Saturday, February 28, 2015

Settling disputes with your insurance company

Accidents will always happen no matter how careful we are. When it does occur, there may come a time when your insurance company will not agree with you about the amount due on the bill, the nonpayment of the claim, or whether or not you are covered. Disagreements should best be settled, but when nothing seems to be working, below are some steps to resolve disputes efficiently.


Read about and understand your rights. Review your policy, as insurance laws differ per state. There are some standard laws that are worded or implemented differently but have similar meanings, so make sure to read up.


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Talk to your insurance agent or broker. No one else knows the insurance company’s policies than your broker. Though agents may not be a part of the claims process, the can give insight as to its process. They also know where to go to for help regarding your issue, and sometimes a simple phone call from them to the insurance company can resolve things.


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Get organized and put everything in writing. When calling the company or going through your broker does not help, write a letter to a specific person in the company; if the dispute is about billing, address the letter to the accounting or finance department. It should contain all the necessary information – your name, policy number, and contact number, as well as documentation of correspondence with people from the company including the dates of conversations, names of the people you talked to, written correspondence, cancelled checks, and bank statements.


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Last resort – take legal action. If all else fails, take the company to the court. If the amount due is small, then you can file the case in a small claims court. But beyond that, you are going to have to hire an attorney. It is usually in the insurance company’s best interest to settle claims outside of court.


There are other ways to resolve disputes like getting a third party or the state’s insurance commissioner involved, but the important thing is that you and the insurance company can reach a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.


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