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The don'ts of making a car insurance claim

There is more to making a car insurance claim than calling your agent on the phone and discussing what happened. You need to make sure you are saying all the right things at exactly the right time. If you misspeak, even by accident, it could come back to haunt you at some point.

Here are several things you should not do when it comes to making a car insurance claim:

-- Don't give a written or recorded statement until you understand your policy. You are not required by law to give the insurance company permission to record your conversation.

-- Don't sign anything. It is common to be asked to sign a waiver or release. Don't sign on the dotted line until you are sure that it is the right thing to do.

-- Don't assume that you have to accept the estimate of your losses. Insurance companies are in the business of "low balling" clients in an attempt to save money. If you don't feel like you are getting a fair shake, you have every right to reject the offer.

-- Don't accept a final payment. There could come a time when you receive a check from an insurance company marked as "final payment." Don't accept the money unless you are okay with this.

Making a car insurance claim can be challenging on many fronts. The best thing you can do is remain patient and only make decisions when you are confident in what you are doing. If for any reason you are confused, refuse to move forward until you receive professional advice.

Source: FindLaw, "Car Insurance Claims: Dos and Don'ts," accessed May. 28, 2015

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