State Farm auto claims usually fall into two different categories.
We'll discuss briefly both types of State Farm auto insurance claims and help you know the best way to proceed with your car crash claim.
It may be that you are insured with State Farm and have to file a claim due to a collision, vandalism, theft, or natural disaster.
The other option, if you don't have State Farm insurance yourself, you are most likely dealing with them because you were involved in an accident with someone who has State Farm coverage.
It can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating to deal with an insurance company or an auto insurance adjuster, especially if you don't know your rights or the best procedure to follow.
The two most important points to remember are not to admit liability and not to settle for the first offer.
Those are pretty general statements, I know. But they are important for a reason.
You have no obligation to incriminate yourself, so don't make statements that can be used against you to show that you are partially to blame for the accident (even if you are).
Unfortunately, even if you are not AT ALL to blame, comments you make at the scene or during interviews afterward can be "interpreted" to show that you are "at fault" to some extent. This can and will lessen the percentage of compensation you receive, or even keep you from being reimbursed at all. Not good!
An insurance adjuster may even ask you leading questions in an effort to bring about that very result. So be very thoughtful before you respond to any questions.
It's sad that you have to be in the position of watching your words so they aren't misconstrued and used against you, but that's the way it is so it pays to realize it and act accordingly.
Of course, I'm not trying to imply that State Farm auto claims are all handled in some devious manner. I'm sure with every company there are fair and conscientious individuals working for them as well as those who are only interested in their own bottom line rather than yours.
YOU have to take the responsibility of looking after your own interests.
You may be in a fortunate position where fault is clear and undeniable. If you are a State Farm customer and the person who caused the accident is not, your State Farm agent may prove very helpful in handling the majority of your car crash claim paperwork and follow through.
If you are so blessed, this will relieve a lot of the stress and angst that you would otherwise have to deal with. Regardless, be clear about your losses. Keep detailed records of every conversation, doctor visit, expense, loss, etc., so that your claim is fully documented if the need arises.
If you have to handle the State Farm auto claims personally, file the necessary claim (letter of demand) and include the amount of compensation you require. You can expect that they will offer you much less. Don't accept their first offer.
Instead, clearly outline where your figures come from and why each one is fair, repeating your demand.
Don't lower your demand until they raise their offer at least a bit. You can then lower yours slightly (maybe 10%) and continue negotiating back and forth until you reach a satisfactory conclusion.
Don't give in to high pressure tactics. If they refuse to budge and you know that you are clearly in the right, let them know that you will have to turn the matter over to your lawyer for further negotiations. (Be willing to do so, too).
It's in the insurance company's best interest and the adjuster's best interest to get State Farm auto claims settled and closed as quickly as possible with the expense of court costs and attorney fees.
By standing your ground and not caving in to the pressure of accepting an unfair offer, you will hopefully be rewarded with a fair settlement without having to get a lawyer involved after all.
Here are a few more important articles to help boost your knowledge when dealing with State Farm auto claims:
If you've had a good or bad experience dealing with the State Farm auto insurance claims department, we'd really like to hear your story. You can add it here using our form for State Farm Insurance Reviews.