Personal accident insurance is a kind of insurance policy, wherein the policy holder receives cash cover from an insurance company, in case he or she meets with an accident. It helps you in paying your hospital bills, and in case an unfortunate incident befalls, wherein the policy holder dies, the family receives cash benefits. Even though death of your near and dear ones can't be replaced by money, it at least gives you something to fall back on in times of need. You need to claim your accident insurance settlement as soon as you possibly can, as different states and companies have varying rules of the time limit within which you need to apply.
In case you meet with a car accident and you are thinking of this settlement, there are a few things that you need to do. You first need to report this unfortunate incident to your insurance company and file an auto insurance claim. Once your claim is submitted, a claims adjuster will get in touch with you either by calling you, through email, or through post. A claims adjuster is an employee of the insurance company, and he or she is exclusively responsible for dealing with such claims. The person then goes through your policy to decide the coverage types you are entitled to, coverage limits, and deductibles applicable.
If the claim is not complicated, i.e., there is minimal damage and very little or no medical treatment required, the adjuster calculates the estimates and sends you a check. No doubt, you will have to fill up some documents before you can encash your check, but you don't need to meet the claims adjuster in person. On the other hand, if it is complicated, i.e., the coverage of your policy is not enough, or you disagree with the amount offered, it will take longer for the whole process to complete.
If the accident claim is highly complex, claim adjusters investigate it so that they can assess the liability of the insurance company. They would not only go through your policy, but they would also get in touch with accident witness, go through the report prepared by the police, consider the view of the other party in the accident, take pictures of the site and your vehicle, and get a detailed report of your medical expenses. In case you want to cover the medical bills, the adjuster would give you a medical authorization form, which you need to fill up and send back to him. Once all these are taken into consideration, he will make an estimate, after which a suitable insurance settlement offer is sent.
Offer of Insurance Settlement
It would typically have a figure, which they will offer to pay. The amount may be equal to the one you claimed, or it could be a part of that. It is up to you to decide to accept it or not. Usually, the settlement offer that is sent for the first time is lower than the amount you claim; after all, it is the job of the adjuster to save as much money as possible for the company, and at the same time, offer you a good insurance settlement. As such, he or she offers an amount, which leaves room for negotiation.
Letter of Demand
In case this offer is way below your expectation, you can send him or her a letter of demand. In this letter, you can make a counterclaim and give details of your proposal. The demand letter should provide an outline of the damages you seek and should provide the figure of your claim.
Once you have sent the letter of demand, you have started the negotiation process. Keep in mind that the settlement offer made for the first time is always on the lower side and think if the amount offered is reasonable or not. If you accept the initial offer, still it's settled, you will get a check or bank draft soon after.
On the other hand, if you don't agree with the amount offered, you can negotiate either by your own, or with the help of an attorney, specializing in car accident claims. Here are some tips, which you can use at the time of negotiation:
- It's always better to hire an attorney if you can't come to an agreement after negotiating yourself, and if you think the settlement amount is reasonable.
- If you still want to negotiate yourself, write a detailed letter to the insurance company, giving them figures to support your claim. You can try to provide additional documents, which you may have not provided till now.
- Contact the higher-up in the hierarchy. Speak with the manager or supervisor.
- You may also ask for other methods of dispute resolution, be it arbitration or mediation.
- Alternatively, you can also take the help of the department of insurance.
Thus, if you meet with a car accident, this settlement is an excellent option available, whereby you can get back all the money you spent while repairing your car. Moreover, in case of an unfortunate incident of death in a car crash, the family of a policy holder receives cash benefits. So, go ahead and buy an accident insurance, so that you always remain protected.