After submitting an insurance claim for an accident, the insurance company will provide you with a settlement offer. Many claimants erroneously believe that when the insurance company makes an offer, they are obliged to accept, or they will forgo their right to compensation. You are never required to take what the insurance company offers if you believe your claim is worth more. You can continue negotiations by writing a counter-offer for the insurance claim and fight for the compensation you believe you deserve.
Review your accident claim thoroughly after receiving the insurance company's initial settlement offer. Calculate the total amount of your losses from the accident, including any medical costs (such as co-pays for service) you have incurred. Determine what your total actual losses are by adding up all of these costs. This will be your counter-offer.
Find the corresponding billing statements for every amount you are claiming in damages. Make copies of these statements, which you will need to provide to the insurance company. You should do this every time you write a counter-offer for your insurance claim, even if you did so initially when you submitted your original claim.
Draft a letter to the insurance company declining its settlement offer, along with your reason(s) for doing so. List your damages, and briefly describe how they relate to your claim. Next to each point, include the total individual amount, similar to how you would draft an itemised bill for services. Underneath, provide the total amount of your counter-offer.
State that you are countering the insurance company's offer underneath your itemised list. Reiterate the total amount of your counter-offer. If you are unwilling to settle for a lesser amount, state that you will only accept an offer for the total amount of your damages and nothing less.
Provide your contact information underneath this, including your telephone number, mobile phone number and information for any other contact methods you will accept. Consider requesting the insurance company only respond to your counter-offer by mail or by e-mail, which will provide you with an indisputable written copy of any communication between you and the company.
Sign the bottom of the letter and make two additional copies. Retain one copy for your records. Send the original signed letter to the insurance company via Certified Mail with signature delivery. Send the other copy via regular mail at the same time you mail the original. Retain the Certified Mail receipt as proof the counter-offer was received.
Follow up with your counter-offer in two weeks if you have not heard a response. You can do this by telephone or by mail; written correspondence is strongly suggested. In your follow-up, ask the insurance company if it has considered your offer and is willing to accept. Continue following up once every two weeks until you receive a response.
Things you need
- Original settlement offer
- Billing statements or estimate for repairs
- Medical billing statements (if applicable)
- Billing statements for other damage related to claim