Many people believe that they have very few rights when it comes to getting a car insurance claim settled. Some insurance companies take advantage of people not knowing their rights and have appraiser write a check on the spot for accident damages, preventing the claimant from being able to pursue a larger claim when the full costs of the accident have been determined.
You have the right to choose where your car will be repaired. Insurance companies cannot require you to seek service from a particular company, but they can require you to get quotes from multiple companies before agreeing to a claim settlement. If you are not happy with the company that offers the lowest repair cost, your insurance company can refuse to pay more than lowest estimate, but cannot make you have the repairs done there.
Unless you live in a state that uses the no-fault auto insurance system, you have the right to file a separate claim against the other driver and their insurance company for damages above the offered settlement, including compensation for lost wages and such things as pain and suffering claims. No-fault states generally prohibit or limit this type of claim, so check with your state department of insurance before pursuing a secondary lawsuit.
Keep in mind that your insurance company works for you. If you are not happy with a settlement, you have the right to request a review to determine whether a different settlement is in order. If your insurance company refuses to listen to your claim disputes, you have the right to contact the state department of insurance and request an independent investigation into the claim.
Once you have doubts about your car insurance company, it is probably time to start shopping around for a new policy. You can save money doing this by using online insurance quote sites that tailor a policy just for you and then compare it to the same policy offered by several different insurance providers. It only takes a few minutes to make sure you are getting the best treatment possible.