5 Ways to Maximize Your Insurance Settlement

5 Ways to Maximize Your Insurance Settlement

There are many reasons why someone may file an insurance claim. You could experience damage to your home, get into a motorcycle accident, or injure yourself by slipping in a grocery store. No matter what the reason is, if you pay for insurance, you deserve compensation for your damages. We pay for insurance so that our bodies and our property are protected in case of an accident, and we hope that the insurance company will pay us a fair settlement.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Insurance companies are just that – companies – meaning that their goal is profits. Many insurance carriers have been known to underpay their claimants and offer lowball settlements. Keep reading for five tips on how to get the most out of your insurance settlement after an accident. 

1. Gather Evidence

Following your incident, it’s important to start gathering as much evidence as possible. If you’re dealing with damage to your home, this would include photos of the property damage and receipts of your possessions or work done on the house. If you were in a car accident, this would involve taking photos of the scene and gathering contact information from the other driver and any witnesses. No matter what incident you are dealing with, it’s always smart to take photos, write down notes while it’s still fresh in your mind, and gather any necessary contact information. All of these things will be pertinent in getting the compensation you need from the insurance company. The more evidence you can gather, the better.

Even if you were partially at fault for your accident, don’t worry – in most states you can still recover compensation. Don’t let this fear stop you from collecting evidence.

2. Seek Medical Care Right Away

Obviously this step won’t apply to something like a homeowners insurance claim, but in the case of an injury, this step is crucial. As soon as you can safely leave the accident scene, go to a hospital or doctor and get your injuries examined. Even if you were in a car accident with minor injuries, it’s important to document them through medical records. You never know when an injury will get worse with time, and having that initial documentation will be key in getting compensation for your injury. What you perceive as mild back pain could actually be a herniated disk, for example, and you’ll need more compensation for an injury like that.

3. Stay Off Social Media

It’s important that you do not discuss your accident in any capacity online. In fact, from the time of your incident until the time you receive your settlement check, it’s best not to post anything online at all. You may think that uploading a simple photo of yourself with friends is harmless, but you should be aware that some insurance companies spy on their claimants, either online or in person. For example, let’s say you upload a photo or video that shows you walking around – the insurance company could try and use this as evidence that your injury isn’t as bad as you said. Even the way you word a status update could be used against you, so it’s best not to provide any potential obstacles to your case.

4. Beware of the Insurance Company

You may assume that the insurance company is on your side, ready to help you in any way they can. Unfortunately that’s not true. If you got into a car accident, for example, the other driver’s insurance carrier will probably call you and ask for a recorded statement about the incident. You should never give them one – don’t feel like you have to say yes. They can try and use your statement against you, twisting your words and trying to place blame on you.

Insurance adjusters will also usually offer a low settlement the first time, so never accept their first offer. Know that there’s room for negotiation. 

5. Get a Lawyer

In the case of a motor vehicle accident or other personal injury, having a lawyer on your side is pertinent. They will help you gather the right evidence, consult medical experts, and negotiate your insurance settlement.

Experienced attorneys like those at the Bendinelli Law Firm in Denver can determine how much your case is worth, and whether the insurance company is lowballing your settlement offer. When you are recovering from a serious injury, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with the insurance company. Most lawyers don’t charge up front, they just take a percentage of your settlement – and since they can help maximize your settlement, it’s usually worth it.