Bad faith insurance practices are quite common all around. These methods can leave accident victims without the compensation that they are entitled to get following the occurrence of an accident. Therefore, you need to be aware of these practices to improve the odds of getting your claim addressed in the best possible manner.
Now, in this article, we have discussed ten of the worst unethical practices that insurance companies implement to deny any accident-related claims. Here, have a look.
1. Delay in settlement for no apparent reason
Insurance companies may delay the settlement of your claim for no apparent reason. They usually do this in hopes that if it takes too long; you may just forget all about it or agree to settle for a lesser amount.
It’s therefore advisable to consult an accident lawyer for claim-related issues. S/He can expedite the entire process for your benefit.
2. Lack of investigation
When investigating a claim, the insurance company may use unethical or illegal methods to obtain false information related to your case. The same insurance company may also take steps to cover up certain things that could have played a significant role in getting the odds in your favor.
In certain cases, the insurance company may even refuse to investigate your claim at all. They can simply deny it on the spot for no reason whatsoever.
3. Intentional communication gap
In certain cases, the insurance company may not even notify you of the decision that it has taken in accordance with your claim.
Such an intentional communication gap is mainly done by the insurance company to deny any sort of accident-related claims.
4. Unreasonable document claims
The insurance company may ask for an unreasonable number of documents to delay the entire claim process.
It may even ask for documents that are not related to the case in any way whatsoever.
5. Undervalued offers
The insurance company may offer you an unreasonably low settlement amount in comparison to that of your claim.
DO NOT accept such offers before consulting with a reliable and credible accident lawyer.
6. Use of force or threats
The insurance company may intimidate the victim by ordering him/her to stop moving to the court or else they would stop the claim for no reason whatsoever.
7. A sudden change in policy
The insurance company may suddenly change its policy after the filing of the claim and use the very same terms and conditions for the denial of the claim.
8. Cancellation of the policy without any prior notice
The insurance company may cancel the entire policy of the victim after the filing of the claim.
9. Suppression of “policy limits”
If the insurance company doesn’t reveal the limits of the policy at the time of your signup, the practice easily qualifies as one among the “bad faith insurance” category.
10. A sudden conflict of interest
An insurance adjuster may attempt to handle your claim and bring it down to a more reasonable amount for no reason whatsoever.
So that takes care of the problems. Now, let’s have a look at the different ways through which you can turn these problems into a part of the solution.
Things you should know to get your claims addressed in the best possible manner
1. Know what an insurance adjuster does
This is the first thing that you should be aware of as soon as you sign yourself up for a claim.
The primary duties of an insurance adjuster are to:
- Investigate the cause of the accident.
- Advise the insurance company of its liability.
- Determine the appropriate compensation amount.
- Negotiate the settlement amount.
Always remember that the insurance adjuster is NOT your friend. So DO NOT pour your heart out to the adjuster at any possible cost. It can hurt you a lot in the long run.
2. Measure your words; better not say anything at all
Always remember that anything you say to the adjuster can be used against you in court. So always measure your words carefully while interacting with the adjuster.
It’s better if you refuse to say anything at all to the adjuster without consulting with your lawyer. You have the right to do that. Exercise it for maximum safety.
3. NEVER fall into settlement traps
A few of the commonest settlement traps are:
- Estimated future settlements
- Rapid settlements
- Pressured settlements
- And a complete disregard for medical liens
Beware of these traps at all possible costs. DO NOT be the victim of them.
Lastly, do remember to consult with your lawyer before taking any decision on your own. Better be safe than sorry.