Confessions of a Former Insurance Defense Attorney – Part II

In case you missed Part 1, our very own Matt Vook has experience working on all sides of insurance law. He’s worked for the insurance companies, for the state insurance commission, and now represents you. Here are some additional observations/confessions of a former insurance defense attorney:

Adjusters are people –  and people make mistakes.

The vast majority of the adjusters I came across in my time in insurance defense were people simply trying to do what they thought was the legally or morally correct thing to do. Even if the adjuster may want to handle something a certain way, they may be bound by a policy put in place by their employer preventing them from doing so. It’s not uncommon for adjusters to have an overload of cases that can lead to mistakes and failure to pay out according to legal requirements.

Insurance Companies Don’t Want to Litigate Cases

Despite the fact that insurance companies have lawyers at their disposal, they do not like to litigate cases if possible.

Even if they employ in-house attorneys, many insurance companies must track and minimize legal expenses.  Sometimes it is more cost effective to simply pay out a claim rather than litigate it.  However, depending on the circumstances, an insurance company may take a stand on a relatively small claim if they want to make a point or set a precedent.

It Can Pay to Be Agreeable and Easy to Work With

No two claims are exactly the same and consequently, not every claim (or claimant) is treated the same. However, a difficult or obstinate individual will typically have a much more difficult time obtaining the same benefits than somebody who is agreeable and easy to work with.

Sometimes personalities clash between a claimant and an adjuster, and it becomes necessary for the claimant to hire an attorney simply to obtain benefits.  An injured worker does not have a right to a specific adjuster under Idaho law, so you may have to work with someone even if you do not like them.

The Internet is Forever

One of the first things that many adjusters do when receiving a claim is to “Google” the individual for social media, criminal issues, or any other online presence. Practice common sense as you post online,  if you get the feeling that somebody has been looking over your public Facebook account after filing a claim, somebody probably is.  It is far cheaper for an adjuster to do a quick online search than to do full-on surveillance.