When we purchase car insurance, a feeling of safety and warmth covers us like a cozy blanket knowing that we’re protected, but what if that’s not the case? What if car insurance companies mislead us into a false sense of security and they only intend to serve themselves? Car insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and all too often that means they will try to trick their customers into paying more than they need to or paying out less than their customers deserve. Going after the big bad car insurance agency is daunting for individuals, although here at the Parrish Law Firm its business as usual. Our lead attorney, Jim Parrish, used to work with insurance companies and now uses that knowledge from the inside to help his clients get what they deserve instead of what the insurance companies want to give.
Here are four ways that car insurance companies may try to deceive you:
- Offering Low-Ball Settlements: After a car accident, the insurance company may offer you a settlement that is much lower than your actual cost of repairs or medical expenses. They may use tactics like questioning the severity of your injuries or pointing out that you were partially at fault for the accident. They will use any details you provide them against you, so be careful with what you say. It’s always better to discuss your claim through a personal injury attorney, so your attorney can filter out unnecessary information and provide guidance where needed. It’s also important to get a second opinion on your injuries from a trusted medical professional if you feel that the settlement offered by the insurance company is insufficient.
- Using After-Market Parts: After a car accident, the insurance company may offer to repair your car using after-market parts instead of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. These parts may not fit as well or be as durable as OEM parts, and they can affect the overall value of your car if/when you go to sell it. Make sure to read the fine print of your insurance policy to see if the use of after-market parts is permitted and to understand what parts will be used in the event of an accident.
- Not Honoring Your Policy: Car insurance companies may try to avoid paying out on a claim by not honoring the terms of your policy. For example, they may deny a claim for theft if your car wasn’t properly secured, or they may deny a claim for damage from a storm if you didn’t purchase comprehensive coverage. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of what your policy covers and what your responsibilities are in order to avoid any surprises when making a claim. There are no bad questions, so feel free to ask your insurance agent 100 questions before purchasing your policy.
- Unfair Premium Increases: Car insurance companies may try to trick you by raising your premiums significantly after you make a claim. They may justify this by saying that you are now a higher risk, but this can be an unfair and arbitrary increase. Before renewing your policy, it’s important to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you are getting a fair rate. Do your research and never buy the first policy you come across.
To avoid being tricked by your car insurance company, it’s important for you to become an informed consumer, doing the research and asking the questions you need to. Be sure to read your policy carefully, understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. If you feel that your insurance company is not treating you fairly, it’s best to consult with a personal injury lawyer or to file a complaint with the state insurance commissioner.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another individual, call the Parrish Law Firm today for a free legal case evaluation at (571) 229 – 1800 today.