Inside the Insurance Companies – Part 1
This blog post is part one in a four-part series designed to help you understand the inner workings of how insurance companies handle a claim filed after an auto accident.
Most insurance companies have catchy slogans and friendly staff members who answer the phone when you call to purchase coverage. This makes you, as a customer, trust in them and the coverage they provide to you and your family should you be involved in an auto accident.
As nice as these people may be, an insurance company is a business with a bottom line. This is why it is in your best interest to work with an experienced professional in negotiating the best possible settlement for your claim instead of accepting a quick check, even if you are dealing with your own insurance company.
Insurance companies are notorious for delaying the settlement of claims. Here are the most common tactics employed by insurance companies to delay the initial phase of the claims process:
- Failure to Return Calls—one of the first things you will do after an accident is set up a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You expect the adjuster assigned to your claim to promptly return your call to set up a rental car and schedule an estimate for your car. The reality is that adjusters sometimes take weeks to make this happen, leaving you stranded with no transportation.
- Refusal to Accept Fault—another delay tactic used by insurance adjusters is to refuse to accept fault. Often, once you have gotten in touch with an adjuster, he or she will say that the crash report is not yet available or cite the need to further investigate. This means more days pass without any progress on your claim.
- Request to Take a Recorded Statement—when you first speak to an insurance adjuster, he or she will generally request to take a recorded statement from you. Although the memory of the car crash seems fresh in your mind, you may forget an important detail or are tripped up in the adjuster’s questions. This could be used as evidence against you later in the claims process. You should not give a recorded statement without the advice of an attorney who is very experienced in personal injury law.
Visit our website next week for part two of the Inside the Insurance Companies series.