The Texas Department of Insurance explains the responsibility of insurance providers to the insured to big ol’ capital T:
“Indemnity is the basis insurance coverage. The objective is that the insured should neither reap economic gain nor incur a loss if adequately insured. The objective requires that the insured receive a payment equal to that of the covered loss so that the insured is restored to the same position after the loss as before the loss.”
Keeping this in mind we can understand how to ensure that our auto insurance claim is fair and restorative. By holding a realistic understanding of the insurance company’s function in our lives after an accident we can claim an amount that cannot be argued by an adjuster and ensure you get every dollar you need to be restored to your life before the accident. Calculating the worth of an auto insurance claim is also finding the road to your recovery.
Calculating Your Auto Insurance Claim
Three factors calculate the worth of an auto insurance claim:
- Auto Vehicle Damages
- Bodily Injury Expenses
- Lost Wages
Auto Vehicle Damages
After an accident, try to remain as calm as possible and be aware of all that is happening around you. You need to act as a claims adjuster yourself. If you can, follow this checklist after an accident:
- Mentally note or write down who was involved in the accident and how it happened
- Take your own pictures of your car
- If you call the police, take the officer’s name and badge I.D. number
- contact your insurance provider
You will be assigned a claims adjuster after your accident. Now is where you need to do your own research and price checking to ensure that you are getting a fair settlement. As far as auto damages, there are two routes the adjustment process will go:
|Total Loss||Vehicle Needs Repairs|
If you had bodily injury as a result of the accident this is part of the damages claim and will most likely involve the same adjuster. The company will ask for a report from your doctor including all the injuries related to the accident. To ensure that the worth of your claim is fair, remember to:
- Look at your policy’s bodily injury section and see how much they cover and what types of injuries they cover.
- Go to your physician and let them know about your policy so they know what to include and how to include it in the report you will give the insurance adjuster.
- Keep copies of all your medical bills to show to the adjuster
If you have lost time at work because of your injury then you will have to file a different type of claim, instead of damage compensation you will have to file for salary compensation. To do this you must have proof that you missed work:
- Obtain a letter from your boss or manager explaining that you missed work due to your injuries and how much you get paid or how much you lost
- If you work for yourself or are an independent contractor, you might have to provide tax returns detailing your income so adjusters can determine how much money you lost
The Adjustment Process
Determining the total amount your claim is worth is essentially putting together the amounts for these three areas of claims. If you can explain the details of each of these three areas, which might take time to figure out, you can explain these to your adjuster and hopefully be indemnified for everything you report.
However the adjusters is always looking to give you the smallest claim possible. It’s their job to ensure they are not just giving money away, so do not get frustrated with them personally. In many cases, it’s best to hire an attorney that will make sure the adjuster get’s all the information he or she needs to reimburse you fully.