Deceptive Insurance Company Tactics (Delay, Deny, Defend)

Deceptive Insurance Company Tactics

Insurance adjusters are usually the biggest obstacle between you and getting the money that you rightfully deserve for your car crash injuries. In fact, many first-time car wreck injury victims are surprised by how difficult insurance companies can be. They feel a misplaced sense of loyalty to a company they’ve been paying premiums to for months or years. The reality is that these are profit-driven businesses that can use deceptive insurance company tactics to maximize profits and minimize your payout. 

To help you understand the misleading strategies that many insurance companies may use, the personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe explain the common “delay, deny, defend” methods commonly used by insurance agents, as well as examples of dishonest behavior by large insurance companies like Geico and State Farm.

What Is “Delay, Deny, Defend”?

Insurance companies earn profits by generating revenue from the policies they sell and minimizing the amount of money they pay out to policyholders. This is why many agents aggressively try to devalue your claim, since many of their salaries and bonuses are calculated by the gulf between policy revenue and customer payouts. The most common strategy to enlarge that gulf is “Delay, Deny, Defend.” This is comprised of three things:

  1. Delay: insurance agents will try to delay paperwork and phone calls after you file a claim. They know that you have many things on your mind following an accident injury and are betting on you not being able to focus on the fine details of your claim. Their aim is to delay you long enough to accept a low settlement or for you to forget about your claim long enough that your state’s statute of limitations has passed.
  2. Deny: some insurance companies will deny a claim, even if they know it’s perfectly valid. Getting a denial often causes people to lower their expectations. This is one of the most effective insurance company tactics for getting people to accept settlements that only cover a fraction of the victim’s expenses. In some cases, a denial can dishearten a victim to the point of dropping a claim outright.
  3. Defend: lastly, if all else fails, insurance companies are happy to take their clients to court. Major insurance companies have massive legal teams that know how to legally bully individuals. Many individuals do not want the expenses and headaches that often come with court cases, some of which can last for years. Their hope is that the threat of a multi-year court case, including appeals, will get injury victims to drop their claims.

These practices are thoroughly explained in Jay M. Feinman’s best-selling book Delay, Deny, Defend: Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It.

Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys is quite familiar with these deceptive insurance company tactics. More importantly, our injury lawyers know how to defeat these tactics in order to get our clients the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. Do not let insurance agents try to use these dishonest strategies against you while you’re recovering from injuries. Let our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys fight for your rights.

Geico Rewards Misleading Insurance Company Tactics

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet praised the performance of his insurance company, GEICO, in a 2012 letter to shareholders. He wrote:

Our insurance operations shot the lights out last year. While giving Berkshire $73 billion of free money to invest, they also delivered a $1.6 billion underwriting gain, the tenth consecutive year of profitable underwriting. This is truly having your cake and eating it too.

GEICO led the way, continuing to gobble up market share without sacrificing underwriting discipline. Since 1995, when we obtained control, GEICO’s share of the personal-auto market has grown from 2.5% to 9.7%. Premium volume meanwhile increased from $2.8 billion to $16.7 billion. Much more growth lies ahead.

Buffet literally uses the terms “free money” and “having your cake and eating it too” when describing GEICO’s business operations. GEICO was able to achieve 10 consecutive years of profitability by increasing policy revenue and not giving customers what they rightfully deserve. Buffet’s frank language should remind all auto-insurance policyholders that despite how long you’ve been diligently paying premiums, these companies are not on your side.

State Farm Ordered to Pay $36M After Dishonest Settlement Offer

Andrea Lovato died in a 2017 New Mexico car crash when another car traveling in the wrong lane at high speed struck her vehicle head-on. Five days before her fatal car wreck, her vehicle was stolen and damaged. This led to her increasing her car insurance policy with State Farm.

After her death, State Farm attempted to settle with her family using Lovato’s older coverage, which had lower limits. Her family didn’t know about the increased coverage until they read a letter that detailed her new policy. Although State Farm dismissed this as a clerical error, a cynic could say that this is an egregious form of dishonest insurance company tactics, since the only person outside of State Farm that knew about the upgraded insurance was deceased.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, a jury ordered State Farm to pay the estate of Andrea Lovato $36 million, including $24 million for bad-faith practices and breach of contract.

Don’t Fall for Misleading Insurance Company Tactics

The team at Lerner and Rowe hopes that you have a better understanding of “delay, deny, defend” and other dishonest insurance company tactics used by the likes of GEICO and State Farm. In addition to proficiently handling all of your legal needs, our injury lawyers take great pride in helping clients carry the emotional burden of their injuries. Let us fight against the insurance companies and get the settlement that’s rightfully yours while you focus on what matters most–your health.

You can our reach Lerner and Rowe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone at 844-977-1900 and through the Internet via encrypted contact form or LiveChat. Consultations are free and you don’t pay any legal fees unless monies have been recovered on your behalf. One call does it all. A call to Lerner and Rowe may be the most important one you’ll ever make.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.