A client had been in a bad car accident, and the other driver was uninsured. My client was pretty seriously injured, the medical bills were pretty high and she was looking at a lengthy amount of time for recovery and rehabilitation.
Luckily, she had very good uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Until she tried to use it.
First she got a call from the insurance company, which tried to convince her that her injuries weren’t really all that serious. To avoid all that hassle and paperwork, why don’t we just settle things now, and here’s a check, they said.
That didn’t work. A little time went by, and my client got another phone call. This time is was from her insurance agent. He was just calling to see how she’s doing, and was everything being taken care of by the insurance company, and by the way, don’t you think it’s a good idea to take a check to make all this go away?
That one takes the cake. It’s probably not that unusual for an insurance company to try to get out of paying a lot of big bills. After all, paying claims really cuts into the profit margin. But you don’t expect insurers to press their own agents into doing the insurance company’s bidding and undercutting the trust between the agent and their clients.
I think there are three important things to note from this experience.
First, always have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. Yes, it costs a little more, but when a third of the drivers on the road are uninsured, you can’t afford to be without it.
Second, insurance companies are not your friend – even when it’s your own insurer. Always keep your guard up.
Third, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, you do need a personal injury lawyer. I can guarantee you that no insurance company would try a stunt like that with me – they know exactly how far they’d get.