Tips on Making State Farm Claims for Car Accidents
Has trying to handle your car wreck claim against State Farm left you feeling like small potatoes in a big farmer’s market? State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company has been around since 1922. State Farm Insurance is the largest private passenger auto insurer in Texas-based upon market share. Their next closest competitor is Progressive Auto Insurance which has about half the market share of State Farm.
State Farm is a mutual company owned by shareholders. State Farm Insurance owns several subsidiaries and other companies that do business under some form of the State Farm name. The State Farm companies service over 80 million insurance policies issued in the United States including over 44 million auto policies.
The Three “D’s” – Delay, Deny Defend
CNN did a study in 2007 about the practices of major insurance companies in America. In interviewing a former State Farm and Farmers Insurance employee, they concluded that with smaller claims, the strategy of delay, deny, defend was the way many auto insurance companies ensure large profits. They collect the premiums and they delay responding to claims, deny claims and defend the claims in court using “staff counsel.” Staff counsel” or “captive counsel” are lawyers who are on salary with the company so that the company can litigate cases in bulk without having to incur expensive attorney’s fees to defend every case individually.
What Does It Mean to Be Assigned to a State Farm Insurance Claims Team?
From our point of view, one of the most dreaded things you can hear as an injured party making a claim against State Farm Insurance is the phrase: your claim has been assigned to Team ‘X.’ In Texas, we see Team 21 and Team 22 on a fairly regular basis. Dealing with their consolidated claims team seems to be a good indication that your case is viewed as a smaller value claim. While it will be assigned to an adjuster, you have to call the team to find out who that adjuster is. Once you do, you may find yourself transferred to a voicemail. When you finally reach the State Farm adjuster, he/she may or may not chose to give you a direct contact line. If not, you have to go through the team to get to the insurance adjuster every time you call.
The key to remember with any insurance company is this: insurance companies know that the longer your claim is stalled out, the more frustrated you will get. If a claimant gets frustrated enough, often he/she will give up and/or be more inclined to accept whatever settlement offer the insurance company makes. Don’t give up on your claim without talking to an attorney about your rights first.
What Can Be Done to Make State Farm Pay a Fairer Settlement?
With State Farm, if you cannot get a fair settlement offer out of the Team adjuster, you may have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Sometimes having a lawyer file a lawsuit can get the claim transferred to a new adjuster who will be more focused on your case and may have the authority to make a more reasonable settlement offer. Other times, you may just have to take your case to trial and get a jury to award you a judgment against their insured.
Should I Hire an Attorney to Handle My Accident Claim?
At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Sharon Simmons-Cantrell has been handling and negotiating State Farm insurance claims with State Farm adjusters for over 25 years. We also have three trial lawyers with over 65 years of combined litigation experience. State Farm has a team looking at your case, shouldn’t you have a team fighting FOR you as well? Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., today for a free consultation. We front the cost of bringing the claim and we charge no attorney’s fees or case expenses to you unless we make a recovery for you. Call us at (713) 932-0777..