GET MORE MONEY: 3 Things You Need to Know about the Auto-Owners Insurance Claim Process
And One Surefire Way to Get the Most Out of Your Personal Injury Claim
A Guide to Getting a Higher Settlement from Your Insurance Company
Established in 1916, Michigan-based Auto-Owners Insurance Group operates through a network of over 44,000 independent agents in 26 states. In addition to auto insurance, the company offers a wide range of other insurance related products for consumers and businesses. With over $20 billion in assets, the insurance business has been very good to them.
On their website, Auto-Owners Insurance boasts of multiple top rankings in auto claims satisfaction by J. D. Power, and they say their mission is to pay all they owe on every claim and pay it as soon as they can. Like all insurance companies, though, they’re in this business to make money. As many Auto-Owners policyholders have discovered, this means looking for any excuse to not pay out on claims.
When money is involved, Auto Owners Insurance's first priority is not the auto-owner, as Roger found out.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident you had no part in causing, you have a right to expect your insurance company to compensate you for your expenses. All your expenses. Like many other accident victims have found, though, it may be necessary to hire an attorney. For best results, you need an experienced personal injury attorney—the kind you’ll find at Warshafsky Law.
Warshafsky Law knows all the games insurance companies to delay and deny payment on claims. More importantly, we know how to fight back to get our clients the settlements they’re owed. With Warshafsky Law, you will get everything you deserve.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
The Insurance Claim Process: Dealing with an Auto-Owners Insurance Claims Adjuster
Jump to: Don’t Admit Fault or Volunteer Information, Don’t Sign Any Medical Records Release Forms Without Consulting an Attorney.
Auto-Owners operates through a network of independent agent who not only sell policies but also handle claims. After an accident, you’re supposed to contact your agent as soon as possible to report the accident. Auto-Owners provides an after-hours phone service for reporting claim emergencies. Before you contact your agent to report a claim, though, you need to be prepared.
Key points to keep in mind to protect your rights during the claim process:
Speak with our experienced personal injury attorneys before speaking with the insurance adjuster.
Do not admit fault or volunteer information.
When you call your Auto-Owners agent to file your claim, there’s a good chance the call will be recorded. Watch what you say. If you say anything to suggest you were even partially at fault for the accident, you’ve just handed them a reason for minimizing your claim, or even denying it entirely.
The agent you speak with will gather information about your accident from the police report, witnesses, and any other sources they can locate. They’re primarily looking for evidence of who was at fault for the accident. Anything that even suggests you were partially at fault is a jackpot for them. They’ll use it to justify a lower settlement on your claim.
Don’t sign a medical records release forms without consulting an attorney.
During the course of your conversation with the Auto-Owners agent, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to sign a medical records release form. They’ll tell you they just need it to verify the extent of your injuries. Don’t agree to this until you’ve consulted an attorney.
Handing them a signed medical records release form means they can look into your entire medical history—and you can bet they will. It’s not uncommon for unrelated or long-past health issues to be dredged up by an insurer as a potential contributor to your accident or your injuries, thereby giving them a reason to deny payment.
A good attorney will be able to advise you on how to give your insurance company limited access to your medical records so they can only see what’s relevant to your accident.
hen people choose their personal injury lawyer based on the endorsement of a football player or actor, they risk choosing an attorney who has never won a case at trial. Settlement mills forward your paperwork and take a cut of your damages.
Hundreds of times we have prepared cases like yours beyond the brink of trial. Facing unlimited liability AND an expensive jury trial, insurance companies fess up what your case is worth. They HATE when you choose Warshafsky. Insurance companies know: it IS about the money.
Handling an Auto-Owners Insurance Claim On Your Own
Jump to: A Settlement Check is Just an Offer to Settle, Wisconsin has a 3-year Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims, If Your Insurance Company Says You Don't Need a Lawyer, You Probably Do
America's toughest personal injury attorneys protect victims' rights.
All insurance companies say they care about you and just want to help you get your life back in order, but they don’t become multi-billion dollar companies by paying the full amount on every claim. The only thing they’re really looking out for is their profits. Policyholder beware!
To ensure you get the settlement you deserve in a timely manner, you need a personal injury attorney to represent you. Think you’ll try handling it on your own? Here are a few tips you may find helpful:
A settlement check is just an offer to settle.
