When drivers get in car accidents, they may have to file claims with auto insurance companies. Many drivers may not have experience dealing with these businesses and might settle their claims for less than what is available.
Here are three essential facts about what to expect from car insurance companies to help prevent people from missing out on money owed.
1. Insurance companies have deadlines
Ohio requires auto insurance companies to stick to specific deadlines when they receive claims. Companies have:
- 15 days to send claimants all the necessary paperwork
- 21 days to make coverage determinations after claimants return the paperwork
- 10 days to pay the claim after approval
These deadlines force insurance companies to move quickly to offer settlements. Sometimes these rapid determinations do not cover all the expenses of an accident.
2. Fault impacts payouts
Ohio uses comparative negligence when determining compensation after an accident. This method allows insurance companies to decrease coverage by a percentage of fault if drivers partially cause an accident. When drivers are more than 50% at fault, they may not receive any compensation from other drivers’ policies.
3. Settlement offers are negotiable
When insurance companies determine payouts, they usually offer the lowest possible price. Many people do not know that these settlements are negotiable. Claimants can request more money, up to the maximum allowed by individual policies. It is challenging to modify settlements once agreed upon, so claimants should ensure they receive the highest payout before accepting compensation.
Knowing what to expect from an insurance company allows claimants to advocate for the largest amount of damages payable to them.