Delay is a Common Insurance Tactic
Once your claim is filed, you will usually be assigned an insurance adjuster who is responsible for all of the preliminary matters. Sometimes the insurance company will contact you immediately because they want to get fact-specific statements from you about how the accident occurred (in hopes they can find some way to deny the claim), and then they may tell you that they will send someone out to inspect your vehicle, but they may take weeks to get back to you. Whether they reached out quickly in the beginning or not, you may be surprised to find out that the adjuster is not calling you back or avoiding your calls.
Why the Adjuster Isn’t Returning Your Calls
There are three common reasons why insurance companies fail to act promptly and fail to return your calls:
1) Insurance companies focus on profits versus doing what is right and taking care of injured victims. To remain profitable, they constantly look for ways to deny and devalue claims. Delay can help them accomplish their goal. While you are waiting for the insurance company to move forward with processing your claim, you likely have a vehicle that needs to be repaired or replaced, medical expenses that are accumulating, and lost wages from work. Are you watching your medical bills pile up? Are you holding off getting a rental car or seeking medical treatment because you cannot afford it? Do you feel desperate to get the settlement check quickly because you are behind on your bills? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are the kind of person the insurance company targets with their delay tactics. By dragging out the claims process, insurance companies can capitalize on a victim’s bad situation. The longer they delay, the more pressure you may feel and the more likely you are to accept a lower offer from them.
2) Insurance adjusters are not calling you back because they do not have to. They do not have strict timelines and technically, they do not have to pay you anything unless forced to by a judge or jury.
3) The longer that they keep the money that they are supposed to pay accident victims, the more interest on that money that they get to pocket.
What to Do When the Adjuster Ignores Your Call
The single-most effective thing you can do to combat and minimize insurance delays is to retain a diligent personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys do not cost anything upfront and they can provide much needed help with holding the insurance company accountable, overseeing fairness in the process, and pressuring them to take action promptly. We have found that getting an attorney involved can greatly speed up the process and make the insurance company take your claim more seriously.