Insufficient (Lowball) Farmers Insurance Settlement Offer
Idaho Insurance Claims Lawyer Helping Injury Victims with Lowball Settlement Offers from Farmers
You have been paying insurance premiums for years, anticipating that your insurance company will be there to provide you with compensation in the event of a severe and unexpected accident. However, many accident victims learn too late that insurance companies are not in the business of advocating for injured insureds, and that insurance companies like Farmers are businesses that want to do everything they can to keep their costs low. As such, Farmers and other insurance companies can offer injury victims insufficient or lowball settlement offers in order to close out claims. It is essential to work with an experienced Idaho insurance claims lawyer to ensure that you receive a reasonable settlement for your losses, and that you do not agree to any unfair settlement offers verbally or in writing before speaking with a dedicated advocate.
Accident victims struggle immensely in the aftermath of an auto accident, and they can be convinced by insurance companies to accept very low settlement offers. In some circumstances, low settlement offers may be unlawful, and even if they are not, a Farmers insurance claim lawyer in Idaho can help to renegotiate any offer you receive. An advocate at Hansen Injury Law can speak with you about your settlement offer and your options for compensation.
Insurance Companies Like Farmers Want to Keep Costs Down
When you receive a lowball settlement offer from Farmers or another insurance company in Idaho, it is important to keep in mind that insurance companies put their own best interests first. In other words, even though you may be a customer that has been paying premiums for years or even decades, the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind when it is considering a settlement offer after you submit your claim. Insurance companies want to do all that they can to keep their own costs down, and that includes making insufficient settlement offers to accident and injury victims.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Farmers Insurance Group is among the top ten writers of auto insurance premiums in the country, with around 5 percent of the market share. Although Farmers writes direct premiums totaling more than $10,000,000 each year, it still wants to avoid paying out high claims whenever possible. In some situations, insufficient or lowball settlement offers may violate Idaho laws concerning unlawful claims settlement practices.
Unlawful Claims Settlement Practices in Idaho
There are numerous types of unlawful claims settlement practices under Idaho law, and several of them concern insufficient or lowball settlement offers. Specifically, the statute states that some of the following constitute unlawful claims settlement practices:
- Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;
- Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by such insureds;
- Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application; and
- Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of the insured.
Considering Idaho Law on Insufficient Settlement Offers
What do some of these unlawful claims settlement practices look like in practice? For example, the statute says that an insurance company like Farmers can violate the law if it fails to attempt to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim in good faith once liability has become reasonably clear. Imagine that Jane files a claim after being injured in an accident. It is clear that the other party is liable based on the evidence and that Jane is entitled to compensation in the amount of approximately $50,000. The insurance company responds promptly with a settlement offer of $5,000. In all likelihood, this settlement offer is not an attempt at a “fair and equitable” settlement of Jane’s claim.
Now, let us consider another scenario. Imagine that Jane submitted that same $50,000 claim, and after submitting the claim, someone at the insurance company looked at the evidence and decided that Jane was only entitled to up to $25,000. In making this determination, the insurance company altered Jane’s initial claim so that she was seeking only $25,000 instead of $50,000. Based on that alteration, the insurance company offers a settlement of $20,000. This type of settlement offer also is likely unlawful under the Idaho statute.
No matter what, you will need to respond to a settlement offer in a timely fashion to ensure that the claims process moves forward and that you remain eligible for compensation. A lawyer can help.
Contact an Idaho Attorney for Lowball Insurance Settlement
You should never accept a lowball settlement offer from Farmers or any other insurance company. An experienced lowballed insurance settlement attorney in ID can help you to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement offer in your case. Contact Hansen Injury Law to learn more about the services we provide to residents and Boise and to injury victims throughout the state of Idaho.