Car insurance premiums are an investment. We pay them for the security that, following an accident, we will be taken care of by our insurer, and we will be put back on the road in a timely and fair manner.
However, many people find themselves in sticky situations following a car accident. The stress of what follows can be staggering. You are likely dealing with body shops, collision centers, and rental companies. You may even be shopping for a new car or possibly doctors and specialists for any injuries you may have sustained during the collision.
Although your insurance company is supposed to be there, a common tactic that these companies use is called “delay, deny, defend,” and it’s about as comforting as it sounds. It’s important to understand this tactic so that, in the event of an accident, you can be equipped to conduct yourself in a manner that will ensure t you will be returned to your pre-loss condition with the settlement and claims you deserve.
What is Delay, Deny, Defend?
Very quickly during the claims resolution process, you will likely notice your insurer’s tactic to delay paying out claims, even though they may be justified. This aggravating ploy is used in hopes that you will become impatient and frustrated and thereby willing to accept less when your settlement is offered.
While the insurance company is taking their sweet time, they are also seeking out any legal loopholes that can allow them to deny your claims. Although these claims are likely completely justified, your insurance company may attempt to deter you from seeking out the compensation to which you are entitled.
When your settlement is issued, and it is far less than what you need, deserve, or were expecting, you will then be forced to pay out-of-pocket or seek out legal counsel in order to defend your claims in court. Court costs are expensive and may end up hurting you in the end. There is no guarantee that you will win your case which could leave you still behind on the settlement but also having to pay legal fees and the lawyer hired for your case.
Why would an insurance company Delay, Deny, and Defend?
There is a simple answer to this question: money. The less an insurance company spends on claims, the more profit they gain. Insurance companies are a business at the end of the day, and the higher the profit, the more that they can spend on things like advertising, new facilities, perks and bonuses. Suddenly, the company you’ve been paying to protect your assets seems less like a good neighbor and more like a big bully.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself Against the Delay, Deny, Defend Tactic?
Awareness of this tactic is your best defense. Know that the claims process can be arduous and time-consuming and that the initial settlement offer will rarely be the best you can get. Most importantly, understand that no matter what, you are in control. Your insurance company, despite any attempts to intimidate or persuade you, is legally required to meet all justified claims and restore your vehicle to pre-loss condition.
While we at Medines cannot be there for every step, we can at least be a breath of fresh air following the chaos of a car accident. We can’t guarantee your insurance company will treat you fairly, but what we can guarantee is quality repairs, complete transparency, and knowledgeable aid in the confusing world of insurance claims and consumer rights.