Auto insurance companies spend a lot of money on advertising in New Mexico. We have all seen their commercials on TV and the internet and heard their radio ads. They usually promise the same things: affordable premiums, and a sympathetic adjuster who is always there for you whenever you and your family are in trouble.
But the auto insurance industry did not build up its huge advertising budget by paying out every claim that its customers make. Insurance companies are in business to make profits, which means they want to pay as few car accident claims as they possibly can.
Real-life insurance adjusters are not like the smiling, caring actors in the commercials. They are trained to find ways to deny rightful claims. This is especially true when the person making the claim has never gone through the process before. Fortunately, most people avoid getting into serious car accidents. So when it does happen, the injured person lacks the experience to stand up to the insurance company’s tactics.
What to expect
Basically, when dealing with a claim they don’t want to pay, an insurance adjuster might try one or all of the following:
- Deny the claim. They might try to say you were at fault for the accident, or that you are making up or exaggerating your injuries, or that your injury was pre-exisiting.
- Lowball you. If they cannot outright deny your claim, they might try offering you a settlement amount that is a fraction of what you are entitled to under the policy. They might imply that this is the best you will get and that fighting for more will not work.
- Delay. Finally, the insurance company might try dragging out your claim to get you to give up. They won’t give you a settlement offer in a reasonable time after you filed your claim, and won’t return your emails and phone calls.
If the insurance company won’t be reasonable, you may need a personal injury attorney’s help. Your lawyer should know all the tricks and make sure they don’t happen to you.