Insurance claims are getting more and more complicated. Insurance companies are on a mission to increase their profits. That may mean that your insurance company will deny claims, delay claims and defend claims to beef up their bottom line.
The fabled management consulting firm of McKinsey and Company was retained a short time ago by three of the largest Property/Casualty companies in the world. That would be Allstate, Liberty Mutual and State Farm. McKinsey’s mission...as always...is to show companies how to earn more profits. Their final report recommended “The Three Ds”...defend claims, deny claims and delay claims.
All three companies have used this strategy aggressively to boost profits for their shareholders. Concurrently, all three have experienced higher than ever complaints of claims handling. Other companies have noticed the higher profits, and will likely follow suit.
I’m leading with that part of the story to show you that the claims experience you may look forward to...or have had...or are experiencing right now...is not a mistake, or an isolated incident.
So, what can you do when you have a claim?
First: understand that you cannot just trust the insurance company to take care of your claim for you. They are protecting THEIR money. The moment you file a claim, you become their adversary. If you allow the insurance company to handle your claim for you, you are a fool. They will cut corners and pay the absolute LOWEST amount possible to get you to sign a Full Release and close the claim. You will leave hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table that you could have collected.
Second: just because you have a deductible on your insurance policy doesn’t mean that the deductible amount is all you’re going to have to spend. You need to realize that you might have to spend some extra money to collect the money you’re entitled to collect.
- $50-$200 to have your attorney review ALL the documents the insurance company asks you to sign.
- $50-$200 to get an independent appraisal of your car if it’s been damaged.
- $50-$200 to get an independent restoration contractor’s estimate of your real estate property if it has been damaged. Many restoration contractors will do an estimate for free, but be prepared to pay for it.
- $50-$200 to have your attorney supervise your recorded statement with the adjuster.
- $50-$200 for an Independent Medical Examination if you are injured in an accident that was not your fault.
These are just a few of the claims expenses you should EXPECT to pay on your own behalf. Your policy states that it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to prove your claim.
But cheer up!! Spending a small amount of money to prove your claim will usually result in you collecting hundreds or even thousands more dollars in your claim settlement.