In the aftermath of a car accident, your first concern naturally revolves around ensuring your safety and well-being. However, another pressing issue looms – the need to contact your insurance company and initiate an auto accident claim, irrespective of fault.
But can you truly count on the insurance adjuster to be helpful and resolve your claim fairly? Unfortunately, the answer is not always a resounding yes. In many instances, insurance companies employ a range of tactics aimed at minimizing payouts and retaining more of your hard-earned money.
Today, the insurance industry stands as a multi-billion dollar behemoth, but its ascent to such economic heights was not without controversy. These companies achieved their financial might largely by holding onto a significant portion of your premiums.
This blog aims to shed light on how insurance providers sidestep paying claims fairly, the common tactics they employ, and what you should be prepared for in this complex process.
The Three “D”s: Deny, Delay, and Defend
The insurance industry has a playbook for evading payouts, and it revolves around the three “D”s: deny, delay, and defend.
Deny: Insurance companies often resort to outright denials, either in part or whole, to avoid disbursing money and bolster their profits.
Delay: Insurers drag out the claims process by conducting extensive investigations, demanding additional tests and paperwork, all with the goal of postponing payments. This delay serves a dual purpose – it allows them to accrue interest on funds they have no legitimate right to withhold, while simultaneously increasing the financial desperation of injured parties. Many accident victims find themselves forced to settle for less than their rightful compensation simply to cover mounting bills.
Defend: Even on seemingly minor claims, insurers put up an aggressive defense if a claimant disputes any aspect of their case. Some companies, like Allstate, have even honed strategies to make smaller claims so arduous and costly that attorneys might be discouraged from taking them on.
Four Common Insurance Company Tactics
Here are four tactics commonly used by insurance companies to execute the “deny, delay, and defend” strategy:
Intercepting Car Accident Victims: Insurance adjusters are trained to swiftly approach injured claimants, aiming to educate them about the claims process, establish rapport, and initiate the claim on their behalf. The primary objective here is to discourage claimants from seeking legal representation. Experienced car accident attorneys often secure full entitlements for their clients.
Excessive Document Demands: Insurers may insist on numerous documents before evaluating a claim. In reality, many of these documents are superfluous as they rely on computer systems to calculate settlement values. This requirement is yet another delay tactic to withhold rightful compensation.
Disputing Medical Treatment: Insurance companies often utilize computer algorithms to determine necessary medical procedures, sometimes deeming treatments unnecessary despite lacking firsthand medical evaluations. This strategy either results in delayed payments or the insurer retaining the funds.
Blaming the Other Party: Adjusters might mislead policyholders into believing they must pursue claims through the at-fault driver’s insurance. In reality, they are entitled to compensation from their own insurance provider, which should then recover from the at-fault party’s insurer and reimburse the policyholder’s deductible.
Understanding the strategies employed by insurance companies can empower you when navigating the claims process after a car accident. Our experienced car accident attorneys at The Law Office of Don Cary Collins in O’Fallon, IL can assist in securing the full compensation you deserve while thwarting the “deny, delay, and defend” tactics employed by insurers.