Insurance companies are warm, inviting and welcoming when they seek your business as a policyholder, but quickly become cold, calculating and deceptive should you ever file a claim. Insurance adjusters receive special training that teaches them how to lower the value of claims and prevent people from seeking legal representation or filing a lawsuit.
Be careful of the following techniques an insurance adjuster may use on you if you find yourself filing an insurance claim and make sure that you always speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer before accepting a settlement offer in order to ensure your interests are looked after.
Delay in evaluating and paying claims
One of the methods insurance adjusters use to force claimants to accept smaller settlements is to use delay tactics designed to frustrate the person or make him or her question how solid his or her claim is. These techniques include the following.
- Demanding information that is unrelated to the case. Insurance adjusters will often ask for irrelevant information in order to confuse or discourage claimants and to make them second guess whether they have a solid case.
- Requiring the claimant to wait for responses for extended periods of time and then delaying the process even further once the claimant complies with requests. Insurance companies know that making you wait longer or jump through hoops will increase the chance of you accepting a lower settlement in order to simply be done with the process.
Deny compensation in legitimate claims
In addition to using delay tactics, insurance companies will challenge every claim that you make in an attempt to reduce the value of your claim. Deny tactics include the following.
- Claiming that the claimant received unnecessary medical treatment despite being unqualified to determine what form of medical treatment was required to treat the claimant’s injuries.
- Offering only to pay a portion of the damages or medical bills and expecting the claimant to be responsible for the remainder.
- Threatening to lower the value of the claim or to deny the claim outright should the claimant acquire legal representation. Should an insurance adjuster ever attempt to dissuade you from seeking legal advice, this is a red flag and the insurance company has a reason for trying to prevent you from obtaining an attorney.
Never let an insurance company bully you or threaten you when you need to file a claim because of an accident or injury. Insurance companies are more responsive and take you more seriously when you obtain legal representation and this is one of the reasons that insurance adjusters are trained to make you afraid to do so. If you feel that an insurance company is deliberately being difficult in an attempt to lower the value of your claim, you should seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer who will be able to best represent you when communicating with the insurance company and ensure that any settlement offer you receive is in your best interest before you accept it.