If you’re involved in an auto accident and file a claim, you expect that your insurance agent will approve the claim and reward you your financial compensation. After all, you pay your premium every month, never a late notice!
However, it takes a little more than paying your premium to actually have your claim approved after an accident.
Let’s say that you’ve recently moved to a new city, but your insurance company still thinks you live at your parents’ address. It’s cheaper to be insured at your previous address than your new one, so you decide to keep everything in the documents as is. What the insurance company doesn’t know won’t hurt anyone, right? Wrong, it will hurt you.
If it’s learned that you’re living at a new address with a different zip code, your insurance company has grounds to terminate your contract. How would they have found out you live at a different address from the one listed in your paperwork? As it would happen, it’s not that hard to figure out. Do you have a Facebook or LinkedIn profile? Does it list where you work? Are the last several check-ins you shared in your new neighborhood? If the accident occurred far away from your original address, in an area you would ordinarily have been unlikely to drive, all your insurance agent has to do is look you up online. If there is enough evidence to prove that you do not live at the address on file with the insurance company, they will deny your claim and likely cancel the remainder of your contract.
After you have called your insurance agent to inform them of the accident and to file a claim, an insurance adjustor will be sent to inspect the results of the accident. You will be asked questions about the events leading up to the accident. The adjustor is trained to look for inconsistencies in your recollection and will purposely ask questions to try and trip you up. If you have not lied about the circumstances of the accident, there is nothing to worry about. If you have done a bit of fudging, the adjustor will root it out; it’s what they’ve been trained to do. If it’s determined that you have lied anyway, your claim will be denied and your contract likely terminated.
And always remember that after an accident, especially one in which you’re found at fault, the insurance company can raise your car insurance rates. If you don’t like the way you’re treated by insurance company, you can (and should) look to take your business elsewhere.
If the car accident resulted in an injury and you filed a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) plan, insurance companies have been known to check-in with you to see if you really are hurt. According to Joe Horrrox Law, “Most of the time, a [claimant] does not know that [they] are being followed or videoed. Investigators accomplish this in different ways. Most of the time, they use two vehicles. One would go straight when the person turns and the other would then pick up. Investigators almost never follow right behind a person…[Furthermore], investigators can basically do video surveillance just about anywhere in the general public, such as parks, gyms, restaurants, church, etc., except for in the person’s home or place of business.”
Not all insurance companies do this, but some do. If they can find any shred of evidence that you misled them about the extent of your injuries, they will seek it out.
If you’re shopping for car insurance now, look at the company’s client satisfaction reviews, if people aren’t happy, it’s not a company to sign a contract with.
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