Auto insurance companies are notorious for their shady tactics to deny claims. If you’ve been in a car accident, these common tactics may be used to try to lowball your settlement or even deny your claim altogether. But an experienced car accident attorney can help you fight back and get the compensation you deserve.
We covered some of the ways auto insurers try to reject valid claims in this blog, and below, we discuss several more and how a qualified personal injury attorney can assist you.
More Ways Auto Insurance Companies Try to Deny IDV Claims
Claiming the state doesn’t have to pay IDV damages
Insurance companies may try to deny your claim by stating that the state in which the accident occurred does not require them to pay IDV damages. However, the law recently changed in Massachusetts thanks to a Supreme Judicial Court decision in favor of the plaintiff against Safety Insurance Company. Mazow | McCullough, PC was instrumental in this case, representing the plaintiff and ultimately helping to secure the win for all Massachusetts residents.
Suggesting your claim isn’t covered by your policy
Another dubious tactic that auto insurers may try to use to deny your claim in bad faith is suggesting that the accident or your vehicle is not covered by your policy. For example, they may say that damage to your vehicle’s engine from an accident is not covered because it was caused by “wear and tear” or “mechanical failure” and not by the accident itself. If you’re not sure whether your policy covers a particular type of damage, you should ask your agent or broker for clarification.
Lowballing the value of your car
If your claim is accepted, the insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible. A common strategy insurers use to accomplish this is underestimating the value of your car.
Then, the difference between the pre-accident and post-accident value of your vehicle is smaller and any settlement offered is significantly less than it would be if your car was properly valued. If you think the insurance company has underestimated the inherent value of your vehicle, it’s important to get a second opinion from a qualified appraiser.
Blaming you for the accident
Insurance companies may try to deny your claim outright by blaming you for the accident. If you have liability only insurance and you are at fault, your insurance company likely won’t have to pay anything at all for damages that occur to your own vehicle.
For example, they may say that you were speeding, or that you didn’t brake in time to avoid hitting the other vehicle even though you could have. In this case, you should seek help from a car accident attorney who can investigate the incident and build a strong case on your behalf.
How a Car Accident Insurance & IDV Attorney Can Help
If you’ve been in a car accident and your insurance company is trying to deny your claim, you may need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. A lawyer can help you:
Gather enough evidence to support your claim.
If the insurance company is claiming that the accident was not covered by your policy, an attorney can help you review your policy and gather evidence to show that it should cover the damages. Your lawyer will help accurately estimate the inherent value of your vehicle and how much of that value was lost as a result of the accident. An attorney can also help you get a police report, witness statements or other evidence that may be helpful in proving your case.
Work with your insurance adjuster to get an appropriate settlement.
Insurance companies are often more likely to negotiate with an attorney than they are with an individual claimant. An experienced car accident attorney will know how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you the best possible settlement for your damages.
Take your case to court if necessary.
If the insurance company still refuses to pay for the lost inherent value of your vehicle due to a covered accident even after you have attempted to negotiate with them, a car accident attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to court. Having an experienced car accident lawyer by your side will increase your chances of getting a fair verdict from the court.
Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC Today For IDV Accident Representation
Insurance companies are always looking for ways to deny claims and save money — if they didn’t, they would quickly go out of business. The above listed tactics are just some of the ways insurers try to cheat customers out of payment for valid claims. There are many more and you can be confident that when you file an insurance claim, the company is looking for anything it can use for a legitimate denial.
Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC today for a consultation to learn more about calculating and claiming IDV damages after an accident by dialing (978) 744-8000 or toll free at (855) 693-9084.