Never say this to your insurance company after an auto accident
Soon after an auto accident, your insurance company will give you a phone call. You might still feel distressed or hazy. It’s easy to say the wrong thing or divulge too much when you are not feeling yourself. Before this call happens, know that the insurance company can use what you say against you to lower your claim. It might feel like a casual conversation, but know that it is in their best interest to give you the lowest claim possible. Make sure never to say these things to your insurance company immediately after an accident.
Never say the accident was your fault
Do not admit to fault while on the phone with your insurance agent. However, you should also not lie. When they ask what happened, explain the accident in a factual manner. Avoid opinionated statements such as, “it was my fault,” “I was distracted,” and “I didn’t notice.” Even if you think you were at fault, a lot of additional factors need to be considered, such as if the other driver was distracted, if someone’s car malfunctioned, or environmental factors. If you imply that it was your fault, then you could lose money on your claim.
Don’t give a best guess
It is never good to make guesses about details you are unsure of when speaking with your insurance company. They will ask you where you were going, how fast, and which direction. Do not guess the best answer. It is much better to say “I don’t know.”
Never tell them you are not hurt
It is very common for people to tell their insurance company they are fine after an accident. Days later they realize their head is pounding and their neck is stiff from whiplash. By then, it’s too late. If you are unsure, then just tell them that you are going to a physician to get checked out. Sign no medical release forms from the insurance company. They will often dig into your records and blame your new injury on a pre-existing problem from a past doctor’s visit.
Don’t agree to an official statement
During your first conversation with the insurance company, they might ask if this will be your official statement. If you agree, the conversation can be recorded and used against you. Their best interest is to give you the lowest offer possible; therefore, it is important to speak with an attorney before agreeing to an official statement.
Don’t accept their first offer
An insurance provider will often try to rush through the process and give you a quick offer. It is better to tell them you need to think about it first. While you might be worried about getting the compensation as soon as possible, it is usually better to wait. An attorney can help negotiate a fair settlement for you.
Overall, it is in your best interest to keep the conversation short and factual. Contact a lawyer to get the best results out of an insurance-claim negotiation.