Choose Wisely…Your Insurance Company Matters
It seems like any time you turn on a television, radio or computer these days, you can’t escape a commercial from an insurance company. Think about. I bet you can hum the jingle or say the catchphrase from half a dozen insurance companies without even thinking hard. That’s not a coincidence. There are a handful of insurance companies that flood the airwaves with commercials and have done so for years. I’ll admit, some of these are pretty clever. Whether it is a talking amphibian, a guy constantly causing chaos or an athlete giving neighborly advice, the goal is always the same: to sell you insurance. And you know what, it works! The biggest advertisers have the most insureds in the United States.
So you may be thinking, so what, who cares how much these companies advertise? Here’s the thing: The top advertisers are also the most difficult insurance companies to deal with from a settlement perspective. It’s my opinion that the biggest advertisers make up for all of those advertising fees by paying less on insurance claims. How a claim is handled, varies greatly one from insurer to the next, yet the top advertisers are almost all the most stingy when it comes to paying claims. I don’t think that is a coincidence.
So, again, how does this affect you, the customer? If you have one of the big advertisers and you cause an accident, the person you injure is going to file a claim against your insurance policy. If your insurance company doesn’t make a reasonable offer to settle your claim, then the injured party will likely be left with no option but to sue you. This is because we can’t sue the insurance company directly, we sue their insured and then the insurance company pays a lawyer to defend. Even though the insurance company pays a lawyer to defend you, the case is still in your name and you still have to participate in discovery, depositions, mediation and maybe even trial. So even if you don’t end up spending a dime of your own money, you are likely to be out a great deal of time and inconvenience if you get sued.
Hopefully you are never involved in an accident, and if you are, hopefully you aren’t at fault for it. But the odds aren’t great that that will never happen, as motor vehicle collisions take place in staggering numbers. Therefore, in the event you are some day at fault for injuries related to a motor vehicle collision, you’ll want to have an insurance company who makes fair offers that can get a case settled without the need for you to ever go to court.
My advice, is to contact an insurance broker who handles policies from multiple insurance carriers. From there, I would recommend eliminating any company that you regularly see on advertisements. Don’t be scared of companies you haven’t seen advertise. Often times, these less-known companies excel in customer service or claims handling and resolve claims much easier than their more well-known competitors. I would recommend that you do some basic research on these companies and ask your insurance broker about them; but don’t be afraid to go with a company you haven’t heard of before.
So go ahead and continue to laugh at some of the clever insurance ads you see on tv. Just don’t get sued for being their customer.