Common Questions About Negotiating a Settlement With an Insurance Company

Were you involved in a car accident, or the victim of medical malpractice? Or perhaps you suffered an injury from a slip and fall accident because of negligence on behalf of the property owner.

Whatever your case, insurance companies are notorious for trying to lowball clients with insufficient settlements, leaving them unable to pay for medical treatment. Unfortunately, people wanting a quick check fall for these tactics and find out too late the settlement wasn’t enough.

This is why it is important to understand the tricks of the trade when it comes time to negotiate your settlement with an insurance company, or hire a professional legal representative who can make sure you are fairly compensated.

Here are answers to a few of the most common questions about settlement negotiation with an insurance company and what you can expect.

How Does the Negotiation Process Work?

The first step in the settlement process is to send a demand payment letter. In the letter, you should state the most compelling points about your case, and list the physical and financial damages resulting from the accident. Finally, you will suggest a settlement amount. (It is recommended that you learn more about how to write a demand payment letter before attempting to negotiate with an insurance adjustor.)

Upon the initial conversation with the insurance adjustor, after the demand payment letter has been sent, you and the adjustor will establish what each of you think about the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.

The adjustor will then make an offer lower than the amount requested in the demand letter. You should then counter with a higher offer, but one lower than the original request, and so on. It typically takes two or three phone calls before you both agree on a settlement in between.

How Do I Negotiate My Claim?

Before beginning the negotiation process, you should have determined what your claim is worth, and decide on a minimum settlement amount you are willing to accept. Do not reveal this number to the adjustor. It is just so you can make sure you don’t walk away with an amount that is less than appropriate.

Of course, be prepared to adjust your minimum offer lower if the adjustor points out valid weaknesses in your claim that you had not considered, or higher if the adjustor’s first offers are around your minimum figure.

Never agree to a first offer. Sometimes an adjustor originally suggests an unreasonably low settlement to test if the claimant knows what he or she is doing. By negotiating you show that you are reasonable and willing to meet at a number you both think is fair.

Some other tips for negotiating with an adjustor include:

· Getting the adjustor to justify a low offer

· Emphasizing emotional points of the accident

· Putting the settlement in writing once an agreement has been reached

How Can I Learn More About Negotiating with my Insurance Company?

One of the best ways to become skilled in negotiating with an insurance company is by talking to the experts -attorneys. Experienced lawyers deal with insurance providers on a regular basis, and are intimately familiar with lowball tactics, as well as what is a fair amount settle for.

Consult with an insurance bad faith attorney about ways you can negotiate with an adjustor to get the best settlement offer. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable negotiating on your own, consider hiring legal representation to intercede on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.