Policyholders may make the mistake of seeing vehicle insurance claim settlements as an automatic outcome of buying coverage, but it isn’t always the case. You are right to expect them to compensate own and third party damages. Nonetheless, it is naive to think that this will be a simple case of submitting a form. There can be issues from start to end. You should be aware of them and be prepared to deal with them as they come. Here are ten possible auto insurance problems that may delay a settlement.
- Failing to Act Quickly
Claims are similar to crimes in the way they are solved. The longer it takes for policyholders to call and get the ball rolling the harder it becomes to deal with them. You should decide quickly if you want to make it or not and act on it. Otherwise, you will face more questions, ambiguity and problems in the future.
- Failing to Provide Required Information
Even with the best intentions car insurers cannot reach to a quick conclusion if you don’t provide them sufficient information. They would naturally want to know what did exactly happen, who else was involved, who was driving, how the accident came about and what the damages are. It will be easier and quicker to deal with the claim if you can document these details accurately. You may need to call the police, take pictures and get details of witnesses.
- Difficulty in Determining Fault
It is never surprising to see that both drivers blame each other after an accident. Even after accepting the fault at the scene the other driver may change his/her story when talking to his/her carrier. You will always need to be on the watch out for such accusations when another party involves in an accident. Does premium go up after a no fault accident? It can and that is why you should try to make sure at fault party insurer pays for your damages without a hitch. Generally, pictures don’t lie and therefore you should take a few of them. Also, in such cases witness statements can be crucial. Where possible you should call the police especially if the other party appears to be keen not to involve them.
- Not Knowing What to Do
It is important to find out how to proceed with automobile insurance claims and what to do to ensure a quick payment. Taking a little more time at each step and making sure everything is in order will actually save you time and reduce any unexpected issues. Otherwise, you will be relying totally on your insurer or their representatives to lead you through. Remember that they are employed and instructed by them and those instructions may well be to “keep the claim payments as low as possible”. And that is in a way understandable from their point of view.
- Failing to Buy Sufficient Car Insurance Coverage
There is nothing anyone can do after an accident if you don’t have sufficient coverage to pay for all the losses and liabilities. You have been paying the premium all these time just in case you may have to face this situation. It would be sad to find out that it will not be paid due to inadequate protection. Therefore, you should take time to consider every worst-case scenario and try to deal with them beforehand.
- Not Providing Accurate Information when Buying a Policy
Sometimes being smart can come back and bite you on the backside. It is known that policyholders tell lies so that they can get cheap auto insurance quotes. This doesn’t necessarily get investigated when you are paying the premium nicely. However, they start digging into your life when you have a claim especially when things start not to add up. You should provide accurate information to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
- Choosing the Auto Body Repair Shop
Usually you should be allowed to choose the garage for repairs within reason. As long as they don’t end up paying over the top for the repairs they wouldn’t have a problem. However, claims adjusters may be keen to steer you towards a particular body repair shop for many reasons. They may have good relations with them, it may be easy for them push it through when the repairs are done by an approved garage and so on. If you want the car to be fixed by a certain mechanic you should make this clear and get quotes from them to submit.
- Ambiguous Policy Terms
One of the tricks applied by underwriters who don’t want to pay out is to write the policy documents with double meanings. As soon as you smell something fishy you should stay on top of it. If you can talk to them and make a good argument you should do so. If you realize that they are not listening to you and pushing their own agenda you may start looking into getting your own representative. This could be either a lawyer or a loss adjuster that works for you. The latter can speed things up as they probably know the process pretty well.
- Low Ball Offers
Adjusters are known to come up with lowball offers to start with. First of all, they may want to try and see if they can save a few bucks for the company they work for and look good. Secondly, they do this just in case they need room for negotiations. You should try to work out how much the damages are going to be before they offer you a figure.
10. Delayed Settlements
Sometimes, people make the mistake of sitting and waiting for a payment. You are entitled to ask and check what is going on with the case. It may be that they are waiting to receive a particular document or hear from you. You should see if there is anything you could do to speed up the process. It is alright to ask questions, chase it up and expect quick settlement.
If you are aware of certain auto insurance issues in relation to claims you can proactively eliminate them. It is too late to look for a solution when you have already made one. The best is to deal with any problems while you are buying coverage.