Dealing with insurance companies can be complicated. It’s easy to forget that the insurance company is running a business and a business has the obligation of saving money wherever possible. Because of this, the company could misinterpret something you say offhand, creating problems for you. Here are ten things you should never tell your insurance company.
After an accident happens, it’s easy to be carried away and say things that can later come back to haunt you. It is the insurance adjuster’s job to get as much information as possible. If you are not on guard, you may hurt your own insurance claim. Unless you know with precise certainty how fast you were going, or how far behind another car you were traveling, say you believe it was a safe speed or distance, but the exact number is not known. The adjuster may ask several times but be firm. At the same time, avoid saying you have no idea. That suggests you were not paying attention while driving.
After an accident, always get checked out. Never tell your insurance company you are unhurt until after you have seen a doctor. Accident injuries often affect muscle tissue and the pain does not manifest until the next day. Instead, tell the adjuster you are seeing your doctor to be checked.
If you have a young driver in the house that is listed as an occasional driver, be careful answering questions after an accident. If your teen drives your car on a Saturday or Sunday now and then, your answer could be misinterpreted. If you tell them she drives your car “on weekends,” it could be seen as “regular use” and nullifies accident coverage. A better answer would be “on some Saturdays and Sundays” or “occasionally on weekends.” Of course, if she really does drive every weekend, you need to say so and face the music.
Some people make the mistake of claiming damage to their car from a pothole. If you tell your insurance company that you hit a pothole, you have just admitted to a single-vehicle-collision accident. That places you at fault automatically in some states. If you believe the pothole was the fault of the town failing to maintain its roads, you should pursue the town directly.
Never say your car was not damaged from an accident until a mechanic has looked at it. Some cars can be damaged beneath the panels. Unless a mechanic looks at it, you won’t know about it.
Waiting for a Call
Never tell and adjuster you will wait to hear back. Instead, tell the adjuster when you expect an answer and when you will call to follow up. Then make the call when you said you would. Letting the adjuster know that you are on your toes can go a long way in getting your case settled quickly. When a busy adjuster prioritizes his desk, your case is more likely to get to the top of the pile because your phone calls will use up his time.