In certain situations, it is necessary to write a formal letter to your auto insurance company to get the settlement of your claim that you think you deserve.
One of these situations includes appealing an adverse decision about a claim that you have filed and have not yet received a reasonable settlement for.
If you have received notice from your auto insurance company that they are offering a settlement amount you think is too low for your claim or are denying coverage for your claim altogether, then you need to immediately appeal this decision.
Do not wait too long to communicate with your auto insurance company so that you do not harm your chances of recovering the full amount for your claim.
Reasons to Appeal a Decision by the Auto Insurance Company
If you file a claim through your insurance company, you may receive a notice back stating that your claim was denied.
As long as your policy is active and you can determine that you have coverage for the claim that you filed, this decision merits an immediate letter of appeal to your auto insurance provider.
The longer you wait to send an appeal letter to your auto insurance company, the harder it will be for you to actually settle your claim.
In addition, you may receive a settlement offer from the auto insurance company that you think is too low for the actual damages that you have suffered.
Before too much time passes, you want to send an appeal letter to the auto insurance provider that includes clear documentation and explanation of how you have calculated the actual damages that you believe you are entitled to recover from the auto insurance company.
You should not receive a low ball offer on your claim, but you should be prepared to back your claim up.
Writing an Appeal for a Denial of Your Claim
The auto insurance company has a legal duty to negotiate the settlement of all claims in good faith. This means that the auto insurance company cannot simply deny your claim because it does not want to pay your damages.
If you have been denied coverage for a claim but think that your policy actually applies, be prepared to cite the exact provision of your policy that you believe offers you coverage.
If you do not have a copy of your policy handy, you should immediately request this from the insurance company. You may be able to call them to request that they mail a copy to you.
It is always recommended that you become familiar with the types of coverages and limits that you have through your policy so that you know what types of claims will be covered.
Documentation to Include in Your Appeal Letter for a Car Insurance Claim
Details of the accident
It is important to include the necessary details of your accident when writing your appeal letter to the auto insurance company, such as:
- location of the accident
- identities of the drivers
- result of the accident
It is important that you never admit fault for the accident to the auto insurance company. If you do, this could come back to haunt you if you end up having to go to court over the claim.
Pictures of the accident
Aside from those details, you may want to include pictures of the damage sustained by you or your car in the accident so that the auto insurance company can see how serious the accident really was.
Make sure that you keep at least one copy for yourself of all documents that you submit to the auto insurance company so that you have a record of your appeal.
You also want to make sure that any pictures that you have taken of your car show the condition that it was in immediately after the accident and before any repair work.
Several repair estimates for your car
If you are requesting compensation for damage to your car in an auto accident, you should provide more than one estimate for the repair costs for your car or truck.
The reason for this is that you do not want the auto insurance company to be able to reject your appeal because they think that the quote you provided was unreasonably high.
To prevent this, multiple estimates for repairs will give the auto insurance company a clearer picture of an average estimate to repair your car.
If you are claiming damages based on the current value of your car, one of the best sources for information on this is the Blue Book Market Report.
You can look up the details for your car’s current value online and inform the auto insurance company accordingly about the actual value of your car. The value will be mostly based on the make, model, year and current mileage of your car before the accident.
Proof of medical expenses
If you were personally injured in a car accident, you should have detailed records of all medical expenses that you have incurred. This includes:
- doctor or hospital bills
- treatment costs
- time and wages lost from missing work
- any other expenses related to your physical injuries
You should also include a caveat that your medical expenses continue to accrue if all of your injuries have not yet been fully treated. You want to be able to recover for all possible injuries that arose from the accident and not have to pay out of your own pocket for your medical care.
Choosing a Reputable Car Insurance Company
Having to go through the process of settling a claim with an unresponsive or unreasonable auto insurance company is certainly frustrating.
It is also a good reminder that choosing the right auto insurance company for you matters just as much as getting a good price on your policy. This means asking questions of the agent and finding out if your friends and family have used the company before.
When you get quotes for different auto insurance companies, take your time in looking into each company so that you know the nature of the insurer that you are about to do business with.
You do not want to regret signing up with your auto insurance company later on because you did not do enough research in selecting a well-established and responsible company.
Even if you get a good rate on the policy, you could end up paying much more out of your own pocket down the line because the auto insurance company does not honor their policy or conduct reasonable settlement negotiations of your claim.
Final Points on How to Write an Appeal Letter for a Car Insurance Claim
It is always a good idea to document your settlement negotiations with the auto insurance company in writing.
If you have to appeal a decision from the auto insurance company, provide specific details of why you believe your claim should be covered as well as the support for the damages that you are seeking.
The more documentation that you have to prove your claim, the better. If you still cannot get a reasonable response from your auto insurance company, it may be a good idea to involve the state department of insurance.
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