Insurance companies often use delay tactics in order to trick you into accepting a lower settlement than you deserve. By delaying your claims and their payments, insurance companies purposefully put you in a vulnerable position. In this position, you are more likely to accept a lower settlement.
Insurance companies are aware of this and they utilize this information to save themselves money. By lengthening the process, they’re trying to wear you down mentally and financially.
Auto accidents can cause more than physical injuries. For instance, they can cause monetary and property injury. You might suffer a loss of wages, have excessive medical bills, or your vehicle may be totaled. Even if you have health insurance, you must first pay co-pays, deductibles, and any uncovered services out-of-pocket.
Due to the financial hardship of dealing with an accident, adjusters purposefully delay your claim; making you more likely to accept a quicker and lower settlement offer.
Ways that Insurance Companies Delay Settlement
After the initial contact with your insurance company, made to report the accident and describe your injuries, your company may not contact you again. You must take the initiative and actively pursue the continuation of your claims and case. If you fail to actively pursue your case, your insurance company may reject your claim, or lower your settlement amount. They will argue that if your injuries were as severe as you claimed, you would have been more proactive in your pursuit of compensation.
Delay, Deny, Defend
Insurance companies delay payment of valid claims, deny all or part of valid claims, and aggressively defend lawsuits. Even after stating their acceptance of full liability, insurance companies may change their statement later on. By doing so, they’ll attempt to pin some of the fault on you, in an attempt to lower your settlement amount.
Postpone Rental Cars
If you need a rental car, insurance adjusters may delay providing a claim number. Alternatively, they may push back the date of which the rental car will be available to you or even when they’ll be willing to settle the matter. However, by rights, a rental car should be accessible to you 24 hours after the accident.
Send Your Mail to Your Previous Address
Insurance adjusters may send forms and checks to your previous address in order to delay your attainment of such. However, claim forms may have deadlines, and missing them can cause you to lose your potential settlement.
Delay a PIP Application
In Utah, a no-fault state, your medical expenses are covered by Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The minimum coverage for any auto policy is $3,000. If your insurance adjuster believes that you’ll exceed the minimum, they will delay sending the application. However, if you received minor injuries such as small bruises and sore muscles, they’ll send the form in a relatively timely manner.
Postpone Medical Treatment
Adjusters may dispute the severity of your injuries and may claim that the suggested treatment is unnecessary for your recovery. They will also use any delay in medical treatment as evidence that treatment wasn’t necessary; they may refuse to pay for your medical treatment.
Delay Until Death
Many companies delay claims knowing that the policyholder may become overwhelmed and give up. Some insurance companies have gone as far as to lock paperwork in safes to prevent claim advancement. Insurance companies will especially take advantage of the age, illness, and severity of injuries of their policyholders. They know that if they wait long enough, their policyholder may die. Upon the death of the policyholder, the insurance company will only be liable for death benefits.
Change the Point of Contact
In the middle of your personal injury claim process, your insurance adjuster might be switched. By switching the adjuster in the middle of your claim, your claim will be effectively delayed, and you may have to start the entire process over again.
Prolong Documentation Process
They may send paperwork and documentation to you one piece at a time. By drawing out the process and sending documents one by one to you, they attempt to wear you down. Additionally, if you forget or lose a document, they may deny your claim.
Some of the biggest auto insurance companies, including Allstate and State Farm, deny claims to boost their bottom lines. These companies reward employees who deny claims and replace those who do not.
Use a Credit Card
Insurance companies reduce their payout amount by using a credit card to cover your claims. This enables them to save through their credit card benefits.
Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to connect with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!