After a car accident, you report it to your insurance company. And, at some point, you will receive a call from your insurance adjusters, one from your insurance company and one from the negligent driver’s insurance company. And, you may wonder who each insurance company represents and how to interact with them. Of course, if you have an attorney, do not interact with anyone unless instructed to by your lawyer.
Both insurance adjusters will state and act like they represent your interest or just want to help. However, you will immediately notice that all of their questions are leading questions, depending on which insurance company they represent. They want you to state that your injuries are minor, admit fault or make other statements to mitigate your potential damages.
Do not be fooled
Even your own insurance company does not have your best interests at heart. An insurance company’s primary motivation is profit, and any money paid out to you or on your behalf means less profit. Indeed, some adjusters are, reportedly, paid bonuses on how much they save insurance companies, and their legal team is there for them, not you.
In fact, this imbalance of power and wrong incentives leads some Pennsylvania adjusters to act in bad faith or use unfair claims practices. Bad faith can occur at every level, starting at purchase, but when you notice it will be after an accident. Suddenly, what you were told at the sale, like policy limitations and coverages, changes. Your deductible may increase too. This is why you should always keep your initial insurance documents handy. Because, if they did this, they likely engaged in illegal bad faith.
After the accident, other signs of bad faith are unreasonable delays. This could be in processing your claim, responding, fixing your vehicle, getting you a rental car, etc. In addition, each settlement offer, and repair estimate must have a reasonable basis, which if they do not have, or if they refuse to explain, they are likely engaging in bad faith.
Of course, when you are working with a Pennsylvania attorney, your attorney will handle any bad faith insurance practices. If not, then it is on you to call out the insurance company. Sometimes, that can solve your problem. If not, you may need to contact an attorney or, at least, your state’s insurance regulatory body. All states have them, but often, their claims processes look a lot like a judicial proceeding and can take quite a bit of time.