How to Dispute Insurance Claims

Published by Marshall & Gibson Lawyers on the 30 April 2012

If you’ve been part of a collision or motor vehicle accident of some kind, you’ll need to make a claim to the insurance company to cover damages, as this is why you have insurance in the first place. However, if the insurance company disagrees with you regarding the compensation that you’re entitled to, then you’re going to have to fight them. The following are some of the things you can do in order to effectively dispute an insurance claim and perhaps even earn yourself a fairer settlement.=

Hire an independent appraiser

Even though you’ve been a loyal customer for years, it’s in the interest of the insurance company to give you a less than fair settlement. It’s well worth the money to hire your own independent appraiser, as this way you can dispute the insurance company’s claims if they come back to you with an unfair offer.

Take photos

Having photos is always a good idea when you’re dealing with any kind of dispute, and photos with the time and date stamp clearly visible on them are best. If you end up needing to go to court, you can always call in an expert to examine your photos for the case.

Keep receipts

Always keep your receipts when you’re dealing with any kind of claim, because costs incurred through the process of dealing with your claim may be something you can seek compensation for in the future.

Get a lawyer

Once there is a lawyer involved, you’ll find that the insurance company starts treating you a little better and may even come up with a new offer for you. Knowing exactly what your rights are can be very empowering, and having an accident lawyer helping to advocate for you will make it far more likely that you’ll come out of the dispute in decent shape.

Request mediation

If you hope to avoid going through the courts, calling in an impartial mediator to help resolve the dispute can sometimes be a good idea. It’s worth trying every possible way to come to a reasonable settlement and solution; mediation is, however, not legally binding.

Be patient and persistent

Insurance companies are large organisations, so it’s going to be easy for them to drag out the dispute long enough that you’ll simply give up and accept it. Don’t give up. Only those willing to be patient and persistent are ever able to wear these huge companies down, so keep fighting to get a fair settlement — or at least your day in court.

If you know for a fact that you’re being wronged, stay calm and fight it to the bitter end, and if you find proceedings with your claim aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like, let your insurance company know that you’re prepared to do media interviews.