McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Opening Supplemental Car Insurance Claims

In the aftermath of a car accident or other event requiring you to file a claim against your car insurance policy, it is important to know the basic methods and order of operations as they pertain to filing and following through with a claim. Once the claim is underway, the auto insurance company and its representatives will often do much of the work for you to keep things moving and working toward resolution. At times like these, the claims process may become less scary, even to the point where it actually begins to make sense.

But if in the days and weeks that follow the resolution of an auto insurance claim, something comes up to force you to reconsider the resolution of the situation, it is just as important to know and recognize your rights and responsibilities as they pertain to pursuing the claim further. Some auto insurance customer service representatives may try to convince you otherwise, but a closed claim need not remain closed forever if new information comes to light begging renewed examination. Opening a supplemental claim against your auto insurance policy is not that hard to do if you understand the basics of how to get it done, and you follow through to the resolution of the situation.

Reopening an Auto Insurance Claim

When you go through the process of filing and working on a claim against your auto insurance protection, both your focus and that of the claims representative will likely be fixed on some moment in the not so distant future when the claim will be resolved and wrapped up, and the process can be done away with. In this way, both sides are usually in complete agreement. Hopefully, the interaction between you and your auto insurance provider is amicable leading up to the closing of a claim. There is really no reason why it ought not to be. After all, both of you are just doing your jobs-you in representing your own interests as a customer, and the customer service representative in standing up for the company's interest in the matter.

Since these claims reps take care of these kinds of cases day in and day out, things are likely to go smoothly for you as long as you work cooperatively and keep your cool. But in the event that there is some aspect of the claim settlement you are unhappy with, you need that same cool to guide you if you should decide to reopen the claim.

Once you have received a check for the settled amount in the closing of a claim, you may feel like the matter is closed forever, but this is not necessarily always the case. There are many legitimate reasons to reopen a claim or to file a supplemental claim after an accident or other loss. For example, if your car has more damage or damage that was not visible at the time of the original damage estimate submitted to the insurer, you have a reason to file a supplemental claim. If the body shop is running into unforeseen costs in working on the repair, the same might be in order. Or if the others involved in the accident have come back with additional medical costs associated with injuries sustained in the crash, you may need to go back to your insurer and ask for more money to cover the extra costs.

Following Procedure in Reopening Claim

It may seem like a bit of a frightful prospect to have to go back a second time and basically ask for money from your insurer, especially in cases when you were at fault in an accident. But it is your right to do so, and you should not be afraid to take advantage of the protection yo have been paying for as a car insurance consumer. Honestly, though you may not know it, supplemental claims are quite commonplace in the auto insurance industry. As a matter of fact, they occur every day, and your claims adjuster has certainly seen a fair share of them before he or she ever met you or got going on your case.

So do not be concerned that reopening your claim will show ill will or malice toward your company. If you have a legitimate reason to seek to re-examine the situation, and you can demonstrate as much, the chances are very good that your supplemental claim will be paid. But even so, it is important to understand the correct procedure you should follow in reopening a claim, and to follow the right steps in seeking supplemental compensation.

For help in this matter, seek the aid of the adjuster or representative you worked with previously. Advise them that you have come across additional accident-related expenses that need to be submitted, and find out from them exactly what the procedure might be for doing that. In all likelihood, that procedure will be the same one you used to open the claim in the first place. Possibly you will have to use a different form or something of that nature, so it is wise to be up front about your intentions and get all the help you can right from the beginning to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

If Insurer Denies Supplemental Claim

Sometimes, of course, things do not go as smoothly as you would like, no matter how much you try to put the best face on the situation and do everything you can to keep things civil and friendly. There are instances when an auto insurance carrier will deny a supplemental claim for one reason or another. There are many possible factors, from the elapse of time to simple disagreement over the additional amount requested. Whatever the reason might be, do not regard resistance on the part of the insurer as a stop sign. If the additional claim is significant, it might be worth pursuing.

You have multiple options for following up on a supplemental claim once it has been denied by an insurance company. First, check with your state's department of insurance or insurance commissioner's office to see if they can do anything on your behalf or have any recommendations for you. Second, try arbitration with the company, if such an option exists in the language of your insurance agreement. If this fails to yield the desired result, and you wish to carry the matter further, contact a qualified attorney specializing in auto insurance law. Be sure the attorney you retain is one who has experience dealing with this sort of situation. But remember that any money you recover will have to be shared with the attorney. Try to do what you can to resolve the matter before it gets this far.

Opening supplemental car insurance claims can be a frustrating process, but in most cases it is not as bad as we imagine it might be. If you keep your options open, present your case in the best possible light, and follow the provider's instructions for filing a supplemental claim, there is a good chance your claim could be resolved quickly and painlessly. Stick to your guns and be aware of your rights and responsibilities.



FREE Quotes, Multiple Insurers

Zip Code