When you get into a car accident, you can be sure that you’ll be contacted by an auto insurance company very soon. Insurance companies often reach out to claimants with a friendly face. But don’t be fooled.
Auto insurance companies are just like any other business and they need to make yearly profit. So when they show that they are contacting you in your best interest, they are actually contacting you in THEIR best interest – their profit. This shouldn’t surprise you and you also need to be aware that they often use these three tactics throughout your claim to safe their profit at your expense. But what are these tactics?
Low settlement offer from the insurance
The most common tactics insurance companies use is the lowball settlement offer, hoping that claimants will “take the bait”. This type of offer is deliberately calculated much lower than what the claimant will actually need or deserve to compensate for the damage or loss, sustained in the auto accident.
For example, you got into a car accident when the at-fault party was a drunk driver. You suffered injuries that will require $50,000 only for the medical expenses. Since the other driver was drunk, the insurance company knows that the evidence is against them so they rush and offer you a $20,000 settlement offer. Now, this might seem like a lot of money, but compared to what you’re really owed, it’s not even half of it.
Insurance companies love to use this tactic, because once you accept the lowball offer, you can’t go back when you find out how much you’re really owed. When you accept the offer, the case is closed and it impossible to revisit it.
Before accepting ANY kind of offer from the insurance agency, consult with an auto accident attorney and review the offer together. The insurance company will try to rush you into signing by saying that the offer is good for a few days, but don’t give in. The reality is that the offer stands until the claimant responds (accepts or denies).
Insurance company asking for recorded statements
After a car accident, you don’t own a recorded statement to anyone’s insurance company. You may not know this, but it’s true.
Shortly after your car accident you will receive a call from the insurance company, telling you that you need to give a recorded statement then and there. The representative will avoid using aggressive tone (that might scare someone and they will hang up). So instead they will use a pleasant and understanding approach and language that will make you open up and say something on record. But why do insurance companies want your statement on record?
By having your record statement, the insurance companies might find something that could sound like admission of guilt which will significantly lower your settlement. So the best way to avoid saying something you shouldn’t have, is to direct the insurance company to communicate directly with your attorney.
Every path of a car accident claim has a deadline and statute of limitation that the insurance company must follow. For example, in some countries the insurance company has a deadline of 15 days to acknowledge the claim after it has been filed, additional 40 days to either accept or deny it and 30 days to pay out the settlement once a decision has been made.
It’s not uncommon that insurance companies will use every single minute of the deadline and delay each stage as much as possible. This way they are trying to discourage claimants. It’s not that they don’t have sufficient resources to go through your case. Not at all. They actually want you to feel unsure about your claim and perhaps even push you to accept a lowball offer or even drop the claim (which is what they would most prefer). Don’t let the “delay game” get to you. Instead, make sure that you have an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side who will pursue the case on your behalf and pressure the insurance company to meet the predetermined deadline.