How to Settle With an Insurance Company

Settling with an insurance company can get you more money for car repairs and medical bills.
Settling with an insurance company can get you more money for car repairs and medical bills. (Image: Police officer at the scene of the Jeep and car road accident. image by Dragan Trifunovic from

When you get in an accident, your car will likely receive some damage, and you may need to see a doctor and miss time from work. Bills from a car accident can pile up quickly. To receive compensation for your accident and pay for medical expenses and car repairs, you will need to settle with the insurance company. With a little research and preparation, you can easily reach a fair settlement.

Things You'll Need

  • Insurance information
  • Auto repair estimate
  • Doctor visit report

Visit an auto repair shop and have a mechanic provide you with an estimate for the cost of repairs to your damaged vehicle.

Visit your doctor if you suffered any injuries from the accident, no matter how minor. Ask the doctor to take notes on your condition and give you a copy.

Gather all the documents about the accident, including correspondence with the insurance company, letters from your doctor and your auto repair estimate.

Decide on a minimum claim amount you can accept. Consider the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, medical bills you have because of the accident and any wages you lost while missing work. Write this number down.

Write a demand letter to the insurance company. Include the amount you wish to receive for your accident. Make the number higher than your minimum amount to allow for negotiating. Mail the demand letter to the insurance company.

Discuss your claim with the insurance adjuster when he calls you. Take notes from what the adjuster tells you about the claim.

Reply to the insurance adjuster’s first offer with a counteroffer. This amount can be the amount you stated in your demand letter or a slightly lower amount.

Negotiate your counteroffer with the insurance adjuster until you reach an amount you find fair.

Write a letter to the insurance company. Include the total amount for your claim and a date when you expect to receive the settlement offer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a record of the date when you talked to the insurance company and the name of the insurance adjuster you spoke to, for your records. You may need this information when discussing your claim with the insurance company.
  • Do not accept an offer below the minimum amount you decided on. A smaller offer may not be enough to cover your expenses.

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