Cross & Smith LLC


Liability Insurers Are Not Your Allies

Jul 31, 2019 - Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Tuscaloosa by

Insurers generally present themselves as good faith actors who provide a generous service to their customers — the policyholders — and while comprehensive liability insurance coverage is a valuable protection in the event that you have suffered harm in an accident, it’s important to remember that the insurance company is a profit-oriented business.

Insurers are not driven to provide financial compensation merely out of kindness.  If and when they can avoid their duties under contract (to the extent that it will benefit them), they will do so.  This can all come as a nasty surprise to policyholders who are seeing their claims being mishandled firsthand by their insurer — before the accident, they might have reasonably relied on their insurance coverage to payout for their losses, only to discover that engaging with the insurer is not as straightforward as initially anticipated.

For clarity, let’s dive into this issue a bit more in-depth.

Insurer Interests Oppose Those of Policyholders

The foundational issue that drives an insurer’s adverse decisions is the fact that the insurance company gains an advantage when their policyholder fails to secure the payout to which they’re entitled by their coverage.  The insurance company’s bottom-line is benefited substantially when a policyholder with a legitimate claim is denied or has that claim undervalued, or simply chooses not to submit the claim to the insurer.

Given this dynamic, insurer misconduct and underhandedness in the wake of an accident is not particularly surprising — if an insurance agent contacts you after an accident (before you’ve had a chance to speak to a qualified injury attorney), for example, and over the course of the conversation, convinces you to make a statement that they use to deny the claim at a later date, then that is a resounding success from the insurer’s point-of-view.

The Use of Underhanded Tactics to Minimize Payout

Insurers utilize a wide range of tactics to minimize or even completely avoid having to payout under the liability insurance policy.  These underhanded tactics include:

  • Excessively delaying the processing of a claim
  • Losing documentation and requesting additional, unnecessary documentation
  • Denying a claim without adequate justification
  • Undervaluing a claim
  • Intimidating the policyholder into accepting a low payout
  • Following the policyholder around to “catch” them doing something that might undermine their liability claim

If your insurer has taken an adverse action against you (i.e., denying your claim without adequate justification), then you have a few options: you can challenge that decision through the internal processes available to you under the policy, and once you have exhausted those options, you can bring a lawsuit against the insurer for damages.

Contact a Knowledgeable Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Today

If you have been injured in an accident, then you may be entitled to compensation pursuant to an applicable insurance policy.  Unfortunately, though you might have relied on your coverage to protect you in your time of need, insurers engage in a variety of tactics intended to minimize or avoid having to payout.  With an experienced attorney by your side, however, you can effectively challenge an insurer’s adverse decision and potentially bring a lawsuit against them for damages.  Contact a qualified Tuscaloosa injury attorney for guidance.

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