What to Do if Your Insurance Company Isn’t Paying Out Fairly
Insurance companies are in the business to make a profit, and they do so by delaying payments or denying them outright. In some cases, these denials come after long waiting periods, leading clients to start the claims process all over again. When trying to settle with an insurer who’s not handling the case fairly, these tips may help.
Keep and Organize Your Records
Insurance adjusters are busy people, and because they’re stretched so thin, they often misplace or forget to ask for important documents. To prevent this and keep the claim moving, it’s a good idea to organize all accident-related documents as well as anything else the insurer sends. Keep notes on any telephone conversations, writing down call times, names, and summaries of discussions. Print emails and get copies of appraisals and accident reports. Update personal records regularly, and if an adjuster says they’ve lost something, give them a copy to prevent further delays. The team at Darras Law will help maintain these records and they will negotiate with the adjuster on your behalf.
Get the Adjuster’s Name
If a contact person hasn’t been assigned to your claim, choose one as soon as possible. Speaking to an individual adjuster will make it more difficult for the insurance company to stall the claim because the adjuster is personally responsible when things go wrong. Get the adjuster’s name, direct phone number, email address, and mailing address. If they have administrative staff, get their contact information as well.
Be a Complainer
Once a contact person has been chosen, call them regularly to keep the claim fresh in their mind. If the insurer is intentionally delaying or attempting to deny the claim, constant contact will encourage the insurance adjuster to reach a quick settlement. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the required level of ‘squeakiness’ depends on the circumstances of the case. Some find that every-other-day phone calls are sufficient, while others must call several times per day to get results.
Respond to All Requests
Insurance claimants often delay their responses to the insurer’s requests for information and documents. Family, work, and social commitments may lead you to put a request aside for weeks or months. Not only does this delay a settlement, but an adjuster may use it as a reason to deny a claim. To prevent unnecessary delays, return phone calls right away and submit paperwork within two days. Send documents by certified mail with signature requested, and be sure to make copies of all documents before sending them out.
Think About Hiring an Attorney
When the above strategies fail to get an insurer’s attention, it may be time to seek help from a qualified attorney. Lawyers have the knowledge and experience to fight the insurance company’s stall tactics and get claims settled faster. If you’ve handled the claim up until now, but results aren’t forthcoming, an attorney can help.
Though insurance companies provide a valuable service to their policyholders, in some cases, they act in bad faith. After a serious accident or the onset of a disability, it can be hard for clients to maintain their finances, especially when they’re out of work. By following these tips and hiring a lawyer when necessary, it’s possible to settle a claim and get the money to move forward.