The American Association for Justice has published an interesting and helpful article titled Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse. The topics include: Denying Claims, Delaying Until Death, Confusing Consumers, Abandoning the Sick, Discriminating by Credit Score, and Canceling for a Call. Here is the summary of the article and what you can do about these tactics:
READ YOUR POLICY CAREFULLY: You should know exactly what is covered and how to appeal a denial by your insurance company.
BE VERY CAREFUL FILLING OUT FORMS: Even if you make an honest mistake your insurance company may seize on that as a reason to retroactively deny your coverage.
You should be aware that often, if your medical bills were paid by health insurance of an employer’s health plan, the insurance company or plan may want you to reimburse it out of any personal injury recovery. Your “insurance” turns out to be not insurance at all, but a “loan.”
DO NOT CASH A PREMIUM REFUND CHECK: If your insurance company cancels your insurance when you make a claim, they may send you a check for premiums paid. Cashing it may act as accepting their decision.
PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING: Calling your insurance company is likely to be a frustrating experience, and you will not be able to prove anything that a company representative tells you over the phone. Keep records of all bills and correspondence.
CONTACT YOUR STATE INSURANCE DEPARTMENT: They may be able to help you. But they will not represent you in a private matter, so if all else fails you may need to consult with an attorney.
AND MOST OF ALL, DO NOT GIVE UP: Insurance companies count on you giving up. Fight for your rights.