Sometimes, claiming money from your insurance agency can be an easy breezy process. But sometimes when you need money the most, you will not receive any kind of co operation from your agency and you won’t get your claims answered. Under such circumstances haggling around with the insurance company can be a harrowing and frustrating experience. There are certain ways to handle your unanswered claims and to negotiate with your insurance company without making the process too big.
If there is a mutual disagreement about the settlements that the policy holder receives then there is a provision to settle things out between the company and the policy holder through a process called appraisal. In this process, both the insurance company and the policy holder will each have an appraiser who will review the settlement claimed and determine if it is a fair one.
When there is a disagreement, both appraisers try to reach to a consensus and agree mutually on a settlement figure. If you are satisfied with that sum, then your insurance company can pay you the sum and the process is over. If in case appraisers from both the parties cannot reach to an agreement, then there will be a third appraiser known as an umpire. Both parties submit their demands and the umpire decides a fair settlement, which can be the end of process if you agree to that amount.
In some instances, appraisal process goes to the next level which is called the arbitration process. The appraisers do not have the power to put you or your insurance company under legal binding, regarding the settlement. But if you decide to take it to arbitration, then the arbitrators do have that capacity. The arbitration though not completely a formal legal proceeding, happens in a courtroom in front of the judge. The umpire who decides the disputes between two arbitrators can legally bind you and your insurance company to agree to the settlement, if he thinks that is justified. Arbitrators will cost you extra fee and you will have to pay for your own arbitrator. If there is a necessity for the umpire, then both you and your insurance company will have to split the costs of the umpire.
If your insurance company does not heed to the arbitration process, then you can approach an attorney and file a full fledged legal case against them. Before filing the legal case, however, make sure that you are completely able to justify your demands with sufficient proofs and make sure you lodge a complaint against your insurance company at the state department of Insurance. Since your insurance company will partially be under legal binding after the arbitration, you will have to quicken the process of filing a legal case, if you plan to, since it will give you an upper hand.
There are some important factors to consider, before you take any legal step against your insurance agency. Make sure that you completely understand what your auto insurance policy covers. Make sure that you have all proofs and documents to substantiate your legal standing. If you think that the cost of arbitrator is more than what you receive in settlement, try to settle dispute directly with your insurance company. Approaching an attorney should be your last option because filing a court case can be a lot more challenging and may not be worth the money you receive.