4 Car Insurance Tactics Designed to Get you to Settle for Less

Insurance companies have numerous time-honored tricks that you can expect anytime that you are dealing with them. These companies are for-profit businesses, and their goal is to earn as much money as they can. The less they pay out in settlements, the more of their premiums they can keep invested in the stock market and earning money. Here are some of the things that they can do to make your life more difficult, to wear you down, and take their low offer.


Dragging Out Your Claim

Insurance companies know that you are in a desperate financial situation in the aftermath of the accident. They have the one thing that you need; money. They will try to make it as hard as possible for you to get it. The longer they can drag out your claims process, the more of a tough situation that you will face because your bills are coming due. This could make you more likely to settle at a point where the insurance company is offering less than you deserve.

They may take more time to review your claim and handle your case more slowly. They could sit on your demand letter before giving you a response. An insurance company may even request more and more documentation, so they can lengthen the process. They know that you may be missing work with bill collectors calling you, and they try to take full advantage of it. They are in no hurry when you are because you need money. There is definitely a disparity in bargaining positions, and they try to take full advantage of it because time is on their side far more than yours.


Making Initial Low Offers

One of the ways that an insurance company hurts you is by starting very low on their settlement offers. This means that you will need to exchange multiple rounds of figures before you even get into the right ballpark for settlement. By that time, your financial situation may become far worse, and you will grow increasingly desperate.

You can never assume that you are going to get an initial offer from the insurance company that is worth anywhere near the value of your claim. They view this as a negotiation, and they never make their best offer first. Their initial very low offer may be psychologically conditioning you to view getting even slightly more money as a big victory that you will rush to claim. When they appear to begrudgingly concede to pay you more, they really know that they have far more room than that. In the meantime, the insurance company would be figuratively laughing all the way to the bank. This is all part of a negotiation game that they play. Having an attorney would make you wise to this tactic because lawyers see it all the time.


Taking Advantage of Better Information

The truth is that insurance companies know the value of your claim down to the exact dollar. They have armies of adjusters and statisticians that study claims from both your area and across the country. They are betting on the fact that you do not know the true worth of your claim and that you will settle for less. In many cases, they win that bet because some claimants do not take their own steps to get better information. You cannot effectively negotiate with someone else who has far superior information because they will take advantage of it every time.

The way that you can level the playing field is to hire an attorney who also knows the value of your claim. Lawyers work with car accident claims every day, and they can properly value all of the elements. This way, when the insurance company is trying to make you a low offer, your lawyer will be able to tell you that the offer does not fully compensate you and recommend an amount with which you can counter.


Try to Undercut Your Claim

Insurance companies will try to get any information from you that they can to use against you. This includes things that could undercut the merits of your claim (on liability) and the damages that you have suffered.

The first thing that they will try is to try to catch you saying something that contradicts your own story. For example, they may try to call you and get you to make admissions about the accident. This could cut your recovery by putting you in a position where you are judged contributorily negligent. All it takes is one question that catches you unaware, and they have information on the record that they can use. Insurance companies are known for taking simple information out of context to get out of paying.

Then, they may try to gather information that could contradict your claim for damages. This may include checking your social media to see if there are any posts that tell a different story than you. They may even call you and ask you how you are doing. If the answer is “fine,” they could dispute your lost wages and pain and suffering claims. They are looking for any arguments that they can make that your damages are less than claimed as an excuse to pay you less.


Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, do not fall prey to the insurance company and its games. You can hire someone to fight on your behalf against these businesses that seek to deny your legal rights. Contact the experienced attorneys at Egenburg Trial Lawyers online or call us at (504) 229-5700 to schedule your free initial consultation. We have a track record of delivering results for injured clients who depend on their accident compensation. Without an aggressive attorney on your side, you could end up settling your case for far less than it is worth, if you are even able to receive a settlement at all.

Why Does Louisiana Have the Second-Most Expensive Car Insurance Rates? Part 2

You should continuously look at other insurance policies in an effort to save money. 

Louisiana roads are also not in a very good state of repair, raising the risks of accidents. Michigan, the state with the highest insurance rates, is known for the terrible shape of its roads. Urban highways and roads in the New Orleans area are poorly designed and engineered, and many have fallen into a state of disrepair. The state’s gasoline tax is supposed to fund road repairs, but the state consistently falls short in the collections arena. 


