I received a call from a very nice senior citizen. She was in a car accident in Chicago where the other side was clearly at fault and she sustained numerous injuries.
It seemed like good news to her that the person who hit her was insured by State Farm. They are a reputable insurance company so she felt confident just as she would if the other party had someone like Geico or All State. She trusted that they would be fair with her.
A few days after the accident they called her up, convinced her to let them record a call and tried to get her to settle for around $2,000 plus $3,000 for future medical needs. This happened despite her having some really serious injuries. Their hope was that if they got it on recording and then sent her a check that they cashed that they could close the case for much less than they likely would have had to pay.
This is shady and unfortunately it’s how insurance companies make money when you are injured in a car accident. If the insurance policy was for $100,000 and they get away with only paying around $5,000, that’s a huge win for them. Do that to 100 people and you’ve saved nearly $10 million. Do it to 1,000 people and it’s a bottom line savings of around $100 million. It’s a really big deal.
So if an insurance company wants to record you, say no.
If an insurance company wants to offer you a settlement for anything other than your car damage and you are still receiving medical care, don’t talk to them about it.
If they send you a settlement check and you are still treating, don’t cash it.
If they try to tell you that you are partially at fault when you are rear ended while sitting at a stop light, don’t believe them.
In general, no matter how nice they are, no matter their reputation, no matter if they tell you that this is just how it is, remember that the insurance company is not there to look out for you. Their employees get compensated, in part, based on how little they pay you as compared to how much they should pay you under the law. Nobody who cares about you would tell you to settle a case days after you are injured when you have no idea what the ultimate outcome of your injury will be.
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