Dealing with an auto insurance company is often a stressful experience. The biggest reason for this is that most of the time, the only reason that you deal with your insurer is when an accident has damaged your vehicle, which is a bad experience in and of itself. However, sometimes an insurance company might leave you feeling like you weren’t dealt with fairly; or even like you were cheated out of the coverage you felt like you paid for. Here are a few steps you might take to address the situation and even have the situation reversed in your favor.
The first step is making sure that you really have the ground to stand on in your situation. Take out your original policy agreement and review it thoroughly. This agreement amounts to a contract between you and your insurer that outlines each party’s rights and responsibilities under the policy. You should keep your policy agreement handy along with the original bill with the dates that your policy begins and ends.
First Things First
Before considering filing a complaint or taking legal action, it’s often beneficial to try and settle the situation privately with your insurer. Make sure that you take the time to talk to a manager or upper-level representative. Managers oftentimes have the decision-making power to offer a solution to a variety of problems you may have. Remember, you’re probably not the only customer who has had this specific complaint. Your insurer probably has thousands of customers, and it’s pretty likely that they have a solution ready for your problem. Believe it or not your insurance company values your business and if you tell them that you’re considering switching to another company because of the situation they’ll probably offer you an incentive to stay. If simply losing a customer isn’t enough to make them change their mind, you can inform that you’re considering filing a complaint or taking legal action but sometimes this won’t make much of a difference because they probably consider it an empty threat.
The Next Step
If your insurer still isn’t listening, it’s time to cancel your policy and file a complaint. Keep in mind that even though you file a complaint with your state’s regulatory agency, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to have your grievance reversed or satisfied. The regulatory agency usually only focuses on the biggest cases where complaints are received by a large number of customers and that may or may not be the case with your specific insurer. However, by filing a complaint you are making sure that you will get your piece of the pie if that sort of situation happens to present itself.
If you feel like you’ve suffered significant damages because of your insurer then legal action might be necessary. First you’re going to have to consult with an attorney to make sure that you’re in the right, and that bringing the issue to court is worth the time and risk. In the case that you do win a judgment against an insurer, they can be required to reimburse your legal costs. However, you should keep in mind that an insurance company has more substantial resources to tackle a legal battle. Ask your attorney whether or not it’s worth your time. If it’s not, you’re probably better off filing a complaint and leaving it at that.