Insurance companies are in the financial services business. Contrast this with the ‘do the right thing for the consumer’ business. Investing premiums in real estate and settling injury claims at bargain basement prices are two ways insurers maximize profit and minimize cost.
“Delay, deny and defend” are three well documented insurance industry practices aimed at minimizing cost. More about that below.
Those injured in motor vehicle collisions and other accidents need a legal advocate who has pierced this wall before if serious about maximizing results.
Adjusters Are Insurance Company Employees – Not Your Friend
Very early in a claim, claims adjusters encourage injured persons to deal directly with the insurance company, discouraging them from hiring a lawyer. Adjusters will be very friendly. What adjusters do not tell those who have been injured is that the insurance industry’s own statistics indicate that once an attorney is brought in, the value of a claim increases twofold or more. One reason is that an attorney has a duty to inform the client about all potential elements of recovery. By contrast, an adjuster is under pressure of the job to close files as quickly as possible with the lowest payout.
Avoid Insurance Company Tactics Targeted at Marginalizing Your Issues
Anyone serious about maximizing a recovery after an injury should notify the insurance company that all further communication will be with the experienced personal injury attorney in their jurisdiction that they have retained. Statements should never be given and documents should not be signed unless and until an attorney is consulted.
Aggressive Claim Presentation Required
I practice personal injury law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. All injury claims require aggressive pursuit by an attorney with an understanding of internal insurance industry tact. There are legal and procedural distinctions from state to state, but insurance policies icsand procedures discussed here are relatively universal.
These tactics have been documented in a book with the title “Delay, Deny, Defend” reviewed here.
A Massachusetts court found practices by a major U.S. insurance company “deeply disturbing” as explained here.