An insurance settlement letter is often sent to an individual who has filed a claim with an insurance provider. For example, if you are involved in a car accident, you will likely file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company to cover your bodily and property damage. After filing the claim, the insurance company will offer you a settlement amount, usually in the form of an insurance settlement letter. But, this letter is not the end of the process.
How to Respond
Perhaps one of the most important things to know about insurance companies and these settlements is that in most cases, the insurance adjuster, who is the person assigned to your case, has a range in which they need to settle the claim. In most situations, if the insurance agent is responding to your claim first, it is likely that the adjuster will start at the low end of this range since it is his or her job to reduce the amount paid out by an insurance company.
You have several options to consider in responding to the insurance settlement letter.
- You can accept the offer. In accepting, though, you agree that this payment will be payment in full for any and all damages and that you will not pursue the company for additional amounts for the same claim.
- You can negotiate by sending a counter offer to the insurance company. You know what amount you want and need to make. By sending a counter offer, backed up with documentation, you may be able to get a larger sum. You will need to back up most claims, though.
- You can take the insurance company to court. This may be necessary if the settlement letter is simply too low or the company has rejected various claims you have made.
Before making any decision, talk to your attorney. You will want to know what previous claims paid by the insurance company in other situations have resulted in. In some situations, you may be able to show you deserve a higher payout.
Hiring an Attorney
The best way to respond to an insurance settlement letter is to turn it over to your attorney. Allow the attorney to help you to determine if the settlement amount is enough or what your next step should be. By hiring an attorney, you have a better chance of getting to that higher end of the range for your insurance claim.