6 Tactics Insurers Use to Devalue or Deny Valid ClaimsRequest Free Consultation
You paid your insurance premiums. You’re in a car wreck. You file your claim. And you wait for what you believe will be the fair, just amount for your injuries and your vehicle. Because, again, you made every effort to pay your insurance premiums on time. So, the last call you expect to receive is from the insurer devaluing or denying your claim! Yet, it happens every single day.
In this blog post, we’re going to tell you about the tactics insurers use in Florida to devalue or outright deny valid claims. We’ll also tell you how you can minimize the likelihood of the insurer trying to play these games with you if you have a claim to file. But first, let’s talk about why an insurer would actually do this to their customers, especially when car insurance is a requirement for anyone who drives.
The Truth about Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are a necessary evil from a couple of standpoints. The first is the legal standpoint. If you own and drive a vehicle, you must have it insured. The second is for catastrophic purposes. When you have enough of the right kind of insurance, and a catastrophe occurs, you’re more likely to be covered, regardless of whether you’re at fault.
At the end of the day, though, insurance companies are for-profit entities. So, while they are necessary, they ultimately want to do one thing: be as profitable as possible. And that means devaluing or denying as many valid claims as possible.
Let’s look at six tactics used to do this.
Look for or Makeup Reasons to Deny Valid Claims
In fact, in Oklahoma, from 2010 through May 2016, several homeowners with earthquake insurance through Farmers reported claims, but only 19% were paid despite all who reported citing “significant damage.” Their claims were denied, with Farmers stating that the damage was “settling” and not from an earthquake. Eventually, Oklahoma state leaders became involved and reached a settlement agreement with Farmers Insurance and the remainder of the claimants. The settlement was for $25 million for 1,000 denied or failed to pay out on submitted claims properly.
Ethel Adams is another example of denied valid claims. Ms. Adams was in a terrible car accident resulting in serious injuries that left her in a coma and, later, in a wheelchair. The accident was not her fault. Farmer’s refused to pay and stated their denial was because they believed the other driver at fault was driving in an “intentional” way to cause the accident. Therefore, it wasn’t an accident. Washington State’s Insurance Commissioner had to get involved.
Yet, there are hundreds of thousands of examples of these types of bad faith claims that aren’t written about online. As you can see, the insurance companies (and it’s not just the one we’re using as an example) are about one thing: money.
They Put You Off Until You Quit
The insurance companies know one thing: how much people hate waiting and that many just give up. So, they use tactics to put you off after you file your claim. Think about it: how long do you wait on hold before you give up? How many emails do you send before you stop trying? Do you really think they lost that document you’ve sent over 15 times?
And that deadline they gave you, they wait until the last minute or claim you didn’t send everything. Better yet, they got that document, but they didn’t like the postmark, or you stapled it wrong. They couldn’t process it, and they always put it back on you (but they never reach out ahead of time to tell you that there’s an actual or potential issue).
They’re waiting for you to just give up. And that’s what most claimants do: they stop trying to get a fair settlement. Or any settlement at all.
They Rush You to Settle So It Doesn’t Have to Be Fair
They’ll call you immediately after the claim is filed or right after the accident. The plan is to catch you while you’re still in an emotional state of mind. You’ll think they’re on your side, your friend. They want you just to talk and talk, so they can record it and use it against you later. They’ll rush you into a settlement or get you to say something that isn’t true, so your entire claim is denied.
They Want to See Your Medical Records
But they want to see it in “unlimited time and scope” through the medical authorization. They don’t need your entire medical history for your accident. But they will use it against you if they get it. This includes previous illnesses, medicines, injuries…and anything they can find that will devalue or deny your claim. You should always talk with a Tampa accident attorney before you give an insurance company access to your medical records.
Trying to Tell You the Law about Damages
An insurance adjustor is not an attorney. In fact, you’ll be lucky if they have more than a couple of years of experience in insurance. Only a licensed attorney in Florida can give you legal advice about any damages you may be entitled to seek as a result of your accident. They may also try to scare you and tell you that you don’t qualify to receive money for lost wages. This isn’t necessarily true. Remember that what they are doing is looking to save themselves money
They Don’t Want You to Hire an Attorney
Insurance companies don’t want anyone who is injured or who has been exposed to these six tactics to hire an attorney. Why? Because they don’t want to pay fair claims amounts. They know that a lawyer would be on your side, fighting to get you paid what your claim is actually worth. They know that a lawyer sees right through these tactics. The job of the lawyer is to help you protect your legal rights. Learn more about how to protect your claim by scheduling your free, confidential case review with a Tampa injury lawyer now.