A friend of a friend had an awful accident. Someone ran a red light and there was a devastating t-bone impact. He broke both legs and an arm. This gentleman is an independent contractor in his 30s, married, with one young child at home. His wife does not work outside of the home.
My friend told me about this and with no pressure I said to him, “you should have him give me a ring and I can let him know what his rights are.” My friend replied, “I’m not that worried because he has really good insurance.”
I always hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no such thing as “really good insurance”. I will start off by saying that there is one caveat to what I have just said which is people should make sure that they have appropriate coverage for all of their losses – see our articles on optional accident benefits, umbrella policies and other coverage.
The reason there is no such thing as really good insurance is the same reason there is no such thing as a really good hockey stick – it all depends on who is controlling the stick. You give Connor McDavid or Sydney Crosby a broom and they are going to be more effective than I am with a $300.00 carbon stick. The equivalent in the insurance industry is the fact that behind every insurance policy there is an insurance company, and when your claim goes to that insurance company it will be assigned to an adjuster. Adjusters are humans. However the adjuster and the company are run to some extent by computers. Insurance companies don’t work on a micro-level; they don’t look at your claim in isolation. Your claim is assessed on the macro level, which is done by plugging many of its individual factors into an algorithm that is written by actuaries, accountants, and economists. The insurance company deals with your claim as part of its overall risk mitigation, essentially ensuring they remain profitable.
Just because you have really good insurance doesn’t mean you aren’t going to fall into some overarching plan that the insurance company has to make sure that they remain profitable, and it doesn’t mean that you are not going to run afoul of the human elements with your adjuster.
This is why you need an injury lawyer to protect your interests. As an injury law specialist I,and the other lawyers at my firm, understand not only the macro-risk-mitigation strategy of the insurance company, but we also understand how to play to the human elements of your adjuster and the micro-level of your claim.
An adjuster’s job is to assess the strength of your claim and the likely dollar value of your claim and to, over time, either increase or decrease the financial reserves that the insurance company is required by law to put aside in a secret fund with your name on it. They adjust the dollar amounts up and down depending on the information they receive and the way their impression of the financial value of the claim changes over time. We probably even know your adjuster. There are only a few large insurance companies in Canada and each of them have different structures for assessing claims, and each of them have different regional employees. We frequently deal with these people and have established relationships with them. There are also small regional mutual funds and other insurers that lawyers from outside the region have absolutely no experience with. This matters.
When you hire a lawyer from Bergeron Clifford LLP you can be assured that the approach we take to your claim is tailored to your individual circumstances and to the insurance company that we are fighting against and the adjuster who is dealing with the claim. We don’t believe in one size fits all. Unfortunately we also don’t believe in the existence of “really good insurance”. However we do believe in the practice of really good injury law.