Things Auto Insurance Companies Do to Fight Insurance Claims

Things Auto Insurance Companies Do to Fight Insurance Claims

At their core, auto insurance companies are for-profit organizations. While they do make money by helping motorists out of financially difficult situations, their ultimate goal is to make as much as possible; denying insurance claims altogether, and minimizing the amounts of those they do pay, both lead to success for the company, hence adjusters are generally trained to act with those two goals in mind at all times. At times, adjusters and companies will handle these claims in genuinely honest, fair, and helpful ways, yet it also can’t be understated how frequently dishonest (if legal) insurance adjuster tactics are used to harm the claimant and maximize profit by fighting insurance claims every step of the way.

Making Deceptive Settlement Offers

Things Auto Insurance Companies Do to Fight Insurance ClaimsThe average motorist making a car accident claim doesn’t know very much about the process—they won’t know what a fair settlement amount is, they won’t know what deceptive tactics insurance adjusters use, and they won’t understand their options fully, nor will they care to. Insurance companies commonly take advantage of that lack of knowledge and care by offering easy, no-strings-attached settlements very quickly.

These can be nice for those who simply want to get things over with, but in truth, these initial settlements for car accident claims are usually heavily undervalued. Knowing when it’s fine to settle in your unique case is ultimately core to deciding how to respond to these offers.

Delays, Unnecessary Hassle, and Intimidation

To compound upon the knowledge that most motorists don’t want to deal with the stress of the claims process, insurance adjusters will often make implicit “threats” (not in an aggressive sense) regarding complexity and delays. Although they can’t be unreasonable about it, they can make efforts to be somewhat annoying and tedious to deal with via technicalities and pressure, and can furthermore present settlement offers with a “take it or leave it” stance, citing additional fees and delays.

Using Statements and Doubt Against You

In order to toe the line between legal and negligent activity, insurance companies need to prove that any settlement offer (or denial) is rooted in “reasonable debatability.” That sounds vague because it is—insurance adjusters know that, and as such, will look for any means possible to justify that vague debatability.

Said justification usually comes from you, both in what you say and do, as well as what you don’t. Were your injuries really from the collision? Were there other factors at play? Did you respond negligently? These doubts are simple but can have serious consequences on your compensation. Furthermore, any and all statements of yours will be used against you (and only against you), even if it’s as simple as an apology, comment about your pain, or a seemingly unrelated social media post.

Illegal Auto Accident Claim Practices in Arizona

Note that everything detailed in this article, while legal, is only legal in moderation. Extreme examples of any of these tactics are illegal and constitute bad faith claims. An insurance company can offer a low settlement, but not such an unreasonably low amount that it cannot possibly be fair; they cannot delay proceedings to an extreme degree or outright intimidate, threaten, harass, or otherwise make the process unnecessarily difficult for a claimant. If any dealing from your insurance company leaves the realm of “dishonest, but debatable,” and crosses into “unreasonable and harmful,” contact an Arizona auto accident attorney immediately. Our personal injury attorneys can fight back against auto insurance companies and level the playing field, so if you’ve been in a car accident, give us a call at (623) 877-3600 for a free consultation.