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Bagen Law Blog

What to Know before Negotiating with an Insurance Company

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

Jul 16, 2013 10:36:00 PM

In the unfortunate circumstance that you suffer from some mishap like a vehicle accident, property damage or personal injury from some unforeseeable cause or even if you are a victim of medical malpractice, you have the right to claim compensation from any insurance company where you hold the relevant policy. As soon as you submit your demand letter outlining the details of your claim, it is time to begin the long and arduous process of negotiation with insurance companies. Here are a few pointers on what to expect and how to best prepare with the issues you might face.

How a typical negotiation works is that a representative of the insurance company, an adjustor, would contact you, followed by a conversation where you and the adjustor will discuss the merits and weaknesses of the claim you made. Once this is over and an understanding of the situation has been established, an offer will be made that is typically much lower than what you would have requested in your original demand letter. This is followed by a counter offer from you, which is usually higher than the proposed figure, but lower than your original claim. After a few such exchanges a final amount, in between their first offer and your original claim, is agreed upon by both parties and the claim is settled.

Now before you even begin writing your original demand letter to the insurer, it is vital that you decide on a minimum amount that you can accept. This is decided on by considering the merits of each fact that is on your favor from the cause of the personal injury or loss that you have suffered, resulting losses or sufferance for you or your loved ones and reasonable and justifiable medical costs. Do not let the adjustor know this figure since it just for a reference for yourself while facing the pressures of negotiation. Also keep in mind to be relatively flexible on the actual amount. If the adjustor makes a few points that you have not considered that could possibly weaken your claim, make an allowance and lower the figure a little bit.

Next, carefully consider how the adjustor reacts to your demand letter and try to infer the insurer’s own reference value of a maximum figure they are willing to pay. If the first offer is reasonable but low, write another letter emphasizing any emotional factors that might help your case – If a child has suffered due to the mishap, or you have gone through any emotional trauma of a painful injury and especially if you suffered from any long term physical or psychological effects. It is impossible to put a fixed price or dollar value on such intangible and emotional factors, and insurers are more likely to settle for a higher amount when they are involved. If the offer that is made is so low that it is an obvious negotiating tactic, demand a justification for the low offer.

When you are able to reach a consensus and agree on a final amount that both of you think is reasonably fair, make sure to put the agreement down in writing. It can be a succinct summary of the details of the claim, the amount that is agreed upon and a final date by which the payment has to be made. Remember that it is always advisable to call upon a lawyer to represent your interests and make sure that you get what you deserve.

We are one of the best personal injury claims lawyers in Florida, and our Bagen Law firm has offices in Gainesville and Ocala. Visit us for any legal claims you have for having undergone personal injury or any other kind of accident. Call us for an appointment today.

Topics: Truck Accidents, Insurance Company