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How To Write A Great Car Insurance Demand Letter
Article 6 of 7 in Car Insurance Claim Settlement
Before you submit anything in writing to your insurance company, you should know how to write an car insurance claim letter stating your demands. Your insurance claim letter should provide the claims adjuster with the information required to evaluate your claim, and focus on the following:
- Clear presentation of the facts.
- Concise argument based on the facts
- Details about costs and losses that support the value of your car accident claim
You don't have to be an expert to write an insurance claim letter. Explaining your position and laying out the necessary information to support your demand should be sufficient. Look over the following samples of insurance settlement letters for an idea of how yours should look.
TIP:If you are not confident that you can write the insurance claim letter, you may want to consult a car accident attorney.
What to Stress in Your Insurance Claim Letter
Your insurance claim letter should be short, direct, and to the point. You do not need to go into unnecessary detail, but you do need to stress the following elements of your car accident claim:
- Car Accident Liability: An accurate statement of the liability (who was at fault) supported by whatever evidence is available, such as witnesses' statements and a police report.
- Car Accident Expenses: Give a full list of each of the expenses that you have had to pay as a result of your car accident. This should include any medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, travel to and from hospitals, and any other costs that you had to pay. Attach copies of receipts and other documentation to the insurance claim letter to prove your losses!
- Car Accident Injury: Specific information about the injury and the expenses incurred as a result of the accident. As with your costs, you need to attach supporting documentation to the insurance claim letter!
- Car Accident Claim Demand: Conclude your insurance claim letter with an amount that you require to settle the claim. You should always demand more than you think your claim is worth! This way you can negotiate down and get your proper value.Your insurance demand letter is a critical part of getting the full value for your claim, so take your time and do it right. If you would like to see what a good letter looks like, there are three sample insurance claim letters included in this article:
- Standard Insurance Demand Letter
- Insurance Claim Letter on Behalf of a Child
- Response to a Settlement Offer that is Too Low
On October 15, 2005, my 2001 Honda Civic was struck by your insured, Joe Smith's 2002 Volkswagen Jetta, at the corner of Elm and Main in Silver City, VA. Mr. Smith ran a stop sign. His car's front end hit my driver's side door and left fender causing $3,500 in property damage, paid by your company. The police report shows Mr. Smith was at fault. He received a ticket for running the stop sign.
An ambulance took me to Town Hospital's emergency room where I was x-rayed and examined. My injuries were severe bruises to my upper body, left arm and left hip, and soft tissue damage to my neck and back. I was released from the hospital after several hours and sent home with instructions to stay in bed for a few days, use ice, wear a neck brace. I was given a prescription for Vicodin for pain and Flexiril to relax my muscles.
I stayed home from my job as a teacher for one week. I had follow-up treatment with my family physician Dr. Harvey Stein, six days later. He told me to continue icing three times a day, and referred me to a physical therapist for my neck and back. I saw Julie Lyons, RPT, for 4 weeks, twice a week, and then for 4 more weeks, once a week. I am still doing the stretching and strengthening exercises at home.
My medical bills totaled $2575 as follows (Copies of bills attached):
Hospital E.R, x-rays, exam, neck brace: $490
Dr. Stein: $225
Julie Lyons, RPT: $1216
Prescriptions: Flexural, Vicodin: $219
I have lost wages in the amount of $1000. (Documentation attached.)
As a result of the accident, I had to cancel reservations for a conference. The nonrefundable fee was $240. (Receipt attached.)
As a result of being hit by Mr. Smith's car, I couldn't take my children to school and back for a week. Being a single mother, I hired someone to help with that for $75 (Receipt attached.) I also had to hire a cleaning person to take care of the house and I will continue to need someone as long as I have pain in my neck and back. So far, this has cost me $600. (Cancelled checks attached).
My expenses as a result of this accident total $4490. I have had considerable pain and suffering as a result of this accident and continue to suffer from neck and back pain. I demand settlement of my claim in the amount of $20,000. Please respond to this demand with an offer to settle within 15 days.
CAUTION:If you are filing a claim on behalf of a minor, you should seek the advice of an attorney who is better equipped to get you the full value of the claim.
On September 16, 2005, at 3:00 p.m., your insured, John Doe, was driving west on Oak Street near the corner of Webster Street, when he entered the bicycle lane and hit my son, Jake, age 16. Jake was knocked off his bike and landed on the curb. Luckily, he was wearing a helmet. Although Mr. Doe said he had his right turn signal on, the police report indicates Mr. Doe was entirely at fault for the accident. (Police report attached.)
My son was taken to St. Mary's Hospital. X-rays revealed that his right leg was fractured. He also had contusions to his legs, arms and face, one on his leg requiring stitches. They put a cast on Jake's leg up to his knee, and said until the contusions heal, he would need to get around in a wheel chair. He was released from the hospital and prescribed 800 mg of Motrin for the pain and swelling. We were referred to an orthopedist who said the cast would have to stay on for 8 weeks. After 3 weeks, Jake was able to use crutches and go back to school. Once the cast was removed, he endured 10 weeks of physical therapy. Jake also saw our family doctor to treat and released.
Jake's medical bills- total $8,215 (documentation attached):
Hospital E.R., x-rays, exam, cast, stitches, etc.: $3,850.
Dr. Fischer (family physician): 4 visit at $95 per visit. $380.
Dr. Wesley (Orthopedist): 5 visits at $225 per visit, $1,125.
Physical Therapist: 20 visits at $75 per visit, $1,500.
Medicine: Motrin Rx 800 mg, $85.
Equipment: Wheelchair, Crutches: $450.
My mileage to take him back and forth to the doctor is 450 miles at .52 cents a mile=$234
Jake was to begin playing varsity soccer and now will be unable to play the entire season. Soccer fees were non-refundable $125. This is the first year he's made the varsity team.
As a result of his injuries, Jake had to miss three weeks of school. I had to miss work to care for him. My lost wages were $1,400 (documentation attached).
Jake has had and will continue to have much pain and suffering from his injuries. I request you settle this claim for the amount of $50,000 for Jake, plus reimbursement for my lost wages and the soccer fee, totaling $1,525. Please respond within 15 days.
Very truly yours,
RE: Claim# 45678
On October 24, 2011, we spoke by phone concerning the above referenced claim. As you know, I was injury in this accident due to the negligence of your insured who was cited for failure to stop at a stop light. My vehicle was totaled. I have submitted to you all my medical bills, loss wages and other out of pocket cost due to this accident totaling $10,456. I have already be paid for my vehicle.
In our conversation, you offered $2,000 above my out of pocket cost as settlement for this insurance claim. This letter is to advise you that I am rejecting this offer as I feel it is too low and unreasonable considering the damages created by this accident.
As advised in our conversation, I will contact you in a couple of days with a more fair and equitable settlement demand for my claim.
For more information about auto insurance claims, check out the following articles:
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