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Car insurance claims: Don't do these things

Were you recently involved in a motor vehicle accident? If so, you realize that you will need to report this to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Before we go any further, here is something you should always remember: Your car insurance company is not always on your side. Even if you have a good relationship with your insurance agent, this person is always working in his or her best interest.

Here are some of the things you should never do when making a car insurance claim:

-- Don't give a written or recorded statement until you understand your situation and your legal rights.

-- Don't accept the first offer. It's easy to do this, as you want to put your accident in the past, but you could be leaving money on the table. There is nothing wrong with reviewing the offer and telling your insurance company that you will get back with them in the near future.

-- Don't sign anything. You should never sign an insurance document unless you are 100 percent sure of what it is. If you do, it could eliminate some of your rights, thus making it more difficult to receive compensation in the future.

-- Don't accept payment until you are ready to do so. For example, an insurance company may send you a check marked "final." If you accept this, you may not have any legal ground to stand on in the future.

Along with the above, you should never overlook the fact that you have a contract with your insurance company. For this reason, you should feel comfortable holding them to the terms and conditions of the policy. Remember this: You pay for coverage every month and you have the right to receive the benefits associated with it.

When making a car insurance claim, it's easy to get off track. It's easy to fall prey to an insurance agent who is acting like they have your best interests in mind.

You can do many things to avoid trouble, including consulting with an attorney. With a legal team on your side, you never have to worry about making a mistake. Instead, you know that your attorney can review your situation and provide advice when dealing with insurance companies.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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