If you have ever been in an accident, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with the insurance company. Tensions can boil over if you’re dealing with medical injuries too. You have to worry about whether the insurance companies are going to pay your medical bills, and often you don’t have any idea how much those bills are going to cost you. When you have been in a car accident and have personal injuries, there are certain details about your insurance policy that your insurance company doesn’t want you to know.
They Are Not Working for Your Benefit
Despite what all the major insurance companies tell you, their claims associates are trained to resolve claims for the lowest payouts possible. Insurance companies are first and foremost a business; therefore, they want to maximize profits as any normal business would. Your local agent will be on your side, but the claim adjusters are the ones making the decisions on your claim.
There Are Policy Limits on Every Policy
Medical bills can add up quickly, even if the injuries seem minor. The insurance policy only provides coverage up to policy limits regardless of the extent of monetary damages involved. If there are serious, permanent injuries involved, these policy limits could be reached, so make sure to ask the adjuster what the policy limits are when you speak with them; unfortunately the insurance company may not tell you what their policy limits are.
Vehicles Aren’t Worth as Much After An Accident
Once a vehicle has been in a serious accident, it is not worth as much as it was before the accident. You may be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle, but the insurance companies will not voluntarily offer this and will fight you for this additional payment The insurance company may also use aftermarket parts or used components which would also likely lower the value of your car after it is repaired.
The First Offer Is Not the Best They Can Do
The insurance company doesn’t want you to know that the first offer is not the best offer they can present you. “Lowball offers” are a great way for insurance companies to increase profits, and for you to get your money fast, but you may be able to get a better offer if you decline the first offer or work with an attorney.
They Save Money When Your Car Is Totaled
It may cost a lot more to get your car repaired than to declare it a total loss. The insurance company doesn’t have to repair your car if it costs less to total the vehicle. If your vehicle is totaled and you still owe money because you have financed the purchase of the car, the insurance company is not required to pay-off what you owe on the car. You may be left with an insurance check that is lower than what you owe on the car. They will only pay you the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your car, which is supposed to be what it would cost to replace your car with a comparable valued automobile. Statistics from insurance companies have been showing that more and more cars are being totaled in accidents instead of repairing them.
The Official Insurance Value of Your Car Is Complicated
As has already been mentioned, insurance companies use the ACV to determine the value of your car when it is totaled. This determination is likely different than what the Kelley Blue Book reports about your vehicle. They use proprietary complex formulas to determine how much your car is worth. It might include the value in your local market, economic conditions, your vehicle’s mileage, and many other factors.
You Might Get Dropped from Your Policy or the Claim is Denied
There are circumstances where the insurance company doesn’t have to pay. If someone else is driving your car and they did not have permission to drive your car, the claim could be denied if they wreck one of your vehicles. Lying on an application could also result in claims on your policy being denied. If you haven’t paid your premiums, the insurance company may also cancel your policy.
Your Premiums Could Rise If Someone Borrows Your Car and Wrecks It
The insurance company doesn’t like it when you loan your vehicles out to someone else because the premiums you’re paying are based on the driving records of people on the policy. If you loan your vehicle out, and they get into an accident, it will have a negative impact on your premium.
You Don’t Have to Use the Preferred Body Shop from the Insurance Company
When the insurance company pays for your vehicle damages, they will try to convince you to work with one of their preferred body shops. They might try to convince you the suggested body shop is the best, or they might try to imply (without explicitly stating) you must work with one of their in-network body shops.
The truth is that you can work with anybody shop of your choosing, and they might even do a better job than the shop recommended by the insurance company. This is because the preferred shop of the insurance company may have negotiated a discounted deal with the shop to use aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle that will maximize the profits of the body shop money while lowering the value of your vehicle.
Working With an Attorney Is a Great Idea
An experienced personal injury attorney knows all the games insurance companies play when they are trying to maximize their profits. When you are still dealing with all the emotions of your accident, you are more likely to make decisions that aren’t in your best interests.
The insurance company has their own team of attorneys who can represent the company when negotiations get difficult. Shouldn’t you have an experienced attorney who knows how to maximize your reward and makes sure you get the best possible outcome for your case?
The team at Epperly Follis has decades of experience representing Virginia clients in personal injury cases and car accidents. You can call them at 804-648-6480 to get started today.