When the Insurance Company Isn’t Responding to You, Here Is How You Can Take Action & Protect Your Rights
Contacting and dealing with insurance companies are unavoidable parts of filing claims and seeking compensation after car accidents and other injury-causing events. In fact:
Even if someone else was 100% at fault for your injuries, you can still face a lot of frustration, hassle, and runaround from an insurance company.
Ignoring your calls and being unresponsive are common tactics insurance companies use to try to get the upper hand and minimize payouts for claims.
Insurance companies make money by not paying claims. If they can ignore you and pay you less, it means more profits in their pockets at the end of the day, helping their bottom line.
The longer insurers don’t pay your claim, the more interest they can make off of the money you may be entitled to. That can be additional incentive to take their time in getting back to you and handling your claim.
Insurance companies know they are turning up the financial pressure you face when they delay contact with you and prolong your claim. They’re fully aware that, as they take their time with your claim, your bills stack up. So, sometimes, ignoring you is their way of manipulating you into accepting a low offer out of the gate. They know you’ll really need the money when an offer comes finally after they’ve ignored you and your claim for weeks or months on end. And they’re counting on you to just take the first low offer you get.
5 Steps to Take When an Insurance Company Ignores You
Is the insurance company experiencing reasonable delays or are they intentionally ignoring you? While insurers are not obligated to respond to your calls or demand letters by any specific deadline, it’s not great for their bottom line to ignore every claimant — and they are legally obligated to act in “good faith” with claims. That means handling claims reasonably and fairly.
So, if you feel like an insurance company is ignoring you, take these steps to get a better idea of whether you may have been subjected to bad faith insurance. If so, these actions can help you protect your rights and claim as you proceed.
1. Make a Follow-Up Call
Insurance adjusters are busy people, and it’s not uncommon for claims to get passed along to one or more adjusters as they’re processed. On top of that, insurance companies may not have the most up-to-date contact information for you, or mistakes on claim forms could cause holdups in adjusters getting back to you. All of those could be legitimate reasons you may not hear back from the insurance company as soon as you expect to once you contact them.
So, follow up a week or two after your first letter or point of contact. Call and leave a detailed voicemail, explaining:
Your name and contact information
Your claim number (if you have one)
When you sent a demand letter (if applicable)
That you need someone to call you back ASAP so you can get more information and answers
2. Document & Keep Everything
Keep all letters and emails you receive from the insurance company. Also, keep detailed notes about when and how you reached out about your claim (noting the date, time, method of contact, and what happened).
These documents and details can help establish a pattern of inaction or unreasonable delay on the part of an insurance company. So, it’s important to keep everything and document every one of your attempts to contact the insurer.
3. Stay Calm If or When You Do Make Contact with an Adjuster
After feeling ignored and not getting the response or answers you need from an insurer, it can be easy to feel stressed out, frustrated, and angry. No matter how you feel, do your best to interact calmly with the adjuster. Losing it or yelling at the adjuster won’t help you or your claim, and it’s not going to convince an adjuster to start being more responsive to you.
If you feel like you can stay calm when dealing with the insurance company, jump to step 6 below (and retain an attorney who can deal with the insurance company for you).
4. Do NOT Feel Pressured to Accept a Settlement
If you do finally hear back from an insurance company and you’re offered a settlement shortly thereafter, do NOT:
Let an adjuster pressure you into taking the offer: They may tell you that their offer is as good as it gets, and you could feel like you don’t have options, especially after you’ve had a really frustrating experience up until this point. But, remember, you DO have options, and you should exercise your option to carefully consider any offer you’re presented with.
Take the offer without looking it over with a lawyer: You could be entitled to a lot more than insurance companies are offering you, and it can be impossible to know where offers have fallen short without the help of an attorney.
5. Request All Follow-Up Contact to Be in Writing
Written communications between you and the insurance company will help you keep records. So, request that all future communications between you and the insurer are done in writing, either via emails or letters, to the extent possible.
6. Talk to a Lawyer
An attorney can explain whether you’ve been the target of bad faith tactics and what you can do next to protect your claim. Beyond that, a lawyer can intervene, calling insurance companies directly on your behalf. Many insurers will take notice when attorneys call, and they tend to be more responsive when they know a lawyer is waiting in the wings, ready to file a lawsuit if they act in bad faith or refuse to fairly resolve a claim.
The Bottom Line: Ignored by an Insurer? Your Best Bet Is to Get a Lawyer
When it comes to insurance companies ignoring you or possibly using other bad faith tactics with your claim, it’s best to get an attorney involved. Insurance companies and their adjusters specialize in trying to avoid paying claims, and an experienced lawyer will know how to neutralize their bad faith tactics while bringing claims to successful resolutions.