Insurance of any kind is supposed to be helpful for policyholders. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Insurance companies are there to protect you financially, but they’re also in business for themselves. Sometimes that means that they will unfairly deny a claim or try to provide you with less compensation than you deserve. When that happens, you need to know how to handle a dispute.
You Have Rights as a Policyholder
If you have regularly paid your premiums, you have full access to the terms laid out in your policy. Your insurance provider cannot legally change the policy without providing written notice or interpret the policy in an unreasonable way. The company should not delay processing your claim unreasonably or deny it without providing a valid reason.
If you believe that your insurance provider has improperly handled your claim by accident or on purpose, you have the right to dispute the findings.
Determining the Validity of the Insurer’s Actions
When you receive a compensatory amount from your insurer or notice of delay or denial, the first step to take is to determine if the finding is valid. You can ask your claims representative for more details about the insurance company’s decision, and let the company know that you feel like the amount is inadequate. If you request an adjustment, and the representative cannot meet your needs, you may want to speak with a supervisor or an attorney. An attorney can help you determine if the insurance company’s findings are legally valid and what options you have if the company acted wrongly against you.
While you can wait to hire an attorney and try to work with your insurance provider to find a reasonable agreement, doing so may only extend the amount of time it takes to receive the compensation you need to cover the extent of damage after an accident. An attorney can help you accelerate the complaint process, undergo arbitration or mediation, or file a formal claim in court if there is no reasonable response from the insurance provider.
What Not to Do When You File a Dispute
Although your insurance provider can help you understand more about their decision making process, you may want to do independent research before contacting the company to argue your side of the case. You will need to have supporting information that will convince them that the amount of compensation is inadequate or unfair. An insurance attorney can also help you have these initial discussions and maybe resolve the matter without further action.
Don’t rely on phone calls. When working with an insurance provider, you may want to back up every conversation with written correspondence. Written information can clearly represent the issue, and may be vital if further action needs to be taken against the insurance company. You may also want to record information regarding phone conversations and the names of any individual you speak with at the insurance company.
If you have questions about an insurance dispute, reach out to an attorney for advice. The team at Erney Law is ready to help you get the coverage you deserve from your insurance policy.