Insurance companies do not have the best reputation when it comes to treating customers fairly and with decency. In many cases, if not most, this reputation is well-deserved.
One thing insurance companies do is try to get their customers to settle personal injury claims early as to avoid a potentially higher payout later. Here are some tactics these companies use to “encourage” these early settlements.
Denying the claim at first
The insurance company may deny a claim outright in the first place. When people do not appeal the denial, hey, it is the best-case scenario for the company. When there is an appeal, then the injured people might be so thankful that the company finally accepted the claim that they will agree to the first settlement offer made.
Another tactic is stalling. There does not seem to be any progress made on your claim. You call and call and cannot get answers or clear answers. The whole experience is incredibly stressful and frustrating, and you become afraid that you will never see any money.
Then one day–presto! A settlement offer. It may be on the small side, but it is an offer at long last. After months of frustration and stalling, you may feel tempted to leap for it rather than risk another few months or even years in talks with this same insurance company.
Using your own words against you
You should not talk with the other driver’s insurance company without contacting a lawyer first. This is because the company is virtually guaranteed to use confusing or misleading language to get you to make certain statements that seem to maximize your fault and minimize the other driver’s. When the company offers a too-low settlement and you refuse it, the insurance company can point to your own words and say, “You even said that you did X and Y, which makes you more culpable than you realized. This settlement offer is indeed fair.”