Stupid Insurance Tricks

by keith on 23/11/11 at 12:53 pm

One of the things we’ve noticed recently is that more and more insurance companies are picking up the tactics pioneered by the lower level players in the industry.

Two to three years ago, there were some sub-standard insurance companies that were well known for their delaying tactics.  When you saw the insurance company and the law firm on a letter you knew that they would not negotiate, or return your phone calls, before the day the case was assigned for trial.  No matter what you did or how many phone calls you made, no offer.

Why? So they can delay the payout and make the plaintiff’s lawyer spend more time and money along the way.  After all, if we can make them spend more time and money, maybe they’ll just give up and walk away (and we can keep the money).  See my posts on why the insurance companies delay here and here.)

Now even the larger insurance companies are starting to use these tactics.  My partner recently had a mediation involving two defendants who shared a piece of property where our client was injured. It was a good case involving severe fractures of our client’s ankle with about $15,000 in medical expenses. One insurance company came to the mediation with their negotiation hat on and made a decent offer, expecting that Allstate, the insurance company for the other defendant would be willing to negotiate and pay their share of the damages.  Allstate offered $2000.  Were they willing to negotiate? No, $2000, take it or leave it.  It cost about $500 each for the mediator’s fee and Allstate wasn’t the least bit interested in even having a conversation… everyone’s time and money wasted by one insurance company who thinks being a “junkyard dog” is a way to make money.

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