Louisiana Roads Make Driving More Difficult


In addition, because the state has lower income levels and very powerful oil companies doing business here, Louisiana does not charge a very high gasoline tax. The .20 cents per gallon tax is one of the lowest in the United States. The lower collections mean that Louisiana does not have much money to spend on highway projects, and the roads get progressively more dangerous each year. Potholes and poor pavement conditions can cause drivers to lose control of their cars or steer suddenly to evade a road defect. 


Distracted Driving Jacks Up Insurance Rates


Louisiana is also known as a state with a particularly bad distracted driving problem. In 2020, there were over 23,000 people injured in the state because of distracted driving crashes. The state has the fifth-highest fatality rate for distracted driving crashes per billion miles traveled, meaning there are more crashes, and they are more severe. 


The state has tough laws for distracted driving and regularly runs awareness campaigns to rein in the illegal behavior, but neither seems to be working. In fact, the problem seems to be getting worse. When a driver looks down to send a text, they can travel the entire length of a football field before they return their eyes to the road. Distracted driving crashes happen at hour speeds, and they are more dangerous because the driver cannot take evasive actions. A prevalence of distracted driving crashes means that insurance companies pay out more in claims and have to charge higher prices on their policies.


Minimum Coverage Makes Your Claim More Complex


Because insurance is so expensive and many drivers have minimum coverage, your auto insurance claim may be more complex. You may need to file a claim against your own policy under your underinsured motorist coverage. When you have to deal with two insurance companies, you will have to negotiate even more intensively to get enough money to pay for your damages. Then, you may also need to turn to the courts to get sufficient compensation for your injuries.


Call a New Orleans Auto Accident Attorney


If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you need an attorney. Egenberg Trial Lawyers works for Louisiana residents who have been hurt by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness behind the wheel. You can send us a message online or call us at (504) 229-5700 to schedule your free initial consultation. You owe us nothing unless we are able to help you win your case. 


Why Does Louisiana Have the Second-Most Expensive Car Insurance Rates? Part I

If you have shopped for car insurance in Louisiana, you have learned one thing very fast; auto insurance policies in the state are very expensive. In fact, Louisiana ranks as the second-most expensive state in the entire country for auto insurance. One study found that the state ranked only behind Michigan for cost, with Pelican State residents paying 46% higher than the national average for a policy. Because of the cost of policies in the state, many Louisiana drivers break the law and drive without insurance.


Here is a candid look at why insurance costs so much in Louisiana. There are many unfortunate realities for Louisiana drivers. All of these combine to make you pay more for your car insurance policy. 


Judges Often Rule in Favor of Small Claimants in Car Accident Cases


The Louisiana legal system, in part, dictates why policies are more expensive. In Louisiana, you can only request a jury trial if the amount in controversy is over $50,000. Many auto insurance lawsuits are for amounts smaller than that number. Those who cannot request a jury trial can still have their day in court, but a judge will decide the case instead of a jury. Many judges in Louisiana are elected officials, and there is a better chance that they may side with constituents whose votes they need in the next election. The irony is that the reason why you may have a better chance of receiving auto accident compensation is the same reason why you are paying more for your auto insurance policy. 


Insurance Companies Have Negative Impressions of Louisiana


For whatever reason, insurance companies are also suspicious of the state in general. Because insurance is so expensive, many motorists opt for the minimum amount of coverage to operate a vehicle. Insurance companies need to charge enough to make it worth their while to operate in the state. They raise prices on both the minimum policies, and they force other drivers with larger policies to subsidize the costs. Since many drivers do not have insurance and others drive with low coverage, the state, in general, gets a negative stigma. Auto insurance companies set rates to make money. If there is something that they can use to their own advantage, they certainly will. 


You would think that many insurance companies would want to operate in Louisiana because they could charge more. However, it is the other way around. Fewer companies want to do business in Louisiana, so the ones who are in the state get to charge higher premiums. Less competition means that companies have more pricing power. 


Some Insurance Companies Charge Too Much


In some cases, insurance companies are simply overcharging, and people are paying more than they have to for car insurance. In fact, State Farm recently announced that they were cutting rates for some Louisiana drivers. Motorists may simply need to shop around and compare prices more, rather than just accept the first rate that they are offered. 


Stay tuned for Part II of this blog series.