The Insurer Wants You to Sign a Release? What You Need to Know
Posted in: Car Accidents
Liberty Mutual is unique among Ohio auto insurance companies in that it gives its customers an ownership interest in the organization when it writes the policy. However, it’s not all that different from other insurers when it comes to stinginess in paying out claims for property damage and injuries.
According to a CNN report based on an 18-month investigation, most major insurance companies are playing hardball when handling policyholder and third-party claims. Even as you’re paying out more in premiums and insurer profits skyrocket, pursuing Liberty Mutual auto insurance accident claims can feel like running into a brick wall.
Policyholders are in a contractual relationship with their insurance providers, so they stand in a different position as compared to third-party claimants. State law protects first parties from insurance bad faith, but some companies still take improper adverse action on legitimate claims.
If you’re facing pushback, our team at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can tell you more about your legal options. Contact us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free appointment with our Ohio insurance claims lawyers.
Liberty Mutual has come a long way since its start as a workers’ compensation insurer in 1912, under the name Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association. The company now holds the number four spot on the list of largest insurers in the U.S., and ranks 68th on the list of Fortune 100 companies based on revenue.
Revenue seems to be the keyword at Liberty Mutual, but the benefit of profits doesn’t extend to policyholders. The true beneficiaries are the company executives who enjoy 1,300 square foot offices and four corporate jets, according to a 2012 article in the Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, customers endure legal battles with Liberty Mutual auto insurance accident claims on a regular basis. The company even went so far as to sue its own policyholder for filing a lawful claim. The legal battle, which lasted for years, cost the policyholder over $400,000 of their own money. Liberty Mutual lost and was forced to pay, and the court also ordered punitive damages for bad faith.
Before getting to the details of the process, you should first understand the difference between the two basic types of claims. If you’re hurt in a crash and you want to seek compensation from a Liberty Mutual policyholder, you’re a third-party claimant.
You can request coverage for such damages as medical costs and lost income. Liberty Mutual may deny your claim for almost any reason, or the company may offer a lower amount. If settlement negotiations stall, you’ll have to file a lawsuit.
As a policyholder, you’re a first-party claimant with a different set of challenges. Even when you pay your premiums on time, an insurance company may be no more willing to deal with you than with a third party. The process can be especially frustrating because fault isn’t an issue. You’re merely seeking to get the coverage you paid for with policy terms like:
Regardless of whether you’re filing as a first or third party, there’s basic information you’ll need to provide the Liberty Mutual claims adjuster.
Third-party claimants should not hand over medical records with the claims packet. You should consult with an attorney first, because this information is used to assess your situation. When you’re filing any type of claim, it’s critical to work with an experienced lawyer who knows what your claim is worth and how much compensation you should receive.
If you don’t have a legal background, you put your rights at risk and may receive far less than you’re entitled to under Ohio law.
The CNN report reveals that you’re not alone in facing bad faith tactics when trying to pursue your rights as a policyholder. However, you can get legal help with Liberty Mutual auto insurance accident claims. The attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick are ready and willing to take on even the largest companies, so please call 1-800-HURT-NOW to set up a no-cost assessment. You can also visit our website to learn more about our legal services in the area of insurance bad faith.