PKSD Newsletter: When Insurance Companies Put Profits Over People
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on April 12, 2022 in Personal Injury
No one enjoys filing an insurance claim, especially since it always coincides with an accident, disaster or illness. When you combine an upsetting event with confusing forms, tiny print exclusions and multiple deadlines, it can be overwhelming. Even after filing a claim, policyholders may find that getting the funds they need is a lot harder than they expected. Considering the sizable profits of many insurance companies today, that reality may be shocking.
The April PKSD newsletter discusses the profitable tricks insurance companies use and what you can do to combat them. After paying all those premiums, you have a right to expect your insurer to live up to the terms of your policy.
Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Build Profits
So how do insurance companies continue to make such huge profits? According to author and Rutgers law professor Jay Feinman, they delay, deny and defend claims made by their policyholders. Meanwhile, claimants are left to deal with the pressure caused by the mounting bills stemming from the accident, injury or ongoing illness. Here is how that works.
Deny the Policyholder’s Claim
Can you imagine filing a valid claim only to have it denied outright? Many insurance companies routinely do this, even in accidents that caused a policyholder to suffer a serious injury.
Initially, the insurer may try to shift the blame and say the claimant caused the incident. They may also say the claimant violated their policy terms or failed to provide enough proof to support a claim. Some insurers may even try to deny a claim by citing some arbitrary rule or a nonexistent provision.
Why do they do this? Unfortunately, the ultimate goal of this tactic is to wear claimants down to the point that they give up their right to seek compensation.
Delay Making Payments
Another common tactic insurers use is to delay paying out on a claim. There are endless ways insurance companies can do this. For example, they may delay the process by sending you the wrong form to complete.
Other ways insurance companies may delay a claim include:
- Slowing down or hindering a claim investigation
- Requesting unnecessary documents or records
- Asking for information in increments over time, instead of all at once
Tragically, some insurance companies may successfully delay long enough that a claimant dies before any payment is made.
Defend in a Trial to Intimidate Victims
If denying or delaying a claim does not work, an insurance company may go as far as defending their actions in court. This can get expensive for both parties, but insurers know that going to court intimidates many people. Victims often are uncomfortable or even afraid of the idea of dealing with a court battle, and they may also be concerned about the cost.
Claimants who are not working with an attorney may have few options. Often, they simply accept a too-low offer from the insurance company to avoid going to court.
Tips Every Policyholder Should Know About
There is no doubt that having insurance is necessary. However, what can you do to combat the tactics insurance companies may use when you need to file a claim? Here are a few tips that may help:
Getting what you paid for always starts with research, and it is the same with buying insurance. Do your homework and learn more about the company. It also helps to check out reviews from actual customers. When insurance companies have a history of failing policyholders, there are sure to be some poor reviews of their services. While you can overlook one or two unsatisfied customers, if you see a lot of the same type of complaints, you may want to look elsewhere.
Review Your Policy
In addition to researching the company, be sure to thoroughly review your policy. The insurance company is not going to volunteer information. However, they are required to answer any questions that you may have. Before you sign, make sure you understand all the terms, including anything mentioned in small print.
Check out all our tips in this month’s newsletter. If you need to file an insurance claim, it is also a good idea to consider whether you need legal help.
Call Our Trusted Law Firm for Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
Unlike the insurance companies, personal injury lawyers have the same goal as you – to recover fair compensation for your damages.
At PKSD, we have the resources and staff to fully investigate your claim and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Our Milwaukee-based personal injury lawyers are committed to helping the injured, and have been helping victims throughout Wisconsin for decades. Better still, there are no upfront costs to hire our firm and no fees while we work on your case. We only get paid if you do. Call to schedule your free, no-obligation case review to learn more.
Proven Results. No Upfront Costs 877-877-2228