Insurance. We all know we need it. Unfortunately, many of us do not know exactly what we need to be covered for until an accident happens.

“If you are thinking about your insurance plan after an accident, it is already too late,” says Kevin Shannon, attorney at the Bryant Law Center.

To understand what insurance companies do not want you to know, it is important to know how insurance companies operate. Better yet, it is important to understand how they make money. Insurance companies earn profit from the premiums collected from their customers and from investing in those premiums.

Insurance companies should be viewed as risk managers. A customer pays a monthly premium that funnels into a pool of funds with all other customers. These premiums are then invested in real estate, bonds, and money market funds just to name a few examples. When a customer has an accident and files a claim, the insurance company pays the customer from this pool of money.

To make a profit every year, insurance companies undergo an underwriting process to evaluate the risk that each prospective client poses to the company. Every insurance company has procedures in place to determine which clients to take on and how much they should charge each client to remain profitable each year. Ideally, insurance companies want to keep the amount of money paid out in claims and losses to a minimum for maximum profit.

These are five secrets your insurance company does not want you to know:

1. Insurance Companies Settle More With a Lawyer Involved 

Insurance companies are trained to lure people away from the option of seeking help from an attorney. At the Bryant Law Center, it does not cost to call and receive a consultation after a car accident. Lawyers can move the process with your insurance quickly, and insurance companies are more likely to settle for higher amounts of money with an attorney involved.

2. Insurance Companies Want to Deny Claims

Insurance companies benefit from denying claims. By denying claims, they lose little money and have more money to use in investments. This is why many claims take a long time to settle or receive a payout. Insurance companies use the “delay and deny” tactic to avoid a payout. If your case appears to lead to a lengthy legal action, your insurance company make immediately deny your claim knowing it can sit in the financial market longer to earn interest.

3. Insurance Companies Want You to Take a Quick Claim

If your insurance company offers you a quick resolution to your claim, it is likely because it is in the best interest of the company. Not yours. This will happen if a company believes a claim may be very large. To avoid the payout, they want you to take a smaller claim as quickly as possible. If you are offered a quick claim settlement, the insurance company determined it will make more money settling quickly than by using the “delay and deny” tactic.

4. Insurance Companies Will Give You Misleading Advice 

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to use tactics to scare customers from seeking legal assistance. To avoid having a lawyer involved, insurance companies will tell customers that there will be adverse legal implications if they seek a lawyer. This happens when an insurance company knows they are in a bad position with a claim. Despite their advice, seek legal consultation.

5. Insurance Companies Want to Settle Out of Court 

Insurance companies want to stay out of court, despite what they will tell you. They know they will lose money paying court costs and other legal fees. If your insurance company believes you have a solid case for your claim, they will often settle your case before going to trial to avoid losing any more money.

Attorney Kevin Shannon recommends the following tips when working with an insurance company:

  • Read your policy carefully and know exactly what your insurance covers and how to appeal a denial. Carefully fill out forms and read the fine print. A simple mistake on your paperwork may be a big reason why your insurance company denies coverage if you file a claim.
  • Ensure everything is in writing and ask for copies of all documents the adjuster receives or creates during his investigation. You are entitled to the documents and they are helpful in case you decide to take your case to court.
  • Only tell the insurance adjuster the basic facts and your contact information. When you make a claim, your insurance adjuster records everything you say. Only answer the questions you have an answer for and do not hesitate to answer “I do not know” to the questions asked. Any additional information you tell an adjust may be used to reduce or deny your claim.
  • Allow your attorney to talk to your adjuster. It is best to request that your attorney be present during the adjuster’s inspection or when the adjuster is obtaining estimates from repair shops.

If you have a car accident, it is always best to seek legal help. For a free evaluation of your case and further information, contact lawteam@bryantpsc.com.