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Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro
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USAA Automobile Insurance – The Same Old Story


The automobile insurance companies constantly fight for market share on the television, spending millions of dollars of premiums collected in order to get a bigger piece of the business. Having represented injured people in Norfolk/Virginia Beach for two decades, I am amazed at the bologna that they put in these ads.

Right now, USAA talks about how they are special because they insure lots of military personnel and veterans. That much is true and, of course, is important within our community which is heavily populated by members of the US Navy and armed forces. However, when USAA goes on to act as though they are going to treat their insureds or the people who their insureds hurt in a car wreck differently or better, that is where the truth gets stretched.

When I first started practicing, USAA might have been easier to deal with, both as your own automobile carrier and as the opposing liability carrier. Those days are long gone. USAA is just as difficult, and often unfair, as any of the other big insurers like State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, GEICO, and Progressive.

In a recent case, USAA refused to make a fair settlement offer to an active duty military man under his own parent’s policy which provided him underinsured motorist coverage. This is the coverage that helps you with serious injuries that go beyond the available insurance on the car of the driver who caused the wreck.

In this particular case, the insurance claims representative was trying to say that he knew better than the injured man in the Army how the Department of Defense rules worked regarding admission into special programs like the Rangers. The client was forced to go into a lawsuit because USAA was not only offering an unreasonable amount of money, but was doing so based upon their claims agent’s misunderstanding of how military regulations affected injured fighters. This is exactly the opposite of the claims they make in their TV advertisements.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.



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  1. CaptainJack says:
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    The federal government needs to investigate and prosecute these bad faith insurance companies, starting with Ed Rust and State Farm. Check out http://www.badfaithinsurance.org.

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    Spreading disinformation and relying on misinformation are just two of the strategies insurance companies employ when trying to get out of their responsibilities to deal honestly with policyholders and people injured by their policyholders. Insurers can become particularly difficult to bring to the table for discussions of payments of legitimate claims for pain, suffering and loss of wages when a person has lost his or her life due to actions by the company’s insured.

    My colleagues and I have written often about the tricks insurance companies use to deny justice to victims of traffic accidents, medical malpractice and negligence. You can read more on this topic by visiting our law firm’s main website, specifically these links: