If you are not satisfied with how your insurance company is handling your claim, you have several options:

• Talk to the agent or company representative who sold you the policy. Let the agent know that you are dissatisfied and explain the details of your problem. Get the name and phone number of the head of the insurer’s claim department. Your insurance company may also have a consumer complaint department that may be helpful.

• Be prepared to support your case. Send documents and a letter explaining why you are not satisfied and make sure you have the figures to back up your argument. Be certain to include your address, claim number, day and evening phone numbers, and any other important identifying information.

• Contact the claims manager of the company. Provide a written clarification of your problem with copies of supporting documentation. Remember to send only a copy and not any original documentation. If you are insured with a smaller company, consider writing directly to the president. Approaching the top management can speed up the process at times.

• Contact your state insurance department.
Insurance is an administered industry and your state department of insurance should be able to help you resolve your problem.

• Contact an arbitrator to hear your case. An independent arbitrator with experience in insurance matters can decide if the settlement you were offered is fair. Your insurance company may suggest an arbitrator or you can get your own from the American Arbitration Association.

• Consult an attorney. If you have tried all four of the above tips and still cannot resolve the claim, you have the option of talking to an attorney. You may have to pay a consultation fee for your initial visit, so make sure you know how much this will cost. Meet with an attorney who has solid references or get the name of someone from your local bar association. Prepare for the visit by bringing a copy of your insurance policy and other relevant documents. Get the fee structure in writing before you decide to pursue the case.