The Definitive Guide (2019)
When a Car Insurance Company Refuses to Pay
This is the ultimate guide on what to do when a car insurance company refuses to pay.
Here’s the number one thing you need to know:
The only thing that motivates an insurance company to do anything is PROFIT.
We’ve all heard of people being motivated by either the proverbial stick or carrot, right?
Well, insurance companies are motivated by the stick – meaning they ONLY respond to punishment.
And punishment for insurance companies comes in the form of PROFIT-LOSS.
So if your insurance company is giving you the run around, you will know exactly what you need to do after reading this guide.
Let’s dive right in.
Key # 1
Profits Over People
The first key to understanding what to do when a car insurance company refuses to pay is to learn how they work.
Unlike most people think, insurance companies do not work for you, their paying customers and insureds.
Insurance companies work for profit.
Insurance companies collect money from premiums and invest the money in the stock market, real estate, and other investment vehicles to increase their profits.
So let’s think about it.
Do insurance companies make more profit by paying insurance claims or by keeping the money in investment vehicles?
Insurance companies will do anything to keep their money in investment accounts to continue accruing interest on YOUR money.
Here’s the deal.
Insurance companies only respond to punishment via profit-loss.
Once you understand this key fact, you will better understand how to handle insurance companies going forward.
Key # 2
Threats of Profit-Loss
So if insurance companies put profits over people, do you think altruistic goals motivate them?
Like helping society by seeking justice for victims of someone else’s negligence?
Or, does the risk of losing money motivate insurance companies?
When a car insurance company refuses to pay, you need to threaten them with something that will put their profits at risk.
Because threats of profit-loss motivates insurance companies.
If you and your personal injury attorney believe insurance companies do the right thing and pay claims, ask yourself if you even need an attorney?
If you believe insurance companies do the right thing, why haven’t they gladly paid you the full value of your loss?
Or do you think you need to threaten them?
Insurance companies don’t do the right thing.
Threatening to take something away, like profits, will motivate them to pay the full value of your claim.
Threatening them is the only way to get a response.
Next you will learn how insurance companies process claims using The “3 D’s” Insurance Mantra.
Key # 3
The "3 D's" Insurance Mantra
DENY the Claim
DELAY the Claim
DEFEND the Claim
First, an Insurance Company May “Deny” any Responsibility for Your Losses.
Quite commonly after a crash when you call the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you may get the run-around.
Even when liability is obvious, such as when you are hit from behind.
The adjuster might tell you the insurance company is denying liability “until they get some information from their insured.”
To read our guide on how to deal with insurance adjusters, click here.
If they Don’t Want to Pay, Don’t Wait. File a Lawsuit Immediately.
Why not file a lawsuit immediately and get the ball rolling?
After all, once a lawsuit is filed, our team gets to take a formal statement from the at-fault driver under oath by taking their deposition.
If you need help finding a lawyer who will fight for you all the way to trial, click here to read a guide on how to choose a personal injury lawyer.
How to Deal with the Delays When a Car Insurance Company Refuses to Pay:
So, how do we, at MattLaw, deal with the delay tactic?
We give them all of the information they need to make a fair evaluation of your claim.
Then we give them a firm deadline to either pay and resolve the claim.
When a car insurance company refuses to pay we will file suit and seek all of our clients’ damages through the court process.
If they try to send us on a wild goose chase for records and documents, we will often times give the insurance company a signed medical records authorization from our client that is only good for 30 days.
We tell them, “go get anything you want with this release.”
Almost every time we send them a release, they never request a single document.
Insurance companies are not willing to spend their time, energy and money to obtain records to fairly evaluate your claim.
They just want to delay any payments and collect interest on your money, or hope that you give up and drop your claim altogether.
Insurance Companies Set Up Law Offices and Hire Attorneys to Defend Claims.
They set up a law office, and then hire attorneys to work for them, and they are actual employees of the insurance company.
The insurance companies have done this to save themselves money.
They used to hire private defense attorneys who would commonly defend insurance companies.
Insurance Companies have Teams of Experts they Pay to Say Whatever they Want about Your Claim.
If the property damage is slight to the cars, the insurance company might hire their favorite engineers who will try to say that you can’t be hurt in a car accident unless there is more property damage.
The insurance company might hire a team of surveillance people to try and catch you doing something you should not be doing.
They will look at your Facebook page and try to find things that might indicate you are not hurt from this accident.
Key # 4
Delaying Payments for Claims
Insurance Companies Delay Paying Legitimate Claims to Maximize their Profits.
Insurance companies operate from a position of maximizing profits.
