If you have been involved in an accident and have filed a claim with your car insurance company, then a settlement will be made if your claim is valid. But not everyone is happy with the settlement, contending that the claim was processed too slowly, handled improperly, or the amount paid was not enough to cover losses. If you are dissatisfied with your car insurance settlement, then you should refuse your auto insurer's offer by taking the appropriate action to settle your case fairly.
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Check the laws of your state. Insurers that do business in a state are subject to the laws of that state and must have regulatory approval from the state. Visit your state's website to see which department oversees insurers. Look there for any regulations that might apply, such as rules covering "unfair insurance practices," to find out what your rights are.
Contact your insurance company and explain that you are refusing the settlement; give the reasons for your refusal. Your insurer probably has an appeals process through which you can appeal the settlement offer. If you are still not satisfied, verbalise your concerns to a supervisor. Explain that you will file a complaint if your case is not settled appropriately, and refer to state law as needed.
If you are not satisfied with your auto insurer's response, file a complaint with your state's department of insurance. A state insurance regulator will review your case to determine if your auto insurer is in compliance with state insurance regulations. If not, the state might require the insurer to settle your claim the way you want. Your state also can bring legal action against your insurer if there is a pattern of wrongdoing.
If the state rules in your insurer's favour, you might have to accept the settlement. Seek legal advice to find out if any other options are available to you.
Tips and warnings
- Know your rights under state law. Your auto insurer must process your claim quickly and cannot deny your claim without justification.
- Document everything; if you fail to write down your insurer's name and title or misplace a copy of your complaint to the state, you could delay your settlement.
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