Drivers in Florida have to buy $10,000 in property damage coverage and $10,000 in personal injury protection, at a minimum. There are many insurance companies throughout Florida who offer coverage to drivers in West Palm Beach, including insurance companies like Progressive, Florida Farm Bureau Insurance, Mercury Insurance, Travelers Insurance, and State Farm.
Unfortunately, many of the insurance companies providing coverage to Florida drivers are happy to accept premiums but are slow to pay out appropriate compensation after collisions happen. If you are involved in a car accident and you want to get compensation, you'll need to be prepared for negotiating with an insurer.
Tips for Negotiating with an Insurer After West Palm Beach Accidents
After you are involved with a West Palm Beach Accident and you have to negotiate with an insurer:
- Know what insurer you'll be dealing with. For most injuries, you'll be dealing with your own insurer through your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. For serious injuries or fatal accidents, you may be dealing with another driver's insurer if that driver has chosen to buy bodily injury liability coverage (which isn't required in Florida). If you've suffered property damage, you'll be dealing with the other driver's property damage liability insurer if the other driver was responsible for the crash. Otherwise, you'll be making a claim through your own insurer if you have optional collision coverage.
- Know what your case is worth. You need to know what your property damage entails, how serious your injuries are, and what the extent of your financial loss is so you can successfully negotiate with an insurer.
- Send a demand letter. You want negotiations to start off on your terms. Send a letter to the insurer who should cover your damages. Explain why you believe you should be compensated a certain amount for your losses.
- Be careful about signing paperwork. When insurers try to get you to settle, they will pressure you to sign a liability release. Once you sign, you cannot pursue any further claims to seek more money. Don't accept a settlement and don't sign anything unless you've made certain the settlement offer is fair. A lawyer can help you to make that determination.
- Understand your rights against the insurer. If your own insurance company is refusing without justification to pay what you should receive, you could potentially make a bad faith claim. If you are pursuing compensation from the insurance company of the driver who hurt you, the appropriate response when you cannot reach a settlement is to file a personal injury claim. Bad faith and personal injury claims are very different.
One of the best ways to deal with an insurer is to get legal help from an attorney who understands how insurance companies work and who can help you throughout the successful negotiation of an auto accident settlement.