If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle collision, the last thing you need is a protracted fight with an insurance company. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the position you are likely to find yourself in. Despite making an average of $30 billion a year in profit, insurance companies routinely use a number of underhanded and unfair tactics to deny paying injured people what they owe. A recent report from the American Association for Justice illustrated some of the dishonest methods insurers use.
Fortunately, you do not have to battle insurance companies alone. Accident attorneys in the Delaware Valley can make all the difference.
How Car Insurers Avoid Paying Legitimate Claims
Allstate Insurance earned its place on the list of the 10 Worst Insurance companies with its three-part claims handling process of “Deny, Delay, Defend.” However, Allstate is not the only insurer that doesn’t treat claimants in a fair and reasonable way.
Some examples of the different tactics that insurers use in an effort to avoid paying reasonable compensation to covered victims after car crashes include:
- Rewarding employees to deny legitimate claims or keep payments down. Some companies offer pizza parties, gift certificates and other incentives to agents who are able to avoid payouts or get injured victims to accept settlements that are less than they deserve. Reports indicate that one insurance adjuster would offer people as little as $50 for claims and policyholders would take the money because they were afraid of getting nothing at all.
- Finding any and all reasons to deny covered claims. One 60-year-old woman with broken bones and a collapsed lung after a crash had her claim denied on her $2 million Farmers’ Insurance Policy. The insurer said that she was not covered for the collision that resulted when a pickup truck driver crossed into her lane because the incident was caused by “road rage” and wasn’t an accident.
- Delaying the claim to avoid paying. While this example was specifically given in regards to long-term care insurance (with insurers avoiding payments until policyholders died), it is applicable to car insurance claims too. If an insurer can string you along for a long enough period of time with promises to pay, the statute of limitations could expire and you’d be unable to sue. Insurers also count on you becoming desperate for money and willing to accept less compensation than you deserve.
You don’t have to let this happen to you. You can fight unfair actions on the part of insurers by:
- Reading insurance policies carefully to understand what is covered.
- Documenting all losses carefully (including keeping medical records and treatment bills).
- Keeping copies of all correspondence.
- Hiring an experienced attorney to represent you in motor vehicle collision claims.
You should never sign anything or agree to a settlement until you have had an attorney look it over and ensure it is fair and reasonable.
Accident attorneys in the Delaware Valley can help collision victims. Contact Flager & Associates at 215-953-5200 today to schedule a consultation.