Bigfoot, Flat Earth and Insurance: Eight Popular Insurance Coverage Myths
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The recent discovery of “Bigfoot” and it’s very quick debunking made us think of other popular myths. It is fairly amazing what so many people hold on to despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For instance, did you know that there is still a Flat Earth Society? Did you know that people still believe that there was a King Arthur who pulled a sword out of a stone? Did you know that people still think that George Washington cut down a cherry tree or threw a coin across the Delaware River?
Most myths are easy enough to debunk. A glance at the NASA channel will take care of the Flat Earth theory. A brief foray into any George Washington biography will take care of the cherry tree belief. But some myths exist and are perpetuated in order for those who know better to benefit from those who believe. And there is no better example of this than insurance companies.
There are plenty of myths about insurance coverage out there that lead accident victims to do things that cost them time, money, and in many cases, exactly what their insurance was supposed to cover. As hard as it is to believe, many people will say to themselves “But if I use my insurance, then they will drop me or raise my rates, so I’d better just not use my insurance.” It is circular logic that doesn’t lead to anything but bankruptcy.
Here are eight popular myths that insurance companies love people to believe. After you read this article, go ahead and look all over your insurers’ website to see if they debunk any of them. They won’t.
If you get into an accident, you HAVE to give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Otherwise, they will deny your claim. This is nowhere near true. In fact, these recorded statements give insurance companies all the ammunition they need to deny a claim in the first place. Don’t let them catch you on tape.
If you need medical treatment, you have to sign a medical authorization form for the insurance company of the at-fault driver. No you don’t. In fact, signing those forms usually gives them the right to go digging through your medical records. This is known as “fishing,” which is what happens when they look for anything that they can use to blame your injuries on something else.
If you get hit by an uninsured motorist, it’s best to just handle the damage yourself. They will raise your rates if you file an uninsured motorist claim. This is nonsense. It’s called “insurance” for a reason. Use it.
Don’t make a claim for personal injury protection. This causes your rates to go up. This is a complete myth. If you were injured and the accident wasn’t your fault, your rates shouldn’t be affected at all. And even if you were at fault, it’s called “insurance” for a reason.
In order to get a decent settlement out of an insurance company, all you have to do is make a decent settlement offer. Meet them halfway. Most insurers won’t meet you an eighth of the way, especially if you don’t have an attorney. You shouldn’t even be the one determining what your settlement should be. Get a lawyer as soon as possible.
If the accident wasn’t your fault, there should be enough insurance to pay for all the bills and missed time at work. Insurance companies fight tooth and nail to pay as little as possible. And there is no guarantee that the person that hit you has very good insurance. Remember, the average amount of insurance for injury only lasts about two days in an emergency room. Get an attorney as soon as possible.
My (friend/nephew/cousin) got a certain settlement, so that’s probably what I’ll get. This is not the way to think. There is no formula or schedule of payments. Just know that the insurance company will try as hard as they can to pay you as little as possible, and it’s the job of an attorney to get you what is fair.
This accident is going to make me rich, because lawsuits are like winning the lottery. No they aren’t. The idea of the “lawsuit lottery” is a myth that has been pushed forward by groups (like insurance companies) that want to make it harder for regular people to get to court. So they put forward this wholly inaccurate scenario where anyone can sue anyone else for millions of dollars and win, which is supposed to make reasonable people outraged. The reality is completely different. Any attorney who promises you “millions of dollars” is not an attorney that you should be dealing with.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident, it’s best to forget everything that you think you might have heard. Talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Don’t make any assumptions. An experienced attorney who knows how the system works can make all the difference in the world.
Contact Lewis and Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.