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How a car crash can impact the relationship with your insurer

You may have had the same motor vehicle insurance policy for years or even decades. Most people tend not to reconsider their policies unless something major happens that requires them to. Liability insurance for your vehicle helps keep you safe on the road and reduces the potential for a financial catastrophe as a result of a motor vehicle collision.

You may feel like you have been a valued and loyal customer to your insurance company. They may even use those words in communications with you, such as your annual renewal notices. Do not mistake the language of salespeople for a legitimate human relationship.

Chances are very good that even if you know your agent, your insurance company has very little sense of loyalty to you as a customer. That often becomes evident in the wake of a major accident, as insurers often refuse to pay in a timely manner. Even worse, they may not offer appropriate amounts of compensation.

You may realize that your coverage isn’t that good

Quite a few people fall into the financial trap of cutting annual costs at the expense of long-term risk. Some Americans choose to carry the lowest amount of insurance possible to legally operate a motor vehicle. While that decision may seem to make fiscal sense on the surface, in reality, it causes a host of potential issues.

If you cause an accident and the damages exceed the amount of your coverage, you might find yourself facing a personal injury lawsuit. If you wind up in an accident caused by another driver who doesn’t have insurance, you may not have any coverage at all. Sadly, many people learn that their motor vehicle insurance is inadequate only after they have reason to file a claim.

If you have not done so in the last year, it may be time to revisit your policy coverage now. Look at the total amount covered and the amount of your deductibles.

Does the amount of coverage seem adequate to offset the cost of a new vehicle? Will you be able to pay the deductible on your current budget or with your existing savings account? If not, it may be time to consider a new policy. For some people, switching to a different insurance company may even be the best option.

Your insurance company may look for an excuse to deny claims

Due to your sense of loyalty and perception of an existing relationship with your insurance company, you could say things in the wake of a crash that leave you vulnerable. Your insurance company will look for any potential reason to deny coverage or limit their financial liability related to your claim.

Anything you say that admits fault, even if it is an apology to a company representative as you file your claim, could give your insurance company grounds to limit how much they cover. You need to be incredibly careful with what you say to your insurance company after an accident. You also need to make sure that you are cautious about what they say to you.

Review all written communications carefully, especially if they deal with a potential settlement offer. If you don’t feel comfortable working with your insurance company in this somewhat hostile situation, an attorney can serve as an intermediary who can represent your best interest.

Not only can an attorney avoid some of the common pitfalls involved in an insurance claim, but they can let the insurance company know that you are serious about getting the coverage you have paid for and help you negotiate for the best possible outcome.

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