Insurance companies make their money by taking in premium dollars and paying out as little as they can get away with. That basic equation is why insurance companies do what they do. As a personal injury lawyer, it always amazes me to see the huge number of dollars wasted by insurance companies on television advertisement. We all know Geico’s gecko, Geico’s green lizard commercials, Nationwide Insurance Company’s claim to be on your side, Allstate Insurance Company’s claim that they are stamping out insurance fraud. The reason that the big insurance companies spend so much money on television on their advertising is to rake in the most premium dollars. The major insurance companies of Geico, Nationwide Insurance, Allstate Insurance, and State Farm Insurance control an outrageous percentage of the auto insurance market. I believe the percentage is around 65 percent of the automobile insurance policies in Virginia and/or the US is controlled by this small group of insurance companies. So the insurers continue to advertise to keep their market share and make sure they get the most premiums from consumers.
When you are a victim of an automobile accident, you see the insurance companies that spend millions on the television don’t want to pay you anything if they don’t have to. That’s their game at the big insurance companies. The automobile insurance companies try to pay as little on claims to injured people as they can. One method that the big automobile insurance companies use to pay the least they can to an injured person is to make the claims process for the person hurt as inconvenient as possible. The automobile insurance claims adjustor might try making it a real hassle to get them on the phone or try to bully or intimidate you into not seeing a personal injury lawyer about your case. In this automobile insurance claims technique, the claims agent for the big insurance company may delay by saying they have to check on what their insured driver says before they will agree to do anything to take care of your injury, even where it is clear that the insured driver was at fault.
The other technique used by automobile insurance companies to keep down how much they have to pay to injured persons is by acting nice to the guy who was hurt. Here the insurance company representative may act like they’re your best friend to keep you from going to a personal injury lawyer. The insurance claims agent often dangles a little bit of money in front of the injured person to try to get them to settle their case before they even know how badly injured they are. In the event, the primary mission of the employees of the automobile insurance company is to prevent the injured person from seeking legal representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
I get mad, as an attorney who has done nothing but represent injured plaintiffs against insurers and corporations for 19 years, at the large amount of money that they will throw at advertising when they are so cheap and mean spirited at dealing with people who have legitimate injuries from car crashes. Much of the insurance advertising is close to deceptive. For example, if you are hurt in car wreck by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you will have to go to your own automobile insurance company under the provisions for underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. This puts your own insurance company in the shoes of the at-fault driver and against their own insured under these circumstances. Nationwide is not only not on your side, they are in fact directly adverse to you trying to get away with paying you their own insured as little as they can get away with. The insurers then hire defense lawyers to protect their interest against your claim for a personal injury.
State Farm, often called Snake Farm by personal injury attorneys, claims in their advertisements what great service they provide. Because State Farm controls so much of the automobile insurance market, they are just as likely to be adverse to you or your family for injuries suffered in a car or truck wreck as they are to be helping you. If State Farm is on the opposite of the claim because they insure the other driver, they will treat you just as badly, and try to get away with paying you just as little, whether you are their insured also or not. Allstate has that distinguished African-American actor standing in a court room saying that the insurance company that has hired him for this advertisement is working to prevent fraud. This kind of advertisement and poisoning of potential juror’s attitudes about auto injuries is nothing but a game that the big insurance companies play to their own advantage. There is not nearly as much fraud as these Allstate commercials would have you believe. Most Virginians and most Americans are good honest people. Regular citizens do get in car wrecks and get hurt. What Allstate may characterize as fraud may be nothing more than you or your neighbor having injuries from an automobile accident that Allstate doesn’t want to compensate fairly on. In this sense, they often are revictimizing the victim of a car wreck by accusing the person who is hurt of exaggerating or faking their symptoms when there is no evidence of that at all. Who benefits from these Allstate ads about supposed problems in the area of automobile insurance claims? You guessed it, the big insurance companies themselves because they create an environment of suspicion and mistrust of anyone who has been hurt in a car wreck. The insurers hope that some jurors will be fooled into awarding less on legitimate injury claims in court. The insurance companies use your premium dollars to pay the millions for these advertisements which are only intended to make them more money and work against you and your family when you get hurt in a car wreck.