Ideally, any claim you file with your insurer would be resolved quickly, fairly, and in keeping with the terms of your policy.
However, insurance companies are profit-driven businesses that aim to pay little-to-nothing in insurance claims—even when those claims are valid and filed by policyholders who follow the proper steps.
Understanding common tactics that insurance companies use to avoid paying claims is crucial to getting the compensation you are entitled to from your claim. Seeking help from our qualified insurance claim lawyers could help you successfully receive fair payment. Here are some typical tactics insurers may use against you.
1. Appearing to Be Fair, Honest and on Your Side
Knowing how aggressive and dishonest insurance companies can be, you may be surprised that the first insurance rep you talk to after filing a claim is seemingly helpful and kind. You should not take this politeness as a sign that the representative’s employer—or the representative—has your best interests in mind. This behavior is a common trick to influence claimants to lower their guard, decreasing their likeliness of fighting against a low offer.
2. Deliberately Misinterpreting Statements
When you talk to your insurance company, know that they have extensive practice micro-analyzing your words to use them against you. In doing so, they look out for minor mistakes and misstatements that could be used as excuses to deny coverage. Even something as simple as answering, “I am OK” to the question, “How you are doing today?” could be used to signal that your injury or property damage is not as severe as you claim. Also, keep in mind that many conversations are recorded.
3. Pressuring Claimants to Accept Lowball Offers
Often, insurance companies offer a settlement quickly after a claim is made. Accepting an initial offer is rarely prudent—even if the insurance company argues that it is the best you’ll get. They are likely attempting to lowball you into accepting less than what your claim is worth.
4. Excessively Extending the Claims Process
Even though insurance companies are required to act in a timely fashion when responding to claims, they often don’t act in good faith and don’t provide timely, thorough, and transparent responses. Standard delay tactics include:
- Failing to respond to emails or phone calls
- Refusing to send essential documents
- Blaming the insured for delays or lack of proper documentation
- Switching adjusters or people who are handling your claim
Extending the claims process is a common tactic that insurers use to avoid paying you what you deserve.
5. Telling Claimants not to Contact Legal Counsel
Perhaps the most devious tactic insurance companies use to avoid paying claims is convincing claimants they are better off not talking to a lawyer. This makes the insured person think they don’t want to be involved in a long and arduous litigation process. The reality is that, in many cases, an attorney can help expedite the process and resolve the claim without litigation.
The best strategy you can use to strengthen your chances of getting a positive result from your claim is speaking with our dedicated attorneys at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC. Call today to learn what our experienced lawyers can do for you. We offer free consultations and are ready to help with your claim.