For sure, car insurance and car insurance companies are a necessary evil. You would be foolish, and in this state illegal, to operate a motor vehicle without insurance. In the event of an accident, and in particular a major accident, you need the insurance coverage to pay for your property damage to your car and to compensate you for your injuries and lost time from work. But make no mistake about it, insurance companies exist to make money, a profit. And the primary way of doing so is to take in premiums and limit how much they have to pay out. This means that at the very time you need them, you may find yourself fighting with them to get what you deserve.
I recently had a client who was struck by another driver. It was very clear that the other driver was responsible. But a few days after the accident, the adverse driver’s insurance company sent my client a very small check for what she understood was to replace her child’s car seat. On the bottom of the check they included the phrase “Payment in Full for Bodily Injury Claim”. Now, my client had not even filed a bodily injury claim at that point. Nevertheless, when she did hire an attorney to file such a claim, the insurance company pointed to that first check and told her that in cashing the check she was relinquishing all further claims. In other words, they were trying to take advantage of her. Unfortunately, her first lawyer did not understand this and dropped the case. I was able to restart the claim and succeeded in getting her the full value of her claim.
So the next time you hear you are in good hands with…, or we’re on your side…, remember, they are in the business of making money. Hopefully your interests will align with theirs and everyone will be happy. If not, that’s when you need an attorney.
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