If you carry American Family Insurance for your auto coverage, you need to know how to make a claim and what to expect from the process. Even though New York is a no-fault state, your insurance company is not on your side as much as you may think.
Insurance companies are trying to earn as much money as possible, and that means they don’t want to pay you as much as you truly deserve. A New York car accident lawyer will know how to negotiate with American Family Insurance.
About American Family Insurance
American Family Insurance is a Fortune 500 company with revenues over $9.5 billion in 2017. They have plenty of money to pay out claims, yet because of their for-profit approach, a lot of that money doesn’t go to claims.
American Family Insurance is also one of the oldest auto insurers. It started in 1927 insuring farm drivers, which were believed to be less risky to insure. This means they have a long history of adjusting auto accident claims. You, however, do not. Therefore you need a lawyer’s help when you make your claim.
For a free legal consultation, call (212) 732-2929
Starting a Claim with American Family Insurance
As of this writing, the number to call to start an insurance claim with American Family Insurance is 800-692-6326. You can find the latest number on the back of your insurance card. If you don’t have your card, you can usually get another copy or the number through your online account.
You’ll need to file your claim within three years of your accident. Trying to get a claim after this time will cause you to violate the statute of limitations. Your claim could be denied, and you could lose your chance for compensation.
When you give your report, be factual about what happened and mention nothing about fault. If you’d prefer, you can have your lawyer make the report on your behalf. Be careful of making any comment about how you’re feeling. It’s so easy to automatically say you’re ‘fine’ when you’re really not.
Repairing Your Car
American Family Insurance may ask you to take your car to a particular mechanic to check the damage. You do not have to use that mechanic if you don’t want to. Often, these mechanics have a deal with insurers to help them save money.
One tactic you can use is to go to their mechanic for the diagnosis, then take the car to your preferred mechanic for a second opinion. However, you’ll need to weigh the costs of getting your vehicle moved between the two mechanics.
The same principle applies when an insurer tells you to see a particular doctor. You are free to get a second opinion from your own doctor to confirm a diagnosis, or to get evidence that the insurer’s preferred option doesn’t tell the entire story.
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After you’ve notified your insurer, they’ll assign a claims adjuster to your case. The claim adjuster is not on your side. They want to limit or deny your settlement claim and will make you jump through hoops to justify your accident compensation. It’s far better to let a personal injury lawyer do the negotiations instead.
Insurance companies like AmFam know the legal loopholes and language that can deny you access to coverage. They can also do things like delay your case to financially pressure you, or try to get you to waive rights to compensation and trial.
Don’t face an American Family Insurance negotiation on your own. A car accident lawyer from Dansker & Aspromonte can examine all settlement offers, explain the pros and cons, and give advice on whether you should take it, make a counteroffer, or go to trial. If you need a lawyer, we’re ready to help you.