When you pay your insurance company premiums, you expect that the company will pay your claims the same way. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way it works.
For simple claims for car accidents with minor damage, insurance companies have divisions that streamline their claims process for repairs to get your vehicle repaired. completed. But higher-dollar claims with considerably more value may not be as simple. Navigating the claim process can be complicated.
The Insurance Settlement Dispute
A dispute occurs when an insurance company and its policyholder have conflicts on a settlement. The insurer may delay paying, drag out negotiations, offer an insurance settlement that’s less than the claimant thinks it should be, or simply deny the claim.
Policyholders believe an insurer will act in good faith when they file a claim for damages. When an insurance company starts using these tactics, it’s known as “bad faith.”
A policyholder or person making a claim can then dispute the company’s actions.
Why They Offer So Little
It’s simple: an insurance company is in business to make money, not pay. When a company pays money, it affects its bottom line. So, their goal is to avoid paying whenever they can. That’s when they deploy bad-faith tactics.
One way is to offer a low insurance settlement and convince you to accept. An adjuster may tell you that your claim isn’t worth much and that no matter what you do, you won’t get more. You may also be told that “you don’t have the right to hire an attorney” or that you shouldn’t hire one. Both are untrue.
They may tell you that if you don’t accept their first settlement offer, there won’t be another, and you won’t get any compensation. This isn’t true, either.
Another tactic is to state that your claim has no basis or that isn’t covered by your policy when it is covered. Adjusters have a variety of claims and statements they use to convince a policyholder to either accept the small initial offer or believe the claim isn’t covered.
Most adjusters take a polite and kindly tone when speaking with you. Their goal is to get you to say something that will let them deny your claim outright.
Getting What You Need
Settlements are more than just out-of-pocket expenses. This is especially true in a car accident, where an injured party may need long-term medical care.
Because policyholders don’t realize their insurance company is not on their side, speaking with an adjuster can be a serious mistake. A better option is to refer all calls and communications to your attorney, who better understands the laws and process. Letting your attorney handle communications and negotiations ensures that your claim will be handled correctly and you’ll receive the money you deserve.
The Love Law Firm—Charleston, WV’s Personal Injury Firm
If you’ve received a letter or phone call—or many calls and letters—asking you to settle your case, call us immediately. If you take the first offer, you may lose thousands of dollars you need.
Contact Chad Love at Charleston’s The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 and schedule your appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options, and negotiate on your behalf to better help you get a fair settlement. We offer contingency fee arrangements, and there’s no fee if we don’t win your case.