Getting into an auto accident is stressful, but filing a claim can be even more stressful at times. In a perfect world, your car insurance provider will guide you through the process step by step, in the most supportive manner possible. We don’t live in a perfect world, unfortunately. Oftentimes, an insurance company will be more concerned with having to foot the bill for damages and injuries, and as such will make the process more difficult. Fortunately, there are steps you can take if you feel like your claim is being handled unfairly. Here are a few:

Understand Your Policy
You should have a clear idea of what your policy covers, and what it doesn’t. This will make the claim process much easier for both you and your provider.

Don’t Keep Quiet
If you feel like your claim is being mishandled, don’t be afraid to let your insurance provider know. Call your agent and voice your concerns. If need be, file a consumer complaint.

Use Resources
Consider contacting your state insurance department if you feel that you are being treated unfairly with regards to your auto insurance claim. The best way to get help is to contact a service representative in order to get consumer information.

Keep Detailed Records
You should have a documented estimate of damage and injury costs available to help make filing a claim easier. It is also a good idea to have contact information and details stored in one place. Write everything down. You will thank yourself later.

Get an Arbitrator
Before you consult with an attorney, try getting in contact with an arbitrator. An independent arbitrator can give you advice about your claim. You can access one through your insurance company or through the American Arbitration Association, if need be.

Call a Lawyer
If all else fails, and you still feel like your claim is being mishandled, you may always contact an attorney. Contact your state’s Bar Association to receive a referral. This should be considered a last resort, as attorneys are expensive, and if you do use one you should receive a quote on the cost before you hire one.

If you have trouble with a claim, you may want to consider changing insurance providers after it is settled. Make sure that your new policy covers everything in the case of an accident. Having cheap car insurance shouldn’t mean having to sacrifice your safety and financial freedom.