How to Deal With Auto Insurance Company Settlements An insurance company can settle a claim at its discretion so long as it remains within the boundaries of the policy agreement. As policy agreements are typically vague, subject to interpretation and subjective opinion, it's rarely easy to contest an insurance company's claim without filing a lawsuit over it. If you're satisfied with the settlement or don't want the hassle of fighting it in court, y ou hav e the relatively simple choice of requesting a lump-sum payment or a distribution over time. Instructions o 1 Decide whether you would like to accept the settlement or appeal it. If you accept the settlement, you will lose the right to appeal it later. If you choose to accept the settlement, select the payment plan offered by your policy. In the case of something like a hospital bill which must be paid within a certain time period, you may hav e to request a lump-sum payment to avoid pay ing any fees. o 2 Appeal the settlement with documentation and support f rom experts. Contact an independent claims adjuster to examine the car covered by the policy and advise you on how to appeal the settlement. Include any documents that may support your case, such as a police report, if one was filed, regarding your auto insurance claim. o 3 Continue the appeals process as long as you f eel it necessary. This will delay receiving any payment, but perseverance increases your chances of receiving a better settlement deal---so long as y ou hav e a valid case. o 4 Send a complaint to your state department of insurance regarding y our settlement. You may not receiv e a reply for some time, but a caseworker may assist you in appealing y our claims settlement. o 5 Contact an insurance claims lawyer if you would like assistance in the appeals process. Consider contracting with a lawy er that specializes in auto insurance settlements. At first, your lawyer will send letters regarding your settlement in an attem pt to go through the company appeals process. If your lawy er thinks you have a case, and the company remains intransigent, they may suggest you file a lawsuit to receive a better claims deal. o 6 File a lawsuit with the aid of your lawy er if you would like to continue pursuing your appeal. If you win the suit, you may receive a better claim and be paid any damages you may have incurred while undergoing the appeals process.