What to Know When Dealing With Arizona Auto Insurance Companies
If you have ever been involved in a car accident in Arizona you know that insurance adjusters do not play fair. Insurance adjusters will diminish the value of your claim and will even try to deny paying you a fair amount for your injuries and the property damage to your car. Read this article to learn what to know when dealing with auto insurance companies.
Some Pitfalls to Avoid with Insurance Companies
- Arizona insurance adjusters are trained negotiators: Regardless of how helpful your insurance adjuster may seem, he or she is not looking out for your best interests. An insurance adjuster’s job is to protect the interests of the insurance company; as such, insurance adjusters are trained to minimize the amount of money paid out on each claim – often denying the claim or not recognizing the full value of the case.
- Do not automatically accept the first settlement offer – it is rarely a fair one: After a car accident, most people need money to get their vehicle repaired or to pay medical bills. Insurance companies know that car accident victims are vulnerable and almost always offer a lowball settlement right away. The insurance company will try to get you to settle your accident claim quickly to minimize the amount it has to pay you for auto repairs, medical care and lost wages. But you may not actually realize the full extent of your injuries yet, and accepting the first offer could result in you coming up short as the bills pile up.
- Anything you say can be used against you to lower the value of your case or to deny liability: Arizona insurance adjusters want you to agree to their version of the car accident–don’t play their games. Do not simply agree to a question asked. Do not give a recorded statement or sign any agreements until you talk to a personal injury attorney – no matter how reasonable the settlement may seem.
What to know when dealing with auto insurance companies (other tips):
- You do not have to take your car to the body shop the insurance company recommends: In fact, you may not even want to because they have agreements in place with these repair shops and as such, the shops often cut corners to keep costs low. They may use cheap replacement parts or not even repair all of the damages to your vehicle. You have the right to choose where to have your car repaired. Be sure to bring the insurance company’s repair estimate with you.
- What to do after an offer is made: When an offer is made, ask to see the “comparable” cars the company based the value on. If you think the number is particularly low, you might want to come up with your own list or even hire your own adjuster for a second evaluation. Armed with that information, you can appeal the insurance company’s offer.
- When you don’t settle right away, insurance companies may begin to ignore you: The statute of limitations to file an injury lawsuit after a car accident in Arizona is two years. Insurance companies, after realizing you won’t accept their first offer, may start to ignore you or intentionally delay your claim – losing paperwork you have already submitted, transferring you to a different agent or not returning your calls. They hope that you will either give up or miss the deadline to file suit. The best way to deal with an insurance company doing this is to hire an attorney to start making the calls for you. These are only some of the things to consider. An attorney should advise you as to what to know when dealing with auto insurance companies.
We welcome any phone calls that you may have about your claim. We are available 24/7. Read this list and call us, or simply print our tips on what to know when dealing with auto insurance companies.