Car crashes can happen anywhere, and they tend to occur when you least expect them. One minute you are headed to work or out running errands, and the next thing you know there is the sound of a horn, the squealing of brakes, and the sound of metal crashing.
In these situations, knowing you have insurance to cover any potential damages and injuries can provide some peace of mind. Yet, many drivers who are involved in collisions are shocked when their insurance company refuses to pay the total amount of damages, or simply denies the claim. In fact, there are many other myths about the car accident insurance process, as described by the Insurance Information Institute that may come as a surprise to many who are in a collision.
Things Your Insurance Company Will Not Tell You
In exchange for the privilege of driving, drivers in Rhode Island are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover any losses or damages that occur in the event of an accident. Drivers have the option to choose additional types of insurance to protect themselves and cover damage to their own vehicle. When purchasing car insurance or dealing with your insurance company, it is helpful to keep in mind the following ten things that your insurance company would prefer you not know:
Insurance companies have one purpose: to make money.
Many consumers expect the insurance company to be on their side when it comes to settling claims. The fact is the insurance company is out to make a profit, and it has two ways of doing that, which is by raising premiums, something that often ends up losing customers in the long run, or by minimizing the amount it pays in claims.
Your insurance adjuster is not your friend.
Many people who are involved in an accident speak freely with the insurance company adjuster in a way that could potentially hurt their claim. According to the automotive pricing experts at Edmunds, discussing with the insurance adjuster your pre-existing medical conditions, your activities prior to the accident, or road conditions when your accident occurred could all result in your claim being denied.
Insurance companies typically undervalue vehicles.
If you consulted with a pricing company such as Edmunds to determine the value of your car, you would likely be shocked by the much lower value at which the insurance company appraises your vehicle. This is because insurance companies do not rely on standard automobile pricing services. Instead, they use their own complex and confusing formulas to undervalue your car.
Your claim could result in higher premiums-even if you are not at fault for the accident.
According to the Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance from the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, insurers consider driving history when calculating your premium. This includes fender benders, minor traffic violations, and accidents that were not your fault. If the insurance company can find any reason to raise your premium, they will.
Your insurance company can deny your claim and drop coverage for any type of misrepresentation.
Have you underestimated the mileage you drive each year, or do you have a family member who uses your car occasionally but is not claimed on your insurance? Any type of inaccurate or incorrect information you have given the insurance company can be used to deny your claim and drop coverage in the event you are in an accident. The language allowing them to do this is in the small print of your policy.
Comprehensive automobile insurance coverage is not comprehensive in what it covers.
According to the Insurance Journal, your comprehensive coverage policy will generally cover damages that occur in limited circumstances, such as theft, collision with an animal, storm damage, and vandalism.
Liability coverage will not cover your losses in the event of an accident.
The requirements for Rhode Island car insurance are outlined under Chapter 31 of the state’s general laws. Drivers are required to purchase liability insurance under this law. However, liability insurance only covers damages to other drivers and their vehicles as the result of an accident you cause. The money you spend on liability insurance premiums will not help you in the event you are injured.
Shopping around for rates can often result in a better deal.
Premium rates vary significantly from insurance company to insurance company for similar coverage and policy limits. Shop around to get the best deal.
There are insurance policy discounts you may be unaware of.
According to the Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance, discounts may be available for veterans, homeowners, students, for those who have an anti-theft device, and for people who renew their policies. Make sure you take advantage of all the discounts you are entitled to receive.
You have the right to speak with an attorney before talking to the insurance company.
If you have been involved in an accident and reported it to your insurance company, they will often attempt to get you to make a statement immediately, either over the phone or by going to their office and speaking to one of their representatives. Not only are you not obligated to do this, but it is not in your best interest. Always speak with an attorney before making any statements to the insurance company.
Contact Our Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by another motorist, contact Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP today. Being aware of the policies and procedures the insurance company uses in handling your claims can help to ensure you get the compensation you need for your injuries and damages. Our experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyers understand the financial losses that can result from a serious car accident and how to deal with insurance companies to the advantage of our clients. We can provide the legal representation necessary to assist you in getting compensation for your injuries. As one of New England’s most trusted personal injury law firms, we offer the legal experience and the comprehensive client service you need when you have been injured. Before speaking with an insurance company, contact Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP today for a free consultation. Serving the Providence, Cranston, Warwick, Woonsocket, and Wakefield areas, we will fight for your rights, and help you to pursue the compensation you deserve.