10 Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Deny Your Claim
INSURANCE ADJUSTERS ARE USUALLY QUICK TO ACT AND HOPE TO CATCH YOU OFF GUARD, BEFORE YOU’VE HAD TIME TO HIRE A LAWYER TO REPRESENT YOU AND BEFORE YOU’VE HAD TIME TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT OF YOUR INJURIES.
Adjusters are usually affable types who are able to engage you in conversation and draw you out. While outwardly friendly and concerned, they are not interested in your well-being and, although they will probably make representations to the contrary, they are not there to help you. They are there to protect and promote the interests of the company that pays them.
Claiming to have your back and to be on your side, and promising to get you a fair settlement.
Never forget that the adjuster is your adversary. The adjuster’s salary, job security, and future position with the company depend on the ability to save the corporation money. The company’s interests are not your interests; in fact, they are diametrically opposed.
REMEMBER, THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!
Telling you that you don’t need a lawyer, suggesting that you’ll be better off not having to pay a percentage of your settlement to an attorney.
You will make the adjuster’s day if you buy into this. While on the surface it might appear to make sense, research has shown that claimants with experienced legal representation consistently walk away with more money in their pockets than those who settle directly with the insurance company.
THERE IS VERY LITTLE THAT MAKES AN INSURANCE COMPANY HAPPIER THAN DEALING WITH A CLAIMANT WHO HAS NO LAWYER. ADJUSTERS HANDLE CLAIMS EVERY DAY.
When was the last time you negotiated a settlement for an injury claim? It’s simply a matter of experience; you need a seasoned professional on your side to level the playing field when negotiating with the insurance company if you want a fair settlement.
Asking for a recorded or written statement.
Sure, you’ll provide information about the accident in due time, but adjusters are trained to get you to say something they can use against you, even if it requires being taken out of context. Here’s a simple example.
Adjuster: Good morning! How are you today?
You, giving a stock polite response: I’m fine, thanks.
WHOOPS! YOU JUST TOLD THE ADJUSTER YOU’RE FEELING FINE!
The insurance company will say you admitted to being “fine” and not having any serious injuries. Never give an insurance company’s representative a recorded or written statement unless instructed to do so by an experienced personal injury attorney.
Asking you to sign a general medical authorization that will give them the ability to obtain records of any medical treatment you have ever received.
This enables the insurance company to go on a fishing expedition to discover personal information about you. They will then attempt to use anything they dig up to erroneously claim that your injury was pre-existing, or to attempt to discredit you because of information contained in psychiatric or psychological records. Insurance companies already have access to a medical claims database that gives some limited information about prior insurance claims. There is no reason for them to have any medical records before a lawsuit has even been filed.
DON’T SIGN ANY AUTHORIZATION FOR INFORMATION UNLESS YOUR LAWYER TELLS YOU TO.
Offering a quick settlement with the signing of a full release.
The adjuster will often offer to give you a small amount of money on the spot in exchange for a full release—before you’ve even had a chance to get to a doctor and before you know the full extent of your injuries. This sometimes happens right at the accident scene. Some insurance companies dispatch their representatives to the accident scene before it is even cleared away.
GETTING MONEY ON THE SPOT MAY BE TEMPTING, BUT WHEN YOU SIGN A FULL RELEASE AND THEN FIND OUT OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS THAT YOU HAVE SERIOUS INJURIES THAT WERE NOT OBVIOUS AT FIRST, YOU CAN’T GO BACK AND MAKE A CLAIM TO RECOVER FOR THOSE INJURIES LATER ON.
Many injuries are not immediately apparent, even very serious ones, such as a slow bleed in the brain, or a herniated disc, for example. Until you have reached your maximum level of medical improvement, no one can say accurately what a fair value for your case might be. Don’t risk losing your right to recover for all of your injuries.