Tips for talking to your insurance company after a car accident

It ’ s your “ good neighbor. ” It ’ mho “ on your side. ” But after a car accident, some drivers fear their indemnity ship’s company won ’ thymine be such a buddy. “ Hopefully, your insurance company will step up, ” says Amy Bach, administrator director of consumer advocacy group United Policyholders. “ But car claims can get complicated by fine print. ” How do you avoid these complications ? Lying to your insurance company is bad theme — and against the law — so consumers should be aware that their words can have consequences. here are some guidelines for communicating with your indemnity company :

Stick to the facts It ’ sulfur natural to want to explain the accident, beat by beat. But how much should you truly say ? Bach advises drivers to answer questions honestly, but be careful about volunteering unasked details. “ If you try to save money by being less than honest, the accuracy may come out, ” she says. Your insurance company shouldn ’ thyroxine deny your claim because of misrepresentations, she adds, but it may raise your rates. While you should be equally honest as possible, don ’ metric ton strain to provide concrete details that may not be there. “ many customers can ’ t actually recall specifics, ” says Jason Lundberg, a San Francisco lawyer specializing in vehicle accidents. “ Trying to give precise details can lead to a fake recount. alternatively of specifics, providing estimates is a good way to cooperate. ” Avoid assuming blame One of the most common post-accident missteps is admitting fault. even if you think you were intelligibly to blame, there may be mitigating factors. fault determinations are rarely cut and dried. Remember, your interpretation is only that : an interpretation. “ Most accidents are caused by both parties, ” Lundberg says. “ sometimes 50/50, sometimes 90/10. Investigations may reveal there is something the ( early ) driver could have done to avoid the accident. ” So while taking the blame may feel righteous, it might not be, well, good. And it could lead to an undue rate hike or a lower colony than you deserve. What ’ s the alternative ? Leave it to the authorities. “ Let the fact-finding process dally out, ” Lundberg says. “ You may be surprised. ” Get your fair compensation Come village time, getting fairly compensated can be a finespun dance. For injury claims, beginning by visiting a reputable doctor and share any findings with your insurance company. “ Any claims that aren ’ thymine documented by your doctor won ’ metric ton be considered, ” Lundberg cautions.

even then, Bach says, policyholders could face resistance. “ Be prepared to ( besides ) be examined by a repair who has a relationship with your insurance company, ” she says. Property wrong may be more straightforward. “ Most states give you the right to have your cable car repaired at the facility of your choice, ” Bach says. “ If your insurance company balks at paying for the repairs, consider contacting your state department of policy. ” ultimately, you have to work with your insurance company, Lundberg says, so don ’ thyroxine be adversarial. But working with your insurance company doesn ’ triiodothyronine mean forfeiting your rights. You ’ re a customer, not a confidant — competitiveness for the auspices you paid for. MORE: When can you cash out your insurance settlement hindrance ? MORE: How hanker accidents affect your car policy rates MORE: Why indemnity companies and repair shops argue over your claim Alex Glenn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance locate. electronic mail : aglenn @ NerdWallet is a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, comment and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY. Pumping the Verbal Brakes: 4 Things Not to Say to Your Insurer “Whiplash”: even if you have it, mentioning whiplash throws up scamming loss flags with your insurance company.

“I’m fine”: Soft-tissue injuries can take fourth dimension to show. Let your doctor of the church look before you proclaim your superpowers. “Sorry”: Try to keep this from burbling out off the cuff ; it could imply mistake. “Sure, record me”: Don ’ t put up this until you ’ ra ready. Drivers can refuse to have initial statements recorded, but ultimately it ’ s a fair request. Know precisely what you want to say before agreeing .

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