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GEICO is an acronym for "Government Employees Insurance Company." GEICO insures many people in the Denver area, and because it is such a popular company, chances are that you or someone you know is insured by GEICO.
If you are injured in a Denver car accident caused by a driver insured by GEICO, there are a few items of which you should be aware. You must remember that GEICO makes a profit, just like all other insurance companies, by taking more money in premium payments than their claims adjusters payout in claims settlements. From that perspective, the insurance business is an incredibly simple business model.
How to File a GEICO Claim
After the car accident, you must contact GEICO to file an claim, which will be assigned to a GEICO claims adjuster. You should be aware that GEICO claims adjusters must follow company guidelines for settling claims.
GEICO, like other insurance companies, assigns values for claims made against their customers. The settlement values, however, may not account for all of the variables in your GEICO claim.
For example, you may value your GEICO claim at three times the amount of your medical expenses, while GEICO may come in at a much lower number because of the database value of your claim.
Therefore, the trick in negotiating with GEICO is to convince the claims adjuster to move away from the database value towards the value you for which you want to settle.
How to Negotiate Your GEICO Claim
There are negotiating methods you can use to try to persuade the GEICO claims adjuster to see things your way. Every case is different, and no result can ever be guaranteed.
Notwithstanding, you can implement a few techniques when negotiating with a GEICO claims adjuster.
Make the First Offer
This piece of advice tends to contradict the belief that the party who makes the first offer frequently loses.
However, making the first offer for your GEICO claim will focus the negotiations around your number and not theirs. The focus around your offer is called the "anchoring effect."
Make an Aggressive but Not Outrageous First Offer
Do not demand $5 million if your GEICO car accident claim is only worth $5,000. However, demanding the limits of an insurance policy is not a bad start if you have some facts to back it up.
Making too high of a demand could make you come off as greedy, and despite your best efforts to "anchor" the negotiations around your number, you will end up making concessions.
Know Your Bottom Number
Before starting your negotiations, you must know the lowest number you will accept for your GEICO claim.
Be firm with that figure and walk away if GEICO refuses to meet your standards. You might have other legal options you have not explored.
Try to Mimic or Mirror the Claims Adjuster's Behavior.
Mimicking someone on the phone might be difficult, but you can adopt a similar tone and inflection in your voice. The GEICO claims adjuster might have an easier time identifying with you, leading to a more fruitful and pleasant discussion.
Give a Settlement Range
Demanding a range of numbers rather than a single number may be beneficial. Giving a range at the outset immediately helps the other person understand that you are reasonable. Being reasonable goes a long way.
Not every tactic is going to work. You must bear in mind that GEICO claims adjusters are skilled at negotiating. Their job is to keep money in the pockets of GEICO.
On the other hand, the GEICO claims that should be settled probably will be settled. Each side might need to give a little to reach an agreement, but that is the nature of negotiating. It will be a give and take to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome.
Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Negotiating on your own behalf can be very emotional. You are asking for damages for your injuries, and it can be very hard. Sometimes, the best course of action may be to seek help from a personal injury attorney who has a record of success in representing auto accident victims. Our Denver car accident attorneys have years of experience advocating for auto injury victims and their families.
At Zinda Law Group, our skilled personal injury lawyers will provide you legal advice while working diligently to reach a fair and just resolution of your claim. Contact us at (800) 863-5312 today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can potentially help you with your auto accident claim.