No car insurance company is on your side
After a car accident ruins your day, you will then have to deal with insurance companies, both your own and the negligent driver’s as well. Indeed, that day or within 24 to 48 hours, you will likely hear from an insurance adjuster from both New York car insurance companies.
Those first calls
When you receive those first adjuster calls, each will sound like the sweetest soul. They say they want to help you. They say that they are on your side. They are not. Notice that their questions are aimed at eliciting the answers they want, not figuring out what you need to recover. They want you to say that you were not injured or mitigate your injuries, even if you have not seen a doctor. The negligent driver’s insurance wants to tie you up to admit culpability, even if partial.
No insurance company is on your side, not even your own. The insurance company industry is a for-profit endeavor, which means that, by design, there on the side of profit. Publicly traded insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to their stockholders. They do not have a fiduciary duty to you, even when you are paying them. Their goal is profit maximization, not customer support.
Bad faith insurance
While insurance companies do not have to be on your side, they must act reasonably and in good faith. If they fail in that duty, they have broken the law in all states. This means they cannot renege on their obligation to pay legitimate claims, fail to investigate within a reasonable period or act fraudulently.
Signs of bad faith
Bad faith, also known as unfair insurance claims practices, is not always obvious. Though, there are a few signs. For example, if they refuse to justify their repair estimations or explain how they came to their insurance settlement offer. If they do not, those are signs that they are acting in bad faith.
Other signs are timing. For example, if they never seem to return your calls, or if their estimates are taking weeks, especially if they are stalling on your rental car.
You can avoid this whole back-and-forth by contacting a New York, New York, attorney, who can fight for your rights. If you elected to go in alone, you still have options. Sometimes, just calling the adjuster out for their bad faith can solve the problem. You can also report them to your state’s insurance regulatory body.