Insurance Companies Pressuring You to Settle?
By: Curran Tompkins, Associate Lawyer
In my career, I have encountered a dozen different ways insurance companies will try and get you to settle. In most cases, accepting offers to settle directly from insurance companies will result in you selling yourself short if you are not represented by a lawyer.
First and foremost, insurance companies will make you an offer that is well below the true value of your claim. In New Brunswick, a minor personal injury (contusion, abrasions, lacerations, sprain, strain, whiplash) are “capped” at a maximum value of $7,500, and for the current updated indexation from the Financial Services Commission is $8,322.11. While you are not necessary entitled to the full value of the cap, most insurance companies will offer you anywhere from $1,000.00 to $2,5000.00 dollars to settle a “capped” claim if you are not represented. As a drastic example of this, an insurance company offered one of my clients $50,000 before retaining a lawyer. Their file settled for $1.1 million.
Another way insurance companies will pressure you is by denying your insurance claims. This could be due to simple administrative issues, such as insufficient medical evidence, delays, or by not meeting certain definitions of disability. In most cases, a person would be discouraged from pursuing their claim after their denial, once again selling themselves short.
I often tell my clients to trust your gut, if you are hurt, off work for weeks, and their offer or denial gives you butterflies - it might be a good time to give a lawyer a call.
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