Have you noticed that when you get on the phone with your insurance company after a car accident, they treat you better than the insurance company of the guy that caused the crash? Well, if you haven't noticed that, you should. Your insurance company is supposed to treat you better when you are a policyholder.
HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE:
When you purchase a policy with an insurance company, you are the customer. Alternatively, when you call the at-fault driver’s insurance company, their allegiance is with the other guy. If you file a property damage claim with your insurance company, or seek information about your rights to uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company is supposed to treat you with "equal consideration".
Equal consideration is a legal term. Simply stated, your insurance company is required to treat your financial interests with equal regard to their own interests—not better, but certainly not worse. In contrast, when dealing with the insurance for the at-fault driver, they have to protect the interests of the at-fault driver, but they have NO obligation when it comes to you. If you make a property damage or personal injury claim and accept less money than you should, it is no skin off their noses.
Consequently, if you are a policyholder, your insurance provider should treat you with equal consideration, which treatment should be noticeably better than the treatment you receive from the insurance company representing the at-fault driver.
INSTEAD, HOW IT OFTEN IS:
Insurance adjusters, like many other professions, have varying levels of training. The good adjusters know how to act when dealing with their own policyholders. They know that their conduct with policyholders needs to be noticeably better when compared with how they deal with non-policyholders. Unfortunately, a great number of adjusters treat everyone—whether it’s a policyholder or someone making a claim against a policyholder, the exact same way...poorly.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT INSURANCE MISTREATMENT?
When insurance companies do not treat their policyholders with equal consideration, usually by making low ball settlement offers, they can be sued for unreasonable delay or denial of benefits. These bad faith insurance lawsuits can be quite valuable because it entitles a policyholder to as much as three times the value of their coverage entitlement. These claims certainly come to fruition and we have been successful in the past in obtaining verdicts where our clients were awarded three times the value of their initial claim.
If you are a policyholder, your insurance company should treat you noticeably better than the insurance company of the driver who caused the traffic collision. Your insurance company has the duty to treat you with equal consideration when you make a claim. Unfortunately, some insurance companies choose to treat every claimant the same, regardless of whether or not you are a policyholder. Consequently, some insurance companies violate their fiduciary duties to policyholders. If you filed a car accident claim with your insurance company and you feel that the insurance company has unreasonably delayed or denied your claim, please call and speak with an experienced attorney at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn today. All initial case evaluations are free of charge. Get started now!