Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Settle Cases
There are a number of methods that claims representatives may use when trying to convince a claimant to reduce the amount of damages he or she will accept to settle a case. New Jersey accident attorneys are familiar with these tactics and can help you in identifying and avoiding the traps that a claims representative may set.
Common Approaches That Insurance Companies Use
Approaches that insurance companies use to lowball claimants include, among others:
- False settlement authority. A claims representative may obtain a letter or memo from the claims supervisor that specifies only that a certain amount of money (a low amount) will be compensated to the claimant. The claims representative then shows that letter to the claimant as “proof” that the insurance company will not pay any more money in settlement of the claim.
- Excessive depreciation. Sometimes a claim representative will use excessive depreciation tables (or some other random depreciation table that has no reasonable relationship to the particular claimant’s case) to lowball the claimant.
- Free help. A claims representative may decline to take the claimant’s vehicle salvage. This forces the claimant to use his or her own expenses to get rid of the vehicle salvage.
- Non-disclosure. A claims representative has the option to decline to volunteer damages owed to the claimant, not offer to compensate for the rental vehicle during the period the claimant’s vehicle is under repair, not offer to compensate lost wages, or not offer to compensate medical bills the claimant incurred as a result of the accident involving the insured.
- Professional time defense. If the claimant is a dentist, lawyer, doctor, small business owner, or self-employed person, the claims representative may assume that the claimant does not have the luxury of taking time off from his or her business. Therefore, the claimant may accept a lesser settlement for their claim just to avoid the inconvenience of a trial.
These are only a few examples of ways that a claims representative may try to lowball you. If you have further questions or need the services of New Jersey accident attorneys, call Gerald H. Clark at 877-841-8855 to schedule a consultation.