Farmers Insurance Group may rank within the top five auto insurance companies in the U.S. due to its size and number of policies written, but not all claimants would say their experience with the company was a positive one. Several policyholders who file car accident claims with Farmers run into significant roadblocks in recovering compensation. You could also face challenges if you are filing as a third-party claim.
However, policyholders have rights that extend beyond those of third parties. Based upon the contractual relationship between you and your insurance company, Ohio law protects you from bad faith tactics when filing Farmers auto insurance accident claims. The statutory language surrounding these laws can be complicated, so it’s important to speak with an attorney at Kisling, Nestico & Redick about your rights.
Historical Background of Farmers Auto Insurance
One of the oldest insurance providers in the U.S., Farmers was founded in 1922 by two men hailing from rural backgrounds. Realizing that farmers and others in agriculture tended to be safer drivers, the pair developed a business model of providing lower insurance premiums to motorists with better driving records. By focusing on this target group of policyholders, Farmers was able to enjoy considerable growth over the years and eventually started providing additional insurance products, including homeowner’s policies, life insurance, business policies, and more.
Farmers earned media praise for its response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Rita in 2005, when the company sent hundreds of claims adjusters to help homeowners with reconstruction efforts. At the same time, the company has also garnered notoriety with respect to its treatment for auto insurance policyholders. There is a long list of lawsuits and complaints to state insurance departments, including allegations of bad faith and stonewalling.
Filing an Auto Accident Claim with Farmers
The specifics of the process will depend on whether you’re filing with Farmers directly as a first-party, which you may if you were at fault in the car crash. You may also seek compensation as a policyholder in a single-vehicle accident. You would be a third-party claimant if you were hurt or sustained property damage due to the fault of a Farmers policyholder.
Still, there are some similarities in the filing process as a first or third party. Your first steps in the Farmers auto insurance accident claims begin at the scene, right after the crash:
- First, call 911 to report the collision and request any medical assistance for injured victims. A police report is useful as an official document to support your claim.
- Get the contact details and insurance information for all drivers involved in the crash.
- Talk to witnesses, if any are available. Their statements may be valuable if fault is a factor in a third-party claim.
- Do your best to document the scene of the crash by taking pictures and video with your phone.
- Contact Farmers right away if you’re a policyholder, as delays on filing a first-party claim could be affected by several factors. Third-party claimants should also call their own insurance companies.
A Farmers claims adjuster will provide you with the details on what to do next, which will likely involve claims forms, gathering documentation, providing an oral statement, and other tasks. If you’re seeking compensation for injuries, you’ll also need to present medical records regarding your treatment.
Indications of Bad Faith in Farmers Auto Insurance Accident Claims
Even when you provide all the information requested by a Farmers representative, along with solid proof of your losses, the response to your claim may be disappointing. The adjuster may present an offer that is far too low to compensate you for your losses or deny your claim entirely for a variety of reasons.
When an insurance company has adequate justification for taking an adverse action, it doesn’t contravene Ohio’s insurance bad faith laws. However, you may have rights if the insurer:
- Delays in paying out a valid claim
- Rejects your claim without investigating it
- Refuses to provide justification for denying your claim
- Declines settlement discussions
- Points out loopholes or weak language in your policy as a reason for denial
- Engages in other conduct that demonstrates a refusal to uphold its contractual obligations
Knowledgeable Legal Advice on Farmers Auto Insurance Accident Claims
If you spot the signs of insurance bad faith or get a sense of misconduct when filing a claim, you do have legal remedies as a Farmers policyholder. The key to enforcing your rights is working with a skilled Ohio insurance bad faith lawyer who has experience going up against these companies. For more information, please contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick by calling 1-800-HURT-NOW, or by visiting our website.