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If You Think You're Being Treated Unfairly

If you think your insurance company is treating you unfairly there are things you can do about it!

You may feel like you're being treated unfairly by an insurance company because:

  • They are refusing to pay a claim.
  • They awarded you less money than you think you should be getting for a claim.
  • They consider your car totaled and you don't want to give it up.
  • They are charging you more in premiums than you think they're allowed.
  • They are canceling your policy without good reason.

In these situations you have three options:

  1. Talk with your insurance agent: Remember that the person who decides how much the insurance company will pay you for a claim, the claims adjuster, is usually not the insurance agent who sold you the policy. In some situations, particularly when you have an independent agent, the agent will take your side and the insurance company will back down because they don't want to lose the agent's business in the future.
  2. Complain to your State Department of Insurance: Each state has a Department of Insurance whose job it is to make sure insurance companies treat customers fairly. If they think your complaint is a good one, they can investigate it and force the company to change its behavior or pay a fine. Sometimes even the threat of going to the Department of Insurance will cause a company to change the way it's treating you. Find your Department of Insurance’s website.
  3. Get a Lawyer: This is the strongest action you can take, but it's also the most expensive, time consuming and risky for you. So you should feel strongly that the end result is going to be worth the time and effort before you actually get a lawyer.
    Insurance companies are used to getting this threat so be diplomatic. Consider saying something like: "I would really like to reach an agreement without the time and hassle for of going to court. Is it possible for you to improve your offer so we can agree on one that we both think is fair?" Find out how to get a lawyer.
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