And how to make sure you’re getting a fair deal
Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company-or doing any business with them at all, for that matter-can be a stressful experience. After all, insurance companies are in business to make money. They’re committed to negotiating the most favorable deals possible for their bottom line. Fortunately, knowledge is power. If you know how to approach an insurance adjuster and other insurance company employees, you could come out ahead. Here are five things they don’t want you to know:
1. Representations Made by Agents May Be Binding
If the agent who sold you a policy makes a particularly favorable claim about its coverages or financial terms, you may be able to hold him or her to it during settlement negotiations. In most cases, representations made by sales agents are binding: The insurance company can’t get out of making good on them by claiming that the agent was lying.
2. They Might Not Calculate Replacement Value Fairly
Insurance companies use a lot of tricks to lowball replacement value figures for totaled cars. For instance, they may look at a range of resale values for the communities surrounding your hometown and present you with the lowest one. You can counter this by presenting your own set of numbers and proving that your car was well maintained throughout its life.
3. Repaired Vehicles Can Have a Lower Value
A similar tactic involves arbitrarily reducing the “book value” of cars that have had major repairs. While this is understandable in cases of fire or water damage, it may not be appropriate with run-of-the-mill repairs due to normal wear and tear.
4. Ambiguities Generally Work in the Policyholder’s Favor
If a clause in your policy is unclear, a mediator or judge is likely to give you the benefit of the doubt. It’s rare to find an egregiously erroneous clause in a policy, but the results can be favorable.
5. They Actually Do Want to Settle
This might be the granddaddy of insurance company secrets. Even for powerful, wealthy corporations, going to court requires time and resources that can be better spent elsewhere. Even if it says otherwise, always remember that your insurance company wants to reach a settlement with you.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney in Baton Rouge, LA
This is America, so you can’t fault insurance companies for trying to make a buck. However, you also can’t roll over and play by their rules. At The Lucky Law Firm, we’re proud to represent the working folks of Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas as they fight to secure fair settlements with their insurance companies. To learn more about how we can help you with your claim, visit our website or fill out our online contact form.