim form and proof of loss has been provided, it is incumbent upon the insured to work with the insurance company to resolve the claim. In most states, an insurance company must resolve a claim immediately once they are presented with the proof of loss. This is not the case if an insurance company has questions as to the nature of the loss and the extent of the insurer’s liability.

Maintaining Documentation

The insurer will also want to maintain whatever documentation necessary to prove the claim and defend the amount being requested as reimbursement or indemnification. Again, state law dictates the process for settling claim and after the claim form and proof of loss have been submitted, the claim does not require much by way of negotiating.  

Act of Negotiating an Auto Insurance Claim

The act of negotiating a claim with an auto insurance company is related to whether or not the company will pay the claim as oppose to the amount of the claim. An insurance company has a set or fixed amount that it will pay based on the value of the loss. This is the indemnification amount and is not subject to negotiation. Indemnification is the process of reimbursing the insured for the value of the loss and not providing any more. An insured should be prepared to receive the amount that is equal to the actual value of the loss, less any deductible or first dollar expense that is required by the policy owner.

Asking about the Auto Insurer’s Claims Process

An insured should ask the insurance company prior to making the claim what their process is for settling the claim.  The insured should come to understand how the insurance company settles their claims and any pitfalls that may stand in the way of the settlement.