When you purchased your insurance, you almost certainly assumed your insurance company would protect you, if the day ever came when you were involved in an automobile accident. You expected your insurance company to pay for your automobile repairs, to cover your medical expenses, and, in general, to actually come through on the promises made. After all, how many insurance commercials have you listened to that promise they are your friend, they are on your side, or they are like a “good neighbor?” So many consumers are shocked and dismayed when they find those promises simply don’t come through when they need it the most. For the most part, insurance companies don’t exist to protect your best interests, they exist to make profits.
While your insurance company is happy to take your money every month in the form of premiums, when the time comes to pay up after an accident, they may not be nearly so happy. If you are stuck dealing with an insurance company who wants to pay you much less than your claim is worth—or who wants to avoid payment altogether—the best thing you can do is to contact a top-rated Alabama car accident attorney. While the insurance company may not have your best interests at heart, your attorney will, and he or she will fight hard for your rights and your future.
Esurance Insurance Services
Unlike many other insurance companies, Esurance is relatively new, having been founded in 1999. Later, in 2011, Esurance was purchased by Allstate, and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the much larger insurance company. Esurance was one of the first insurance companies who marketed their insurance policies online, selling directly over the Internet. Esurance was also a pioneer in that they offered multi-car discount packages to same-sex couples—or any group of people who lived under one roof. When Allstate acquired Esurance (for $1 billion), Esurance was selling insurance policies in 30 states, and was growing rapidly. Allstate, however, was actually losing business to Geico, Progressive and Esurance—all three companies who were selling online policies. When Allstate and Esurance combined forces, they became the sixth-largest provider of auto insurance policies. Unfortunately, today, Allstate—while quite successful—garners less consumer love than other insurance companies, and receives more complaints than most.
How to Deal with an Insurance Company
First and foremost, remember that insurance companies are businesses, and, as such, their goal is to make money. They accomplish this goal by charging consumers a significant amount of their monthly income for auto, home and life insurance, hoping you will never use it. If and when you do need your insurance, the company may do everything in their power to either minimize your settlement, or deny your claim altogether. This is accomplished through the use of insurance adjusters whose job is to steer your case in a direction which will result in the lowest payout possible. When you are contacted by an insurance adjuster following your accident, it is crucial that you remember the following:
- Only answer questions you are asked, in a short, simple manner—in other words, don’t volunteer any extra information.
- If you are unsure how to answer a question, don’t try to make up an answer, rather say you don’t know or don’t remember.
- Never admit fault, even if you think you might have been at least partially responsible for the accident. Even saying “I’m sorry,” can be misconstrued as an admission of fault.
- Never, ever, bring up a pre-existing condition or injury. These conditions or injuries are not relevant to your current claim, and will give the insurance company yet another reason to attempt to deny your claim.
- Remain professional when speaking to an insurance agent—the agent is not your friend, regardless of how “friendly” he or she tries to be.
- Never speculate about the cause of the accident. Simply offer the bare facts, then stop talking.
- If you are asked whether the insurance agent can record your conversation, unequivocally say “no.” You are not required to have your conversation recorded, and if you do, it is highly likely that something you say may be taken out of context and used to deny or reduce your claim.
- Don’t talk about your injuries, period. Your injuries are between you, your doctor, and your attorney.
- Don’t give out your social security number, or the names and numbers of “references.” The insurance company does not require these things to investigate the accident.
- Never sign a general release—it may cover much more than the damages you are being paid for, and can actually release the company from paying for your medical expenses and other necessary expenses as well.
- Finally, don’t say you are “fine,” following your accident. It is our natural inclination to answer “fine,” when another person asks how we are, however, that one little word may be used to deny your claim. After all, you said you were “fine,” so you must not have been injured in the auto accident.
How Martinson & Beason Can Help After Your Auto Accident
Dealing with the many aspects associated with your auto accident can be very difficult on your own. At Martinson & Beason, we are committed to helping you get through this trying time. We understand that you may be frustrated with trying to deal with insurance companies and obtain a fair settlement, and that you may have been injured so badly you are unable to return to work. When your medical bills, as well as your regular monthly obligations are piling up alarmingly, you may not know where to turn.
The experienced Martinson & Beason attorneys are compassionate to your situation, and will work tirelessly to ensure the best outcome possible. We are cognizant of the Alabama statute of limitations, and will file your claim in a timely fashion. In short, we will ensure you are treated fairly following your auto accident. Following your accident, you need an experienced negotiator, and, when necessary, an aggressive litigator. Call Martinson & Beason today.