If an insurance company offers to settle your claim with a check right away, your first reaction might be to breathe a sigh of relief. Instead of having to fight tooth and nail to get your medical bills paid, the insurance company has graciously agreed to write a check without debate or delay.
The insurance company is counting on your eagerness to settle and get paid. They may believe that you’re desperate or naïve, or that you don’t know what your claim is worth. If you accept their first offer, you could be leaving a significant amount of money on the table.
In this article, we’ll give you some insights into the inner workings of insurance companies. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been offered a settlement check that seems too good to be true, it’s prudent to have a healthy dose of skepticism.
Understanding the Insurance Company’s Motivation
It should come as no surprise to learn that an insurance company’s primary motivation is to turn a profit. They are a business, after all!
The reason that this is important is that it means that the bigger your settlement check is, the less profit they’ll keep in their pockets.
Even the most honest and ethical insurance companies have an eye on the bottom line. As a result, their goal is to pay you as little as possible. They may present you with a lowball offer, hoping that you’ll accept it without batting an eye.
You may have accumulated medical bills that need to be paid, or you might be eager to put the entire matter behind you. Though it’s normal to be tempted to accept the offer, you’re likely better off negotiating.
Why an Insurance Company Might Offer a Quick Settlement
There are a lot of calculations that go into determining a settlement offer, including both objective numbers and subjective opinions. On any given day, the exact same claim can have different settlement offers attached to it.
To test the waters and see how low you’re willing to go, the company might offer you an unreasonably low amount on the off chance that you accept it. If you do, then you lose your negotiating power.
It’s also possible that the adjuster who’s tasked with valuing your claim doesn’t have all the facts. In that case, you can emphasize your losses and injuries, especially those related to pain and suffering.
There’s also the distinct possibility that your case is worth significantly more than the insurance company is offering, and their ploy is a desperate attempt to distract you from asking for what you deserve. It’s reasonable to interpret a quick settlement as the insurance company “playing nice,” but you owe it to yourself to ask for what’s fair.
You Don’t Have to Settle for Less
At the Law Offices of Bryan Garrett PLLC, we know firsthand how stressful dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be. We’re also intimately familiar with the tactics that insurance companies use to manipulate accident victims during the claims process.
As personal injury attorneys, we can help you value your claim and fight for adequate compensation. Contact us for a free consultation.