Your insurance company may promise to be there for you at your worst moments, and your agent is happy to collect your premium every month for that assurance. However, most insurers are not so willing to give that money back to you in the form of a payout for a claim. No matter how comforting the slogans of insurance companies, it is important to remember that they are businesses, and profit is their goal.
Understandably, an insurance company will not simply hand over a check even if you deserve and need it. You may have to wait through a thorough investigation into your claim. Even then, you may not receive the amount you anticipate. Unfortunately, many insurers are not above manipulating you out of your rightful claim.
Watch for these tactics
During the time following the accident, you may have several interactions with adjusters from both insurance companies. You may be in pain from your injuries or still feeling confused following the accident, and that is a good thing for an adjuster who hopes to trick you into lowering your claim amount or damaging your claim altogether. Some of those tricks include the following:
- Visiting you in your home where you feel more at ease and may be more willing to talk freely
- Sympathizing with you and pretending to be your friend to convince you to accept less money
- Asking to record your statement so that the insurer can review every word for anything they can use against you
- Giving you a blank medical release form to sign so they can access your complete medical history, including pre-existing conditions they can blame for your pain
- Pressuring you to accept a fast settlement that may be substantially less than you need or than your case is worth
- Wearing you down by requiring more and more proof of the damages you are suffering from the aftermath of the accident
Remember that everything you say to an insurance representative may affect your claim. Even if you automatically reply with “Fine” when the adjuster asks how you are, the insurance company may take this as an indication that you are not suffering. Because of the delicate nature of your claim and your fragile state, you may benefit from having a skilled attorney deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Personal injury attorneys know how to handle the tactics of the insurance industry and will work to maximize your claim.