Had an Accident?

As you read this, four car accidents will happen in the U.S. Approximately 135 million cars travel our country’s roads every day, with a car accident resulting in injury occurring almost every 14 seconds. There are about 5.4 million car accidents per year on average in the U.S., and in 2013 alone 3.8 million suffered car accident-related injuries. Many of us expect that insurance will provide whatever we need to recover after an accident, such as medical treatment, lost wages, vehicle repairs and more. But there is never a guarantee that you’ll be fairly or adequately compensated by the auto insurance of the driver who causes an accident. That’s why […]

How does a car insurance company determine what a claim is worth in the event that your car is totaled? In general it depends on the value of what was damaged/lost. But how is value decided? This article will help you understand three systems of valuation used to settle car insurance claims: actual cash value, agreed value, and stated value. Actual Cash Value (ACV) Car Insurance “Actual cash value” (ACV) refers to what your car was worth the second before it became a total loss. For this type of valuation, a claims adjuster will head out to the tow yard or ask you to bring the vehicle in for an […]

If you have a car insurance claim, you should know a few things before you answer a call from the insurance company’s adjuster. It’s important to remember that the adjuster’s job is to save the company money first, and to honor your rights as a consumer second. Having spent many years adjusting car accident claims myself, I can tell you what to expect and how to handle the adjuster who is handling your claim. Understanding Adjuster Motivations Above all, you need to remember that the insurance company pays the adjuster’s salary. The primary purpose of an insurance adjuster is to pay only as much as the company is legally required […]

Whenever you file a car insurance claim to cover losses due to damages to the vehicle or to yourself, you’ll soon find yourself entering into a settlement negotiating process. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t look at this negotiating process as an opportunity to negotiate though. Although adjusters expect policyholders to haggle prices a little bit, and are often surprised when someone accepts their very first offer, many often accept one of the very first offers without trying extremely hard to receive the payout that he or she actually deserves. Fortunately, knowing how the claims process works, what the insurance claims adjuster can and cannot do, and steps to take to ask […]

Known in the industry as subrogation, auto accident payment recovery can help you get your deductible back after an accident. You can do a lot to help your insurance company in its efforts to get that money back, and it all starts with understanding how subrogation works. When Your Car Insurance Deductible Isn’t Yours In some states, for just a few dollars, you can protect your car insurance deductible through a rider called “Waiver of Deductible”. This should not be confused with Collision Deductible Wavier (CDW), a different coverage with an unfortunately similar name. With CDW, coverage is triggered only if an uninsured or hit-and-run driver is responsible for your […]

If you’re at the end of your rope with a customer service or claims representative at your insurance company, it may be time to file a car insurance complaint. Don’t worry; it’s unlikely you need a lawyer to accomplish this. Your state’s insurance department is available to help. Getting in touch with them is the first step in resolving certain disagreements that can arise between you and your car insurance company. The Good ‘Ol Days Sadly, there was a time when insurance companies took terrible advantage of their customers. Remember that scene from The Incredibles? — the one where Mr. Incredible’s boss chews him out for paying claims? Everything the […]

Totaling your car can be a devastating experience. Twelve to 14 percent of all post-accident insurance appraisals result in a total loss. This means that if you are in a car accident, there’s a one in seven chance that your car will be considered totaled. Your first step is to call your insurance company. They will send a car damage adjuster to determine if you car is totaled. Your car can be considered totaled if the damage to the vehicle is so severe that it can’t be repaired safely. It can also be considered totaled if the repairs will be more than the cost of the vehicle itself. Or if […]

Car accidents are so stressful. Your car is wrecked, your day is ruined, and you know the hardest part is still to come–because now you have to deal with the insurance company. Filing a claim may seem like a nightmare, but with a few basic principles in mind you can navigate the claims process with your sanity intact and without losing your shirt. First, remember that: The Insurance Company is Not Your Friend Insurance companies want to make money. To be profitable, they need to collect more premiums than they pay out in claims. The bottom line is that an insurance company has no incentive to maximize your recovery after […]

Claiming auto insurance coverage after an accident can be a time consuming and stressful process. The following tips will keep you on track as you navigate the claims process. It all starts with the accident, of course. Always remember, if you’re injured or think you might be injured, consult with an attorney before dealing with the insurance company. Even if you don’t intend to sue anybody and might handle the whole process yourself, you should learn your rights and risks in order to go in with your eyes open. So assuming you’re not injured, the recovery process starts at the scene of the accident. It’s there, in the commotion following […]