Consumers are often dismayed to find out just how far their insurance company will go to deny a claim, raise their rates, or deny coverage entirely despite insurance law in San Francisco and the rest of California. Many people believe that purchasing insurance is a simple business transaction—you pay your monthly premiums, the company pays out all legitimate claims in a reasonable timeframe. However, insurance companies use a number of tactics to mislead their clients and operate in bad faith.
Rewarding Representatives for Denying Claims
Many large insurance companies have been caught intentionally denying legitimate claims in order to boost their profits. Some companies reward employees with bonuses when they successfully deny claims or simply replace ethical employees with those who are willing to deny subscribers’ claims. This creates an environment where the first line of communication for a subscriber—their insurance agent or customer service representative—is motivated to act against the customer’s best interest.
Requiring Excessive and Redundant Paperwork
There is a substantial amount of paperwork involved with any insurance claim, but a growing number of insurance companies use excessive paperwork as a tool to frustrate claimants and prevent them from finishing their claim. If you find yourself giving the same information over and over, filling nearly-identical forms multiple times, or providing apparently irrelevant information, you may be a victim of this tactic.
Delaying is a tactic used by many insurers. They know that delaying payment is often enough to make an individual give up. The more a client gets vague and unsatisfying answers when they reach out, the less likely they are to continue reaching out. Insurance companies know this and they use it to their advantage. Insurers may also claim that they suspect insurance fraud, intimidating customers into silence while they “investigate.” While these tactics are not permitted under the California Code of Regulations, many companies still utilize them.
Intentionally Using Confusing Contract Language
Insurance contracts are exceedingly difficult for a layperson to read. In many situations, this is intentional. Inserting vague, redundant, or ambivalent language in a contract makes subscribers uncertain about what type of coverage they have and may discourage them from filing a claim. It is often helpful to have an insurance law San Francisco attorney go over your insurance contracts and identify problematic areas.
Offering an Absurdly Low Amount
If you have been in an accident and the other party is responsible, you may discover that the insurance company offers a very low amount for your claim. This forces you to choose one of two options: take the low amount even though it is not enough to cover their client’s damages or go through legal channels to get what you deserve. Many claimants are afraid of the time and cost involved in filing a lawsuit. Insurance providers know that there is a high probability that claimants will accept their unfair settlement offers.
Why You Need an Insurance Law San Francisco Attorney
Insurance companies are very good at denying claims and otherwise mistreating their clients. You need an attorney who knows insurance providers’ tricks and knows how to beat them at their own game. Discuss your legal needs with the team at DL Law Group—call our San Francisco office at (415) 678-5050 to schedule an appointment.