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Dirty Tricks Colorado Insurance Companies Use in Auto Accident Cases
Fri, 1 February, 2013
There is an insurance plan for almost everything nowadays, from home owners to renters, fire to flood, theft to property damage, personal to auto. Companies have a knack for conveying insurance plans’ absolute necessity. It is undeniable that accidents can and do happen, however, where is the line drawn between defending ourselves and acting from a basis of “fearing imminent danger”, as it were? People often have some speculation when committing to the obligatory insurance industry. Maybe that speculation is a good thing to employ while shopping around for your policy. The auto insurance industry has been found to have a few dirty tricks up their sleeve, after all, and a few are touched on below.
Local Colorado insurance companies and nationwide companies alike are guilty of said dirty trickery. Firstly, the main goal especially during this recent time of such economic turmoil is for insurance companies to avert anything that will cost them money. What is that you say? Cost them money? Well then where exactly does the money go, the estimated $30 billion dollars a year we pay them?
A tactic that some of the biggest insurance companies like AIG, Allstate, and State Farm have reportedly employed to save their money, is to deny, deny, deny. Denying claims, or pitching lowball settlement offers, and thus preserving their bottom line has lead so far as to employment promotions for the best “low baller” and terminations for those who refuse to follow suit.
Another tactic is to confuse the consumer. At this juncture, it is very important to emphasize the help that consulting legal professional insight can offer you. In a time of distress (when most often someone is being forced to file a claim), a little help can be of the highest value. Insurance contracts are written in some of the most ineffective, dense, and misleading jargon. Some contracts are even incomprehensible to consumers, and this is exactly the goal. Despite law makers enacting “plain English laws” for consumer contracts in several locales, someone’s claim may become completely eliminated due to a single, hidden clause, buried deep within his or her contractual agreement.
A final, but not last tactic insurance companies support is to delay until death. The aim again, is for the company to end up paying as little money as possible if recruited to partake in a claim, and do so by routinely delaying payment on said claim. Reasons companies cite most to support denial include “the claim is too late” to “you did not fill out the paperwork,” to “you filled out the wrong paperwork.” This has been observed most in instances of extended care for the sick and elderly. Mary Beth Senkewicz, the former senior executive at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, has been quoted as summarizing this practice bluntly. “Bottom line is, insurance companies make money when they don’t pay claims… They’ll do anything to avoid paying, because if they wait long enough, they know the policy holders will die.”
The best advice is to do your research regarding which insurance company to go with. When in doubt, the best thing to do is consult legal guidance when you are unsure. And above all, don’t ever sign something you feel pressured to sign, or that you do not comprehend. As seen in many cases, the risks of doing so are drastic, and the company you sign with, despite your financial loyalty, may not be there for you when it is most crucial.
Often times you won’t know if you’ve chosen the right insurance company until you really need them-when you file a claim. If you’ve been injured in an car accident, slip and fall, or other type of injury, please give the Law Offices of McDowell Laybourne & Rodemer a call. You can speak with an attorney today, and our consultations are always free.
In Colorado Springs (719) 227-0022.
In Denver metro: (303) 623-0123
American Association for Justice. “Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse, and Refuse.” 23 Jan, 2013. <http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xbcr/justice/InsuranceTactics.pdf>