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Published On: Sun, Feb 27th, 2022

Insurance Companies Like to Use These Tricks After a Car Accident

If you’re involved in a car accident that resulted in property damages and injuries, you can bet that you’re going to hear from the insurance companies involved. And while they might make it sound like they genuinely care about your well-being, don’t be fooled. 

They only care about one thing: their bottom line. 

Be Wary of These 4 Tricks and Tactics

Car insurance companies are dirty. They’re basically big financial institutions that make money by pooling the billions of dollars in premium payments their clients make and investing them into strategically chosen mutual funds that return a pretty penny. 

So while they might talk about how much they care about protecting drivers, they really only care about protecting their own dollars and cents. In fact, they’ll do anything to protect their money – even if that means throwing you under the bus.

photo/Claim Accident Services

Here are several tricks and tactics car insurance companies use to gain the upper hand – and how you can avoid falling victim to them.

 

  • Quick, Low Settlement Offer

 

The favorite tactic of insurance companies is a fast, low settlement. They’ll try to get you on the phone as quickly after the incident as possible and make it sound like they’re doing thorough due diligence in order to get you every dollar you deserve. Then they’ll make a quick settlement offer and tell you that you need to accept it on the spot.

Having no context as to what a claim like yours is actually worth, you might assume that the number they offer you is pretty fair. For example, they might offer $15,000. But what you don’t know is that the original offer is often worth just 15 to 30 percent of the actual value. 

Insurance companies understand leverage and negotiations. They’d be foolish to give you a 100 percent offer right off the bat. Instead, they start low, counting on you to counter. However, they’ll make it sound like it’s their highest and best. If you fall for their little trick, it could cost you thousands.

 

  • Requiring a Recorded Statement

 

This is another favorite tactic. The insurance company will call and ask you to give a recorded statement. In fact, they’ll word it in such a way that it seems less like a request and more like a requirement.

While giving a recorded statement might not seem like a big deal, you have to understand the insurance company’s motivation. They’re trying to get you to admit some form of guilt so that they can reduce your payout and remove some of their responsibility. 

No matter what the insurance company tells you over the phone, you have no legal obligation to give them a statement at that moment. In fact, you don’t ever have to speak to the insurance company if you don’t want to. You can hire someone to serve as a go-between.

 

  • Convincing You Not to Hire a Lawyer

 

Speaking of hiring a “go-between,” insurance companies will often discourage people from hiring a lawyer. They’ll make it sound like a lawyer is unnecessary and will simply take all of your settlement money for themselves. But do you know why they say this? It’s because they’re very intimidated by attorneys and know that their mere presence causes settlement sizes to go up.

Whatever you do, don’t listen to the insurance company on this one. Hire a car accident attorney and let them go to work for you. You’ll earn thousands more and avoid much of the stress and uncertainty that comes with back-and-forth negotiations. 

 

  • Delaying the Settlement (Holding Out)

 

If the insurance company can’t get you to bite on a quick settlement, they might take the opposite approach and drag things on and on. They know that most people are impatient and will eventually take a lower settlement just to move on.

You’ll have to decide how long you’re willing to drag out your claim, but if you’re patient, you’ll eventually get the insurance company to give in to some of your demands.

Don’t Rush the Process

At the end of the day, patience is a virtue that you absolutely must have in this kind of ordeal. If you rush the process and try to get some quick cash, you’ll end up leaving thousands of dollars on the table and could potentially compromise your physical, mental, and financial recovery. 

Stay patient, let your lawyer work his magic, and trust the process to unfold in your favor.

Author: Anna Johansson

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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