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How to Negotiate with an Auto Insurance Adjuster

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By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – Car owners who suffered from their cars being totaled in the recent hail storm may be able to receive a larger settlement from insurance companies.

A local attorney advises the public to never settle for the first offer. He says there are several ways to negotiate a better deal.

Seth Young watched his car get pummeled with hail.

"While the hail was coming down I called my insurance and got a claim that instant," said Seth Young.

He's still waiting for the insurance company to inspect his car, but he's pretty sure it's totaled.

"I think a lot of people are going to be to the point where I want to get it done and will take a low offer and they really shouldn't," Young said.

"They are going to want to pay you as little as possible until you step up to the plate and request more," said attorney Kevin Hill.

You don't have to be an attorney to negotiate a better settlement. Utilize your resources. First, go online and find comparable vehicles in the area. Also, check the Kelley Blue Book and National Automobile Dealers Association Web sites.

"Insurance companies will use the Internet or NADA or Kelley Blue Book values to determine the value of your vehicle," Hill said. "You can utilize those same things and try and find vehicles in your market that are comparable to yours."

Make sure the insurance adjuster is considering all the vehicle's add-ons and features. The insurance adjuster may have overlooked items such as low miles, premium wheels, new tires, or heated seats, to name a few. Also, be sure to ask the adjuster to include the tag, title, and license in the settlement.

Also, ask to speak with a supervisor if no negotiation is being reached with the insurance adjuster. That extra step could add hundreds to the value of your car.

"You spend five minutes of your time for $200. It's worth it," Young said.

The same can be said if you have home damage. Be sure to inform the adjuster of every detail that could add value to your home.

Get more tips and info from the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

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