When you or a loved one has been injured, you don’t want to worry about who is going to pay medical bills, lost wages and other losses. And the last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. To be treated fairly, you need to know the rules.
- Insurance company profits have been at record levels. Insurance companies are profit-driven corporations whose goal is to make money, even if it means minimizing rightful claim payments. Insurance claim denials and underpayments are at an all-time high.
- There is not a single federal law that makes it illegal for insurance companies to defraud policyholders.
- The insurance regulations in most states are inadequate to protect the rights of consumers. Here in Oregon, for example, there are unlawful insurance practice laws on the books, but consumers cannot directly enforce those laws in court; they are toothless.
- Insurance companies are immune from antitrust laws.
- 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 for times to respond or to appeal decisions. A failure to act in a timely manner can become a complete barrier to recovering compensation.
- Insurance companies count on people giving up too easily. They know that a certain percentage of people will accept denials or small settlement offers.
- 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 and to minimize any settlement.
- Insurance companies have enormous advantages over the average person, including their great wealth, and their thousands of trained adjusters, expert defense lawyers, and expert witnesses and consultants.
- Insurance companies do not want you to hire an attorney, because the recovery will usually be higher.
For more tips, download What Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know.