Be Careful What You Say to Your Insurance
Immediately after an accident, your emotions may be running high as adrenaline pumps through your veins and as you assess the damage done to your car. This moment is not the time to speak to your insurance agent. After calling the police, getting the other driver’s insurance information, and taking photographs of any damage your car has sustained, put your phone away until you calm down.
There are many tips you can learn after you have been involved in a collision. The one lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way is that your insurance company is not always there to protect you; they are there to protect their profits.
This is especially true if your losses exceed the amount of your coverage. When speaking to your insurance agent or adjuster after an accident you need to be extremely careful not to say anything that they could potentially use to deny your claim. The best way to set yourself up for success on this point is to speak to a lawyer before you file a claim to make sure that you are fully prepared to present you case most favorably.
When the insurance adjuster contacts after you file a claim, be as factual yet as reserved as possible. Never accept responsibility that isn’t yours, it may be the polite thing to do, but this is not the time to share in the fault even if you think you may have been a cause of the accident. While you may think you were at fault, the law and the facts may actually say otherwise. It is better not to give your opinion, but if you are asked to guess or estimating anything about the accident, such as the distance of the car or the speed at the accident, state clearly that you are just relaying your opinion, not fact. Do not diagnose yourself, if your neck hurts, say that you have been having neck pain, don’t label it as whiplash or the insurance adjuster may become suspicious that you are trying to get more money than you are due.
If the other party does not have insurance, then anything you say to your own insurance company can come back to haunt you. Your insurance does not want to have to pay more just because the other driver was uninsured. They will use your words against you if it will save them money. Speaking to a lawyer before you speak to your insurance company can help ensure that you are fully prepared to talk to the adjuster and that you understand your liability, if any, the claims process and any settlement that you can expect.