You’ve surely heard of State Farm. It’s the largest insurance company in the country, representing over ten percent of the insurance market and handling a staggering $60 billion in claims per year, according to the magazine Insurance Business America. If you don’t have State Farm as your insurer, you almost certainly know someone who does. It’s everywhere.
It’s also very likely that, if you’ve been in a car accident and you’ve had to submit an insurance claim, you’ve had to deal with State Farm. And the experience isn’t always pleasant. You need to be prepared with the facts of dealing with insurance companies and State Farm.
Auto insurance companies tend to follow a very simple business plan: Everyone pays his or her monthly premiums, and when someone gets in an accident and needs money for repairs or a new car, that person submits a claim—a request for financial assistance from the insurance company.
Insurance companies assume that not everyone will be getting in accidents all the time; if that were the case, then there wouldn’t be enough money to go around. Rather, an insurer’s business plan assumes that only some people will get into accidents some of the time—that way they can afford to pay out the claims that come in.
State Farm works in the same way: If you get into a fender-bender and you need money for a new repair, you’ll let your State Farm insurance agent know, and he or she will process the claim. What that means is they’ll determine how much money you’re owed, based on the worth of your car, the amount of damages to it, and other considerations.
State Farm will try to pay as little as possible
Here are the plain facts of the matter: State Farm, like any insurance company, is going to try and pay you as little money as possible for your accident claim.
That’s how insurance companies work: They try and get as much money from you as possible and give as much money back as possible. It’s just the nature of the industry. Like any business, State Farm wants to minimize expense and maximize profit.
What that means in practice is that you may end up getting what seems to be a very low offer for your car accident; if your mechanic is telling you that your car needs $1500 in repairs, for instance, State Farm might only offer you $1000.
Right now you might be wondering: Is State Farm a bad insurance company? Aren’t they being evil by denying me the full amount of my repairs?
The answer isn’t that simple. State Farm has many wonderful, friendly, kind employees; indeed, we have interacted with many of them over the years and we have found them to be good people. It isn’t quite right to say that State Farm is a bad company.
State Farm is, however, a business—and as we mentioned above, like every business, they want to look after their bottom line. In some cases this may mean that you get a drastically lower offer from them than you’re entitled to. Sometimes the offers are shockingly low.
How do they justify such low offers? They might say, for instance, that your car really wasn’t as damaged as you or your mechanic says it was. Or they might say that it was damaged before the accident and thus State Farm isn’t liable to cover it.
They might accuse you of lying about the extent of your injuries. There are many ways that State Farm tries to get around paying your full claim amount.
If you’ve received a lowball offer from State Farm, and they’re not backing down, you have to consider your next options.
You have a few. You could either take the claim and make up the difference yourself, scrap your car entirely and get a new one—or you could try and recover the full amount of your claim through legal means. That’s where an experienced attorney can help you.
A lawsuit is one way to get the full amount of State Farm claims from the insurance company. If State Farm is insisting that you take the lower amount, taking State Farm to court might be the only option you have for getting that full claim.
We know—a lawsuit can sound like a frightening, draining thing to contemplate. But it doesn’t have to be. An experienced attorney can handle all the work for you, leaving you to get on with your life and not have to worry about haggling with the insurance company for weeks or months.
It is important to note that, in a lot of cases, a lawsuit against State Farm may not even get to trial. Insurance companies are as eager as anyone to avoid the courtroom whenever possible.
If they’re presented with a lawsuit from a seasoned attorney, they might very well decide that it’s just easier to pay the full claim amount rather than hash it out in court. Many cases are resolved this way.
Among insurance companies, however, State Farm is known for being willing to go to trial. It’s not clear why this is, but there is a strong likelihood that, if you sue State Farm for a claim, it may end up in court.
That’s why it’s necessary to have a good attorney on your side. And as a matter of fact, there are statistics that point to the conclusion that accident victims who retain an attorney recover more compensation than those who don’t.
Hiring an attorney who has experience dealing with insurance companies is extremely important if you want to take State Farm to court over an insurance claim.
If you’re considering a lawsuit against State Farm for a lowball claim, contact Maryland insurance attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900. Mr. Rice has experience dealing with insurance companies and can fight the insurance company for you to help you get the full value of your claim.
If you’ve been injured or your property has been damaged in an accident, you deserve compensation—and the insurance company shouldn’t be allowed to deny it to you.