How Do I Draft a Demand Package to the Insurance Company?
If you’re trying to handle your own insurance claim after being injured in a crash, the insurance company is going to be expecting you to send them a demand package.
At its heart, a demand package, or demand letter, is simply a written demand for money (you could also demand action of some kind, but typically after a crash, you are demanding compensation for your injuries).
In a way, many insurance adjusters are old-fashioned in that they wait for you to make a written demand for money before they consider negotiating with you. Until they receive a demand, many insurance adjusters will merely let time pass on your claim. Sure, you may have started the claim, and you may have periodically reported on your medical treatment and expenses, but until you actually send a written demand for money, your claim doesn’t usually move forward.
This isn’t true in all cases. Sometimes offers are made without a demand. I’ve had many people report to me that they made initial attempts to handle their own insurance claim and were offered a small sum of money without asking for it (seems the magic number is usually close to $1,000, no matter the severity of the injuries). Often this offer is made soon after the collision. The hope is that you’ll accept a quick settlement before it dawns on your how much of an impact your injuries are going to have on your well-being.
But assuming your treatment took longer than 30 days from the date of the collision, you’ll likely need to send a demand to the adjuster to begin the negotiation process.
Essential Elements of a Demand Letter
Demand letters or demand packages comes in a variety of forms. Some of what you include depends on your personal taste and style. This is particularly true because you are writing about something very personal to you: your injuries from the collision.
But no matter what else you choose to include in the demand letter, it’s critical you include a demand.
A demand is simply a statement that you expect to receive a certain sum of money in exchange for releasing your claim. It doesn’t have to be more than one sentence. Here is a good example:
I am willing to settle my claim for $10,000.
The amount you demand is up to you. Don’t let my example number make you think that is what you should demand in your own case. The value of your injury claim depends on a number of factors.
But it’s critical that your demand letter have some kind of demand. Don’t put a lot of time and effort into the demand letter and then forget to include a demand. A literal demand for money is essential.
Nonessential, But Good Information to Include in Your Demand Letter
Other than a demand for money, what else should you include in your demand letter? The following topics are all part of a traditional demand letter:
- Narrative of How the Collision Happened
- Suggestion or Statement as to Why You Are Entitled to Payment
- Itemization of Your Medical Expenses, Lost Wages, and Other Expenses
- Information About Your Injuries
- Explanation of How Your Injuries Have Impacted Your Life
For each of these categories, you need to find your own voice and style. The best demand letters are credible and genuine. You can follow a form or template. But the best demand letters need to highlight what you think is most important about your case.