The insurance company employs tactics designed to maximize their profits (by billions of dollars) while MINIMIZING your personal injury claim. As a top-rated Michigan personal injury lawyer, we watch it happen in our state everyday.
They won't admit it, but there are certain insurance secrets they do not want you to know. You won't find the following information in an insurance company's commercial:
1. The Insurance Company Does Not Look Out For Your Best Interests and Does not Explain All of the Benefits You May Be Entitled to.
If you think your insurance company is a good neighbor, think again. Eighty to 90% of our clients were unaware of the type of coverage they had in their policy before their accident. The reason? Insurance companies do not take the time to explain the benefits in your policy. After the accident happens, and you are told you only have $1,000 in medical payments coverage, it'll be far too late.
It's simple, if you don’t ask, or don’t know what to ask, the insurance company is not going to tell you. Their goal is to minimize the money they have to pay, ignoring the nature and long-term effects of your injury.
2. The Insurance Company is Immediately On the Scene of Your Accident
They may send an "immediate response vehicle" to your accident scene, but it's not to help you. In fact, their advertisements are very misleading.
Immediately following your accident, the insurance company will dispatch and assign a claims adjuster/investigator, or possibly a lawyer to your personal injury claim. The insurance company wont tell you that one of their goals is to get information about you and your accident as soon as possible, before you know your legal rights. They react quickly to minimize your compensation or outright refuse the claim.
3. The Insurance Company Works for You.
Our Michigan Supreme Court has said that when you buy insurance, generally an insurance agent has no duty to advise an insured regarding the adequacy of insurance coverage provided (HARTS v FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE, Docket No. 110683. Decided July 30, 1999).
And if you have a Michigan personal injury claim? Same thing: if you don’t know what to ask, they won’t tell. You may be their customer, but we promise, your insurance company do not work for you.
"If the insurance company doesn't work for me, then who do they work for?"
They are dedicated to the shareholders of their company stock, or the private owner of the company, paying million dollar bonuses--take a look at #32 on the list*--to their executives and rewarding employees who find ways to cut costs on your personal injury claim. They don't make money on your car accident injury claim by cutting you a check for your injuries.
(*That is $5,463,700,000 BILLION in State Farm profit, not million.)
So who do you want on your side after an accident?
4. The Insurance Company Deliberately Asks Confusing Questions
Their questions will also cause you to answer in ways that do not adequately explain your injuries and the impact they are having on your life.
The insurance copmpany does this to have a recording of your voice as evidence for later use in a courtroom; the things you say will be used to limit or even deny your claim.
Simply put, don't talk to them until you talk to us.
5. The Insurance Company Will Not Disclose that a Computer Program is Evaluating your Injury Claim.
It's true, to the insurance company you're just a number for a formula that sits in a computer until you have an accident.
Several insurance companies use computer programs to value your claim. The programs have one purpose: to minimize your Michigan injury claim payout. These programs have settlement amounts programed into their software by the insurance company management and is continually "tuned" by management to generate desired claim payouts.
It's insulting to think the insurance company's computer software can possibly understand your accident. A computer will never understand the severity of your injuries, nor the personal hardhsips the accident has caused. And adjusters may be "listening" to your story, but the computer may be the one who decides.
People, not computers, should decide the outcome of your personal injury claim.
6. Insurance Companies Have Their Own Attorneys And Experts
The insurance company will discourage you from hiring a Michigan personal injury lawyer. They may even make a few jokes at our expense. However, the same insurance company has several high-priced lawyers working for them and protecting their interests! They also employ experts and doctors to review and minimize your personal injury claim.
7. When They Have to Pay a Claim, Insurance Companies Delay
Insurance companies will sell you a policy as quick as you're willing to buy, but if they are forced to pay money for you accident injury claim, they will delay sending the check for as long as possible.
8. Insurance Companies Make the Claims Process Complicated
If you filed your claim, you probably already know this one. It's usually a complicated process with excessive paperwork, and you probably won't hear from the insurance company very often, if you can reach them at all.
Their hope is that you will give up in frustration, take the quick settlement that is much less than what your claim is worth, or make an error in your paperwork that allows them to limit or deny your claim.
9. Low Payouts for Personal Injury Claims are Encouraged and Sometimes Rewarded
For many insurance companies, it's not about customer service. It is about how little they have to pay you for your personal injury claim. (Remember #3 above?) Some companies even offer incentives for insurance managers and adjusters who demonstrate they are skilled at low-balling settlement offers.
10. Insurance Companies Use Professional Consultants to Improve Aggressive Tactics
Some high-profile insurance providers have actually used consulting firms when they feel their approach to claims are not aggressive enough. They know that you aren't feeling your best, likely frustrated, in pain, and maybe a bit scared. The consultants that coach insurance companies will teach adjusters and managers how to use your pain to their advantage.