How to Write a Demand Letter to Your Insurance Company
Last Updated on May 6, 2020
Your insurance company is supposed to protect you financially in the event of a car accident. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will look for opportunities to deny your claims. If you have been in an accident and the insurance company is denying your claim unfairly, you will need to take additional steps to make sure you get the payout they owe you. You can do this by writing a demand letter to your insurer. Here’s how to write and submit a demand letter to your insurance company, as well as further steps you can take to protect yourself.
How to File a Claim Properly
It’s important to know how to correctly file a claim with your insurance company right after the accident happens. Filing a claim properly and in a timely manner will increase your chances of a quick processing period and payout, and reduce your chances of having your claim denied.
Right after the accident, pull over to the side of the road and call the police. If someone was seriously injured, make sure to call for medical attention as well. Even if there weren’t any serious injuries, it’s important to call the authorities and get a police report. An accurate police report can be very helpful later when filing an insurance claim. If you are able to, use your phone to take pictures of the damage to your car from as many angles as possible. If there were any witnesses to the crash, ask them if they would be willing to give a statement for you, and get their contact information. If you aren’t physically able to do these things, ask someone nearby for help.
After you have returned home and have recovered from your injuries, write down your own account of what happened in as much detail as possible. Then, start to assemble all of the relevant documents and evidence surrounding the car crash. Of course, there will be instances where you weren’t able to collect much information at the scene. That’s okay – submit as much as you can within 30 days of the accident, or sooner if possible. If you wait too long to file your claim, your insurance company will reject it and may increase your premiums as well.
How to Write a Demand Letter
If you have filed an insurance claim and been denied, you will need to get a little more aggressive with your insurance company by writing a demand letter. Before writing your letter, start by rounding up any relevant documentation that you may not have submitted before. This could include receipts for the cost of medical treatment or car repairs, a document from your employer detailing your loss of wages, or new witness statements. The more documentation you can find, the more robust your case will be.
When writing your letter, you’ll want to make sure that it is as professional as possible. You’ll need the insurance company to take you seriously and entice them to review your claim. Make sure to check for spelling and grammar errors, and have someone else proofread your letter to make sure it is coherent.
Open your letter by giving an account of what happened in the case. Stick to the facts – don’t include anything that could possibly be debated. Then, you’ll need to establish that you weren’t liable for the accident, which usually means proving that the other party caused the accident. This can be tricky, but again, try to keep everything as clear and factual as possible. It can be difficult to determine fault in an accident, and you may believe that you were partially responsible, but you should never admit this in your demand letter or in any other dealings with the insurance company. If you admit fault at any point in the process, they can use this as a reason to deny your claims.
Then, you’ll need to describe the aftermath of the accident. Talk about your injuries and how they have hurt you, both physically and mentally. If they have affected your ability to work, do household chores, socialize, or engage in your hobbies, make sure to specify those things in your letter. You’ll also need to detail your financial damages, including medical bills, repair bills, lost wages, and any other financial costs you have taken on as a result of the accident.
Next, check your insurance company’s protocols for submitting these types of letters. In many cases, you’ll need to print the letter out and mail it in, but there are some insurers who will let you submit these kinds of communications online. When sending in receipts, police reports, and other additional documents, send in a copy. You’ll want to keep the originals safe in case you need them again at any point.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
In many cases, you’ll be able to handle disputes with your insurance company on your own. However, if you have consistently been denied the payouts you need or are just feeling overwhelmed by the process, you may want to consider contacting a lawyer who specializes in dealing with insurance companies. A lawyer will have experience negotiating with claims adjusters and will be able to help you get a fair payout within a reasonable time frame. When deciding whether or not to seek legal counsel, be sure to take the legal fees into account. You’ll need to make sure that the payout you’re seeking will be enough to cover the legal fees as well as your medical and repair bills. Most lawyers offer free consultations before they commit to a case, so you can get an idea of their services and how much they are going to cost.
Dealing with your car insurance company can be incredibly frustrating, particularly when you’re also recovering from injuries. Writing a clear and effective demand letter will show your insurer that you are not afraid to assert yourself and that they should take a second look at your case.