Someone smashed into you on the Beltway. You’re hurt, the bills are piling up and you need help. Your insurance company comes through with an offer, but it’s not nearly enough to cover what you’ve lost.

Automobile collisions are on the rise, which means insurance companies are handling more claims. But paying out a claim affects their bottom line, so they often take steps to reduce the impact – steps like setting a low price on a first offer that isn’t nearly what you deserve.

Coming in cold

Usually, rejecting the initial settlement isn’t the end of the process, but the beginning. That starting pitch can fall short for many reasons:

  • Setting the bar low: Insurance companies want to process claims fast and cheap, so lowballing on the first bid is likely the preferred move. This can fulfill their obligation to you while saving them time and money.
  • Increasing counts: Even if the insurance company matches what you owe for repairs and damages, you may not be out of the woods yet. Injuries that are worse than you initially thought, don’t heal as expected or come with complications down the line could all mean you need more money.
  • Missing costs: Repair bills and initial healthcare costs can be daunting, but they may not cover the full scope that you could have covered. An insurance company’s initial offering may not include less-specific issues like mental anguish, a lowered quality of life or physical impairment.

The insurance company is usually looking to take your claim off their slate by offering you less than what might be warranted. Make sure you understand what merits compensation, and you’ll be on your way to getting the settlement you need out of your insurer.