Insurance Companies: There for You, or There to Make Money Off of You?

By Greg Kohn

Understanding insurers is the first step toward receiving your due.

When you buy a car, a home or an appliance, at no point do you expect to receive a large sum of money. Instead, you pay for what you want or need, with the understanding that the seller is likely making a profit off the transaction.

When you buy car insurance, though, there is, sometimes, an added step in the buy/sell transaction: If you are injured or suffer other losses that are covered by the terms of the policy you purchased, you may receive money from the car insurance seller. In fact, the sum you are due to receive may far exceed the money have paid.

Though you may be owed compensation from your insurer, the nature of the relationship between you and the insurance company has not changed. You are still a customer of a company that wishes to make a profit and minimize losses. For this reason, if you have been in a car accident, it is important to remember that, though your insurer may continue to claim that it’s “on your side,” it likely views you as a liability. Its goal now will likely be to minimize its liability by reducing how much it pays you.

Personal injury attorneys have observed this dynamic literally millions of times, and it is further illustrated by an investigation conducted by CNN. CNN found that insurers hired consulting companies that advised them to maximize their profits by:

  • Making low-ball offers immediately following an accident
  • Stating that low-ball offers were “one-time” offers that needed to be accepted on the spot
  • Further developing profit-enhancing tactics through the “three Ds” method: Deny the claim (initially), Delay the claim if necessary (if the insured persists in pursuing compensation) and Defending the claim (in court, if the insured won’t accept a too-low offer)
  • Focusing on legitimate but harder-to-prove injuries like soft-tissue injuries

Based on how numerous auto insurance companies act in many situations, it is important to consult a personal injury attorney after any accident. An attorney can assess the amount of money you are actually owed and negotiate with or litigate against the insurer for your full compensation. The Essex County, NJ personal injury attorneys of Nagel Rice LLP have achieved nearly $1 billion in verdicts and settlements and can provide effective legal help. To contact us, call 973-618-0400 or 212-551-1465.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.