9 Rules Insurance Companies Play By

Most of us pay insurance premiums–auto, health, and home, to name a few–to protect us in the case of  losses.  We expect the insurance companies to pay for what their policies promise, whether it’s our insurance policy or the insurance policy of the person or company that caused the injury.  Who has the best coverage? The insurance company, not the policyholders.

Many personal injury lawsuits challenge insurance companies to honor their policies and compensate their policyholder fully. Sometimes insurance companies are negligent in responding to claims, or even worse. Our lawsuit against Geico is a great example. Disputes with insurance companies can turn an already difficult time in an injured person’s life into a nightmare. Many insurance companies will sometimes go to great lengths to avoid paying injured parties, literally adding insult to injury. Here are nine strategies or rules that many insurance companies commonly use.

  1.  Insurance companies are profit-driven corporations whose goal is to make money, even if it means minimizing rightful claim payments. 
  2. There is not a single federal law that makes it illegal for insurance companies to defraud policyholders.
  3. The insurance regulations in most states are inadequate to protect the rights of consumers. Here in Oregon, for example, there are unfair insurance claims laws on the books, but until a 2022 court case, consumers could not directly enforce those laws in court; they were toothless.
  4. Insurance companies are immune from antitrust laws.
  5. Insurance companies count on people not knowing about time deadlines, both statutes of limitations (time periods for making court claims set by law), and internal insurance company deadlines, such as for times to respond or to appeal decisions. A failure to act in a timely manner can become a complete barrier to recovering compensation.
  6. Insurance companies count on people giving up too easily. They know that a certain percentage of people will accept denials or small settlement offers.
  7. Experienced adjusters are assigned to every case by the insurance company to gather evidence. Frequently, they will appear to be friendly, with the injured person’s interest at heart. Remember, their main purpose is to help the insurance company to dispute the claim, minimize any settlement, and save the insurance company money.
  8. Insurance companies have enormous advantages over the average person, including their great wealth, and their thousands of trained adjusters, skilled defense lawyers, and expert witnesses and consultants.
  9. Insurance companies do not want you to hire an attorney, because your recovery will usually be higher.