READ THIS BEFORE YOU SIGN A RELEASE:
A release is a binding contract to finalize a claim. The insurance company is paying you money to resolve the claims you have against the insurance policy for that occurrence (date of loss).
Before you sign a release, make sure you are satisfied with the amount the insurance company is paying you.
There are two commonly used releases related to auto insurance, homeowners insurance, or a commercial general liability insurance policy:
1. Release of Property Damage: This covers all damages to property. Whether it is to repair or replace your car; car rental (if covered under your policy) or loss of use of your car (if the other person’s insurance is paying you); and damage to any items inside the car during the crash, including clothing that may have been cut off of you in the emergency room to treat you.
2. Release of All Claims: This release is used when all claims (property and injury) relating to this date of loss are being resolved.
a. Sometimes you will sign a property damage release with your own insurance company, and then go after the other person’s car insurance to pay you for the injuries you suffered.
You are wise to talk to a lawyer before signing any release to be sure you are getting paid a fair value for your loss, and have made claims for all you are legally entitled to under the insurance policy.
After signing a release, you are not allowed to make any additional claims relating to that date of loss (occurrence) even if you did not know you had a right to make that claim until after you signed the release.