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KINGS OF APRIL FOOLS’ DAY THE DIRTY TRICKS OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY
Nobody likes getting tricked, unpleasantly surprised, or taken advantage of. Thankfully, most folks only have to put up with pranksters one day a year. From crude practical jokes to major inconveniences, most of these shenanigans are mercifully confined to April 1. Unfortunately, insurance companies are allowed to pull their tricks year-round. You see a lot of shady tactics employed by adjusters in our line of work. Unlike an air horn duct taped under an office chair, these tricks do lasting harm after the initial shock of falling victim to them. As we recover from a day of (relatively) innocent pranks, we should bear in mind the misleading predatory business practices that can reduce or even deny your insurance claim. Insurance is supposed to be there to help protect us and our loved ones, but it rarely feels that way. The truth is, it’s a business, so insurance companies are interested in maximizing profits with as little risk as possible. Insurance adjusters are just doing their jobs by attempting to poke holes in your claim. But sometimes, these efforts go well over the line of what is appropriate. For example, adjusters may keep tabs on you and your social media profile without your knowledge. They’re hunting for photographs of you doing physical activities like yardwork or post-accident tweets about “everybody being okay.” The adjusters will say they’re looking for “evidence” of your injury, but this sounds less like an investigation and more like spying.
As if this isn’t disgraceful enough, some agents have the nerve to look you in the eyes while they pull the wool over them. When a smiling, well-dressed person from the insurance company shows up at your door, they may seem harmless enough. But many of the seemingly benign questions they ask can have hidden barbs. Even answering a simple “How are you?” can negatively impact your case. These conversational tactics are one of the many “gotcha” moves used by the industry. These adjusters may as well wear a joy buzzer when they go in to shake your hand. Over the course of talking with you, they may ask things like, “It sure must have been hard to see in all that rain. Do you think that maybe that played a factor?” That’s them laying the trap. A simple polite nod in agreement, regardless of what you actually think on the matter, can be used against your claim. But the shenanigans don’t stop there. From purposely dragging their feet on processing your case to tricking folks into giving them access to years’ worth of medical history, the adjuster has many tools in their arsenal. If the whole idea of a prank is to mislead, shock, and disappoint people, then these “professionals” are the kings and queens of April Fools’ Day. We’re not against good-natured fun here at Jones & Hill. Heck, if a prank’s clever enough, it’ll get a laugh out of us. But after years of representing hardworking folks who have been taken advantage of by insurance adjusters, you get tired of mean-spirited deception. –Cra ig Jon e s & Cra ig Hill
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