Insurance exists to protect people from unexpected situations and financial liability. Insurance protects you in different ways. Medical insurance protects you from unexpected costs if you suddenly contract an illness, while motor vehicle insurance protects you from liability if you cause a wreck.
When someone causes a crash that leaves you seriously hurt, you will probably need to file a claim against their insurance policy. Doing so can be a difficult process. Insurance adjusters are eager to reduce the expenses of their employer. You need to be on the lookout for some of the more common tactics insurance employees use that can hurt those with valid claims after a crash.
1) Tricking you into implicating yourself
Whether they call you while you are still at the scene of the crash because you submitted the initial claim while waiting for police to arrive or they reach out to you while you are in the hospital recovering from your injuries, those representing insurance companies will usually be pleasant, cooperative and supportive when initially communicating with you.
They want you to feel like they are there to help so that you will speak with them comfortably. They may ask you leading questions or otherwise try to get you to admit some degree of fault or to apologize for what occurred. What you say can hurt you, especially if they record the conversation. These tactics can impact your right to compensation, even if the police report makes it clear the other driver caused the crash.
2) Offering you a settlement that protects the company instead of you
The more severe your injuries are, the more frightening it can be to consider the financial impact of the car crash. If you will be out of work for weeks and have thousands of dollars in medical expenses, you may not know how you will pay your rent or mortgage, let alone the constantly occurring hospital bills.
An insurance settlement offer can feel like exactly what you need. Your sense of relief is what the insurance agents anticipate because they don’t want you to really think about the offer. It will probably fall short of your total expenses, leaving you with a big bill to pay off and the company with no liability. You will probably need to counter and negotiate a settlement to receive a fair offer.
3) Delaying claim payments or refusing reasonable costs
Insurance companies can make getting a claim paid a real hassle. Some applicants may find themselves waiting for weeks after submitting every piece of paperwork the insurance company requires.
Others may hear from the insurance company that they won’t pay the rates the mechanic estimated, offering instead only a fraction of the hourly costs. Some insurance adjusters will simply refuse to communicate with service providers or mechanics whatsoever, leaving companies trying to settle insurance-related claims feeling like they can’t work with a customer that needs their car fixed.
If another driver has caused a crash and their insurance company gives you the run-around, you may need to push back so that they know you mean business about getting the benefits you deserve.