Insurance Company Rip-off #1
Insurance companies are only interested in making money. Thus you will soon realize that YOU ARE NOT IN GOOD HANDS AND YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR will NOT GIVE YOU A PIECE OF THE ROCK. Those concepts are for their ads.
In this article, I will address the first of several ways in which the Insurance Company Rips you off. Initially they try to get you to settle fast. Then they will tell the insured/victim that they may lose their claim. Getting a quick signature by saying “Sign Here” is the next stage and when you purchase insurance the agent will ask if “You Want To Save Some Money”. They will often give you a substandard company that historically doesn’t pay.
To save money, common sense suggests that you have to limit the coverage you will receive. All too often, drivers call me and to their amazement they do not have the full coverage they always thought they had.
After an accident the insurance company will do whatever is necessary to settle the case quickly. A quick settlement means their injured driver will not be able to draw out the treatment with medical providers. Less treatment means less medical bills. Less meds means a lesser value of the case, and that means a smaller settlement.
To get a lower settlement, the insurance co will initially assign a nice sweet adjuster to contact you, and pump you for information. Later they will reassign a tougher gruff adjuster.
However, Remember that Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver. It is not always What You Say, But Rather What the Police or Insurance Investigator Thought They Heard You Say.
When the adjuster contacts you, my suggestion is that you don’t talk, settle or deal with anyone from the insurance company, without the permission of your lawyer. When you get the call, simply explain, you would be happy to talk to them.
However, your lawyer asked you to not talk without his/her permission. That way you are the “good guy” and the lawyer is the bad one. I call this setting up your lawyer to be the “fall guy” or “strawman”.
There are many reasons a victim should not accept an early settlement. Not only does a victim not know the value of the case but what happens if you settle and months later find out you have a serious problem. Now there is no insurance coverage to pay for this additional expense…the case is settled.
I advise my clients that when they get a call from the adjuster, to get their name and number, and then call me. I will call the adjuster to explain it is the policy of our office to not allow a client to talk at this point.
With respect to the adjuster or investigator writing down something that is incorrect, it is not just that the adjuster is lying but rather that s/he misunderstood what you said. I had that happen with one of my best friends in the CV, when he was in an accident. He did not listen to my suggestion, and went to his own doctor. The doctor was not used to preparing a med/legal report, and I suspect had the nurse prepare the medical report for the doctor.
She misread the doctor’s note because she could not read his handwriting. She thought it said that he fell from a horse. The medical office refused to change it to an auto accident.