While some insurance claims are paid in full by various insurance companies, there are far too many people who are forced into accepting less than their actual damages due to their insurance companies’ practices.
Although many of us believe that our insurance companies are here to look after us at a time of need, the simple fact is that the insurance corporation’s purpose in the world is to make profit for their shareholders.
This corporate goal is often obtained by maximizing the money coming in from premiums and paying out as little as possible in claims. That corporate policy finds its way all the way down the individual adjusters, who are often given bonuses based on how much they are able to reduce claims. Further, their career progression rides on giving out as little money as possible.
Most insurance companies such as Geico, State Farm and Allstate have full time lawyers who are employees of the company and spend all of their time fighting against claimants.
A few of the bad faith insurance practices that we lawyers commonly see include:
- Failing to properly investigate a claim. Many insurance companies will ask you to provide information about the accident then stop the investigation until pushed. It makes more money for shareholders to delay your claim and invest your money than to perform an adequate investigation as is required by law.
- Misrepresenting coverage and policy limits. Insurance adjusters are trained to dishonestly misrepresent the available insurance coverage in an effort to persuade you to settle for less than you deserve. It is imperative to get a written affidavit from the insurance company ensuring that the coverage they have reported is all of the coverage available to their knowledge.
- Delaying communications with claimants. Insurance companies have many tactics for this. They may simply ignore you. Other times they will switch adjusters over and over again only for the new adjuster to tell you that they need time to get “acclimated” to your file or need some new information or a copy of some records.
- Denying claims without conducting reasonable investigations. Insurance companies are legally required to conduct adequate, thorough investigations on your claim before making a decision on coverage. Many insurance companies fail to do this and will deny your claim for some invalid reason in hopes that you won’t want to deal with the stress of arguing with them.
- Demanding unreasonable, unnecessary, over burdensome information prior to addressing claims. The insurance companies are not entitled to irrelevant information during their investigation of the claim. Things such as primary care records for an upper respiratory infection, your grandmother’s maiden name or other ridiculous requests are tactics used to distract and delay.
When you contact attorney Herman & Wells you can trust that these practices will be stopped in their tracks. Attorney Wells and his staff prioritize getting your claim resolved as quickly as possible and will take the stress of dealing with insurance companies off your shoulders.
If you do not feel that an insurance company has been dealing with you in good faith for your claim, or is trying to get you to accept less than the actual value of your loss, call me to discuss your rights. Whether yours is a claim for an automobile, homeowner, sinkhole, mold, flood, fire, or any other type of insurance, the consultation with me is free.