Insurance is a necessary evil in this world. We pay these premiums to save us when there’s a problem. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever filed a claim you may not have been happy with the results. It truly depends on the carrier and the situation.
When you’re having a dispute with the insurance company, you do have options. While you look at insurance as a way to make you whole when there’s a problem, you have to understand it’s a business. Insurance companies want to help, but they are also for-profit businesses.
Before you file a homeowner’s claim, make sure it’s worth it. The deductible for most homeowner policies is much higher than car insurance because of the difference in value that you’re insuring. If your deductible is $1000 and your claim is $1300, you may not want to file. Talk with your agent to consider if it’s worth the risk of your rates going up.
At least once a year, review your policy and make sure there is enough coverage for improvements and new additions to your home. The last thing you’d want is for that new jewelry to be un-covered if someone breaks into your house.
If you have a health insurance dispute, there is typically an appeals process to handle complaints. Check on your Explanation of Benefits for the terms of an appeal.
If the appeal does not turn out in your favor, you still may have options. If you have group insurance through your employer, you should check with your company to see if there is an appeals person to handle your claim. I know many large companies have an internal person that is the liaison between the employer and insurance company. They will review your appeal and determine if the claim should be paid. This person has more leverage than you do as a consumer.
This is a sore spot for a lot of consumers. I often hear how consumers feel they didn’t get enough money for their car. The best advice is to inquire about how the company valued your car. What did they use? There are multiple pricing guides used in the industry, and depending on which one is used there can be a wide range in values.
The best advice is to do your own research. Request a Market Analysis. This means local comps are pulled for the same vehicle, in the same condition, and similar miles. You can get these by searching online classifieds or calling local dealers. Ask them the retail value of a car in your condition.
So many consumers don’t know about this and it’s a huge negotiating tool to get yourself thousands of dollars more in your settlement.
If you’re having a problem, I’d contact your State Insurance Commissioner to help arbitrate the claim.
Kansas Insurance Commissioner Complaint Form
Missouri Insurance Commissioner Complaint Form
Ohio Insurance Commissioner Complaint Form