A well written auto insurance appeal letter will contain certain elements such as a description of the accident in question and additional information and documentation as to why the settlement offer is not adequate. Though you can write your own letter, it is often recommended that you consult an attorney to make sure you do not make statements that unintentionally hurt your claim for compensation.
Appeals Process and Qualities of the Letter
Most insurance companies have a well defined appeals process if you do not like the amount offered as an auto accident settlement. It is not unusual for people to reject the first offer as too low. It is incumbent on you to follow the appeals process closely so that the insurance company does not have a reason to reject your appeal. This process can eventually lead to litigation, but most appealed claims are settled out of court through mediation or arbitration.
The letter should be well written and not threaten a lawsuit unless it is absolutely certain that litigation will follow a rejection of the appeal. The appeal letter is another demand letter that provides additional information to support what you consider fair compensation.
The compensation request needs to be reasonable based on your expenses and pain and suffering. You need to recognize the policy limits of the insurance company in question. If your demand exceeds the policy limits, then you will have to pursue additional compensation from the person who caused the accident if you were not at fault.
Include Certain Elements in the Letter
Following is a list of the elements of an insurance appeal letter sample.
- Heading with your name, address, accident claim number, insurance policy number and the date
- Name of insurance company and their address
- Specific reference to the amount of settlement the insurance company has originally offered
- Identify each component of the settlement offer being rejected and why you believe the insurance company has underestimated your financial needs
- List all of your expenses to date one by one
- List your expected expenses related to the accident
- Describe the pain and suffering you have experienced including the inability to resume a normal life with your family or inability to do your work (if applicable)
- Ask for a specific amount if you know what you will accept or let an attorney negotiate an amount and don’t ask for specific compensation in the letter
- Sign the letter
- Mail with proof of delivery and return receipt
Consult an Attorney
It is easy to make statements that make it more difficult for you to collect full and fair compensation. It is always advisable to let an attorney review your appeal letter. An accident attorney can insure your appeal is well written and can negotiate with the insurance company if necessary.