In Iowa alone, there are more than 100 insurance companies who sell insurance. The policies issued by these companies range from personal injury to workers' compensation. Although people generally buy insurance to protect themselves against future loss, just because you pay your insurance company a premium does not mean that they are going to look out for you. Some people think that if they are injured that their own insurance company will go after the other person on their behalf, which is simply not true. While your insurance company will try to recover what they have paid for property damage, it is highly unlikely that they will pursue a claim for your personal injuries.
Also, if you are dealing with another insurance company, like the company for a driver who injures you or the workers' compensation company for your employer, you should know the following:
1. The insurance company is not representing you or your best interests.
2. They are not required to tell you the truth.
3. The insurance company is in the business of making the most profit possible, which means paying you as little as possible.
4. The insurance adjuster may be nice to you, but they are not looking out for you and your best interests.
5. Insurance companies are in the business of selling insurance and do not like paying claims.
We will let you make your own determination about whether you can trust the insurance company, but keep in mind whose side the insurance company is on.
Tips for Dealing With Insurance Companies:
Here are some general tips in dealing with insurance companies:
1. Tell the truth - Anything you say can and may be used against you by the insurance company and their lawyers. Even a small lie can ruin your credibility, so the best approach is to always tell the truth. That way you will never have to worry about what you said.
2. Dealing with the insurance adjuster - When dealing with an insurance adjuster you need to be smart and watch what you say because it could later be used against you. Insurance companies have professionals working for them so you should consider having a professional on your side. If you decide to hire an injury attorney, then your attorney will deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
3. Keep documentation - You should document your damages by keeping a diary or journal of how you are feeling. Your diary or journal will help you prove the extent of your damages, and can mean a higher evaluation of your claim. This includes keeping doctors' excuses for missed work and keeping track of time you miss work for doctors’ appointments. Also, you should review and retain any medical bills or explanation of benefits forms that you receive from your health insurance company.
4. Be thorough at your medical appointments - The medical records generated when you visit your doctor, physical therapist or other medical providers are very important. They will include your description of how you were injured, your physical complaints, your injuries, the doctor’s examination findings, and the treatment you received. It is important that you tell your medical providers everything that hurts, problems you are having with your injuries, etc. The insurance company will base its offer to you on this critical information. If you fail to tell the doctor everything that hurts, not only will it not be treated properly, but also no one will know about it. If you first begin to complain about some problem weeks or even months after you were hurt, the insurance company will likely claim that the problem was not from the accident and reduce their settlement offer to you.
5. Regularly attend medical appointments - Remember that failing to see a physician regularly is considered evidence that you have fully recovered to the insurance company and eventually, perhaps to a judge or jury. While you should not go to the doctor every day, you need to see your doctors and tell them if you are still having problems. If your doctor says “follow-up as needed”, that means to come back in a few weeks if you are still having problems. If you do not follow up, then in the eyes of the doctor, insurance company, and perhaps even a jury, you are no longer having problems and have made a full recovery.
If you would like to learn more about how to deal with the insurance company involved in your case, you should request a copy of one of our books that reveal your rights and responsibilities under Iowa law. You can click on the link above to find the book best suited to your case. For immediate assistance or to schedule your no-cost personal injury or workers' compensation case evaluation, CALL 641-792-3595 and ask for Corey or Erik.