Is the settlement check they sent you less than what you expected? Even though you probably have bills piling up, resist the temptation to deposit the check. Their settlement check is really nothing more than an offer of settlement. If you deposit it, you’ve implicitly agreed to the amount of the settlement and you’ll be legally barred from pursuing a higher settlement amount. Your settlement can be negotiated, but only if you don’t deposit their check.
Wisconsin has a 3-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims.
The one bargaining chip you have when contesting an inadequate settlement is the threat of a lawsuit. However, this option is only available during the first three years after your accident. If your negotiations with the insurance company drag on past the three-year mark and you haven’t filed suit against them, you forfeit the right to pursue legal action.
If your insurance company says you don’t need a lawyer, you probably do.
It would be great if your insurance company would settle your claim fairly and quickly, but it’s rarely what happens. When you get tired of dealing with their delays and tell them you’re going to have to get a lawyer, they’ll tell you there’s no need for that. Meanwhile, they have plenty of lawyers looking out for them. Despite any assurance they give that they’re working hard to settle your claim, it’s probably time for you to get an attorney.
5 Do’s and Don’ts to Increase Your Auto-Owners Insurance Personal Injury Settlement
Warshafsky Law personal injury firm makes sure you get the most for your personal injury claim.
DO your homework.
If you go into the claims process blindly trusting your insurance company to do the right thing, you’re in for a letdown.
Anyone planning to handle a claim on their own, and especially anyone contesting a settlement, would be well advised to learn as much as possible about the claims process. We highly recommend this article on the most common insurance company tactics used to minimize your settlement.
DO the math.
Before you can be compensated for all the expenses you’ve incurred as a result of your accident, you have to have documentation. You need to save all your medical bills, receipts for bandages, crutches, prescriptions, and anything else you’ve had to buy. Keep track of your mileage/transportation costs for getting back and forth to doctor appointments, too, as well as the days you were unable to work due to your injury. It all adds up.
Costs to consider when calculating the value of your claim:
• Property damage
• Car rental
• Hospital deductible
• Prescription drugs
• Chiropractic care
• Pain and suffering
• Lost wages
• Future medical expenses
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
DON’T be pressured into anything.
Dealing with insurance companies is stressful and time consuming. They make it this way in the hope you’ll cave in and accept whatever settlement they’ve offered you. Don’t do it. If your claim is legitimate, you have every right to hold out for everything you’re owed.
Don’t trust “sign and settle” lawyers.
You’ll see and hear a lot of ads from law firms that boast about how many personal injury cases they’ve settled. These law firms are what’s known as “settlement mills.” They’re only interested in settling your case quickly, getting their cut of the insurance company’s payout, and showing you the door. They have zero clout to negotiate higher settlements from insurance companies because the insurance companies know these law firms will never take them to court. If you want the settlement you deserve, stay away from “sign and settle” law firms.
DO get the opinion of a personal injury attorney experienced in dealing with insurance companies.
Even though you may be committed to handling your claim on your own, it’s worth taking advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. Most law firms offer this, Warshafsky Law included. Our free case assessment will definitely help you get a better understanding of how much is at stake with your claim.
Fighting for Fair Compensation for Your Auto-Owners Insurance Claim
Personal injury law firm fights to get you the best financial compensation for your injuries.
Too many personal injury law firms have no concept of what it means to fight for their clients. Warshafsky Law isn’t one of them. Our firm has a long history of taking on big companies and winning big for our clients. The minute we take a case, we start working from the premise it will go to trial.
Insurance companies know our reputation for aggressive representation, and for winning at trial. Faced with the prospect of an expensive trail and the very real potential for a huge loss, their first reaction upon hearing you’re being represented by us is usually “What can we do to settle this case?” If their offer is fair, we’ll recommend you take it. If not, we’ll take them to court.
Warshafsky Law represents Auto-Owners Insurance policyholders nationwide
Although Warshafsky Law is based in Milwaukee, we represent clients throughout the US. If you don’t live close by, you can take advantage of a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys by phone. Should you decide to hire us, don’t worry about a retainer or monthly bills. We don’t ask for payment until you have received your settlement.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®