So, maximizing profits requires holding your money as long as possible by denying, defending and delaying claims.
Delaying claims includes denying responsibility, gathering surveillance, and hiring defense lawyers.
You Need to File a Lawsuit.
In the end, when a car insurance company refuses to pay, you need to bring out a big stick.
File a lawsuit.
Threaten them with something that will cause them to lose profit.
So, you have to let the public, your community, decide what is fair compensation.
You do this by using the American Jury System.
How to Take Control of Your Claim and fight back from the Insurance Company tactics:
Hiring the right lawyer will make a difference in how your claim is handled.
By hiring an aggressive, board certified civil trial lawyer that actually will file a lawsuit and go to trial puts the insurance company on notice immediately that they better take your claim seriously, or else they may end up facing a jury.
Insurance Companies Will Value Your Claim Based on the Lawyer you Hire.
When you hire a lawyer who has a good reputation for keeping his word and rejecting low offers and insisting on going to trial, the insurance company will pay more.
They pay less on a claim handled by a law firm that hardly ever files a lawsuit.
Or if the law firm files suit, they don’t follow up and take the case to trial; then instead, they take the best offer at mediation.
Key # 5
Insurance Companies Rate the Lawyer You Choose
Insurance Companies Rate Lawyers’ Ability to go to Trial and their Trial Record.
The insurance industry keeps track of lawyers track records.
The insurance companies know which lawyers are bluffing, in other words, they only threaten to file a lawsuit and hardly ever do.
If they do file a suit, the insurance companies know which lawyers will settle rather than fight.
When a car insurance refuses to pay, it may be due to the lawyer you hired.
Beware of Big Advertising Firms that Settle Cases for Low Values.
Some law firms or law groups advertise quite a bit and they resolve and settle cases quickly and for lower value than they might be worth.
If your case was handled by an attorney who has a history of filing lawsuits and taking insurance companies all the way to a jury trial, your claim is worth more money in the insurance companies’ eyes.
Insurance Companies also Track All of the Doctors and Medical Clinics You go to.
The Strength of Your Attorney and Doctors Will Determine Your Case Value.
What a great way for insurance companies to save money.
If they can accurately predict the strength of your attorney and doctor, why would they pay a penny more than they have to?
They can tell from handling thousands of other claims that certain attorneys won’t fight hard and so they offer them less money.
If they can tell from the hundreds of thousands of medical claims that come in from medical clinics that just burn and churn the no-fault insurance, then they know these doctors medical records won’t be very good.
When the case ends up in a trial, the doctors probably won’t present as well as other doctors who don’t work in a medical mill setting.
Key # 6
Insurance Companies' Greatest Weakness
The Courtroom for a Trial = Insurance Companies’ Kryptonite
Insurance companies are weakest when they are in a courtroom.
They should pay you fair value to avoid being at risk of losing at trial.
However, quite often, some adjuster far far away, with the use of a computer and software designed by the insurance industry, has placed a value on your claim and they won’t pay more.
When a car insurance company refuses to pay, exploit their weakness by taking them to trial.
Insurance Defense Lawyers Commonly Admit they Wish the Insurance Company Would Pay More to Settle Claims.
It is not uncommon for defense lawyers to confess to judges, mediators, and even us plaintiff lawyers, that they wish the insurance company would pay more money to settle cases.
But since they don’t write the check, defense lawyers have to keep fighting to hold down the value of your claim.
The defense lawyers are often overworked and have too many files.
Key # 7
The Importance of jury Trials
What to Do When a Car Insurance Refuses to Pay: Jury Trial
Sounds easy enough, right?
However, trials are not very easy.
That is why so few personal injury lawyers ever go to trial.
Going to trial scares most lawyers.
Most lawyers settle cases for less than the value of the claims.
Very Few Lawyers Ever go to Trial because it is Extremely Hard.
When a car insurance company refuses to pay, motivating them requires top dollar:
- Good liability, which means it’s easy to determine who caused the accident;
- Harms and losses caused by the accident, which your doctors and medical records prove;
- You need an experienced personal injury lawyer who has the guts to walk into court and try your case.
Find a lawyer who knows the law, medicine, and science of personal injury claims.
Also, find a lawyer who can communicate effectively to the jury.
Believe it or not, the attorney you hire can make a big difference on how much your case is worth.
As well as how fast you will be paid.
So Now It's Your Turn
Thank you for reading this guide on what to do when a car insurance company refuses to pay.
What experiences have you had with car insurance companies?
What other questions do you have for me?
Is there anything I missed?
Let me know in the comments below.