I don’t recall ever hearing from anyone that has been injured by a third-party that dealing with their insurance company was easy. Because of this anomaly is why so many injured people seek out attorneys. The reality is that insurance adjuster’s jobs are to make the process as difficult as possible within the boundaries of the law. Most people forget that Insurance companies are for-profit companies and their profits increase by maximizing premiums and minimizing payouts. I’ll demonstrate a several strategies you might expect from the insurance adjuster.
Making you feel like they are on your side
The insurance adjuster may be very nice at first and seem like your best friend. However, they will be researching behind your back and plotting to offer minimal value. Their goal will be to settle and close your case as soon as possible. Often they will attempt to settle right away, before you will even know how much pain and suffering you will experience and prior to you knowing how the medical attention will cost.
They will request unrelated and information from you
The request of information may be for the purpose of making the claim difficult or embarrassing. They will ask for all kind of information in the hopes that you will give up the claim. They may even try to convince you that certain information may be the reason to limit or deny your claim. Often the reason is not accurate excuse to deny a claim.
The delay game
First off, insurance companies delaying payment of funds allow them to collect interest. Furthermore, the longer claims remain stagnant, insurance companies believe the higher the chance the injured party will just give up. You would be surprised how often this happens to unrepresented people.
Not being fully upfront in regards to the insurance benefits
This can happen in many different ways. Your insurance might do this by suggesting that you don’t have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. In Washington, your insurance must offer those coverages and tender them unless you sign stating you want to waive them. The insurance company must provide proof that you waived those coverages (I suggest you always purchase PIP and UIM and the highest limits possible). The third party insurance also may be misleading. For example, the may tell you that the negligent person only has very little limits and convince you, you must settle for much less than the limits or the claim is worth.
Giving you, medical treatment advice
Often insurance companies will not fully credit you on your medical treatment and want to limit reimbursement. They will want to minimize your ailments. It feels like many adjusters believe everyone is a liar, and no one is ever hurt in a car accident. Obviously, this is not true, but you will receive no benefit of the doubt from the insurance adjuster.
It is important to understand that insurance adjusters and trained to minimize claims. They would not be doing their job unless they were paying out as little as possible. It is very true that the insurance company does not want you to hire an attorney, and they might even tell you that. The reason for that is that they feel they have an advantage when dealing with an unrepresented person. That assumed advantage goes away very quickly once an attorney is on board.