The insurance industry can seem omnipotent to the average policyholder, receiving your hard-earned money each month. When they either refuse a claim or offer a low amount, your situation might seem helpless. But it’s not. If you know how to dispute an insurance claim, you can get a better outcome for yourself and keep your sanity in the process.
Here are 3 steps to disputing an insurance claim.
The insurance company will send out an appraiser to assess the damages but don’t accept this as the final word. The appraiser is hired by the insurance company and their unstated mission is to reduce the amount of the final payout. You have options. Hire your own appraiser and get your own estimate.
Keeping everything in writing probably isn’t realistic. There’s no getting around the need to talk on the phone with the insurance company’s claims adjuster. But you can document everything that takes place. Take detailed notes of conversations and send follow-up letters that summarize your understanding of what was discussed. Your private notes might not carry formal legal weight, but if you end up in court they can go a long way toward establishing your credibility as a straight shooter.
If the proposed damages aren’t to your satisfaction, go over the insurance carrier’s head. Every state government has a Department of Insurance with the power to investigate and regulate. A complaint filed with the state has a much better chance of getting action than one with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We’re not saying you shouldn’t contact the BBB as well, but be aware that’s more likely to warn future prospects about this insurance company than it is to settle your own case.
Disputing an insurance claim can be tedious and aggravating, and companies know how to wait out and wear down their legal adversaries. Just know your policy coverages, follow the correct process and maintain a professional demeanor. You can be the one who beats them.