Wednesday, 8 February 2012
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Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Nevada will not only help you and your company enjoy the corporate benefits of limited liability, reduced taxation and financial privacy, but as well as a diligent implementation and business development strategy. This will enable you to build your business into an investment-attracting entity and a highly competitive one.
Nevada does not collect personal, corporate, inventory franchise, gift, occupation and stock transfer taxes. And with the federal “check box” method of taxation, Nevada Corporations can opt to be taxed through the business partnership model with “pass through” taxation. This can result to a substantial savings to a business.
How the Claims Process Works
Because it doesn't happen to us everyday, most of us don't know what to expect when making an auto accident claim or how to deal with the insurance claims adjuster. Here are the three main phases in the process.
A. Submit Your Claim
After an accident, report property claims and/or a personal injury claim immediately to your insurance company. Reporting to your insurance company in a timely matter is imperative. Be prepared to give the following information:
Your policy number
The date, time, location and nature of your loss
The make and model of your automobile
A description of the damage and injuries
Names, contact information, and insurance information of those involved
Your contact information
B. Your Insurance Claims Adjuster Is Assigned
When your claim is entered into the insurance company's system, an insurance claims adjuster will usually be assigned to you within a day or two. Your insurance claims adjuster will contact you to gain further information and investigate your property claim, personal injury claim, the damage, your coverage and the cause of your loss.
C. Vehicle Damage Inspection
To determine if your vehicle can be repaired or if it's a total loss, your adjuster will need to inspect it. If your vehicle is repairable, you may take it wherever you want to get it fixed. Read your policy, though, as now many insurance companies are putting restrictions on their auto policies. Few people know about these until they actually get into an accident.
Some policies charge a co-pay of 20% of the repair bill if you don't take your vehicle to a network provider. (This usually only occurs with low cost or non-standard polices). You are free to get an estimate from a repair facility of your choice, but most insurance companies require repairs to be based on the insurance estimate only. Any supplements requested by the repair facility will need to be approved by the insurance company.
If your claim is simple, then it can usually be resolved by your insurance claims adjuster within a few days. Minor scrapes or dings are often settled the same day the vehicle is inspected.
However, delays can occur when there is severe damage. This almost always results in supplements, delaying the closure of your property claim. If the claim is more complex than usual, if it involves a personal injury claim, or if there are red flags present, it may take even longer to settle. These situations require detailed investigation by the insurance claims adjuster including an in-person recorded statement, the gathering of medical bills, negotiations with attorneys, etc. If the insurance company believes your claim is potentially fraudulent, they may check your background, run your credit, and require multiple statements from you.
This is why it's so important to know what to expect in an auto accident claim before you actually have one.
1. Compare Auto Insurance Companies and Coverage
One way to save on auto insurance is to compare several agencies to see what they offer. Compare the types of coverage, the actual benefits of the coverage (should you ever need to make a claim), and the pricing for each policy. Insurance policies can vary greatly in price, so shopping around will help you find a policy that fits your budget and needs. If you're classified as a safe driver, you can use this to your advantage as you compare car insurance offers. Hint: The cheapest car insurance is not always best, so check out the company and its history thoroughly before agreeing to a policy.
2. Opt for a Higher Deductible
Most car insurance agencies will offer lower premiums if you opt for a higher deductible. The deductible is a set amount you agree to pay before making an insurance claim. This could be $250, $500, or even $750 or higher. If you agree to the higher deductible, your premium will likely be as much as 15 to 30 percent less.
3. Cancel Collision Coverage on Older Vehicles
If you have an older vehicle, insurance can cost more than the car is worth. You are not required by law to keep collision on an older vehicle as long as you don't owe a debt on the car through a lending institution.
4. Avoid Buying Sports Cars
If you're in the market for a new or used vehicle, buy a low profile car - not a sports car. Sports cars can cost substantially more when it comes to auto insurance and they are also very expensive to repair. Sports cars are often targeted by thieves as well. Obtain an estimate of the insurance costs before making a purchase to be on the safe side.
5. Low Mileage Premium Discounts
If you drive under a certain number of miles per year, your insurance company may offer a premium discount for low mileage. For instance, if you drive 8,000 miles or less per year, you might be able to pay less on insurance. Ask the company about this option to see if you qualify. If you don't currently meet the low mileage requirements, consider car pooling to work if possible.
6. Other Auto Insurance Discounts
You can obtain discounts for being a safe driver (with a clear driving record), if you've completed a driving course, or for being a non-smoker. Some companies will give discounts if you insure both your home and vehicle with the same agency. You can also benefit from discounts if your vehicle features certain safety items such as automatic seat belts, certain types of airbags, etc. If your teenager starts driving, have them share a family car instead of buying one of their own. Also, let the agency know if your teen makes honor roll or takes a defensive driving course in school.
7. Avoid Extra Expenses
You can find the cheapest car insurance by avoiding extra expenses such as towing, car rentals, or extra medical coverage (if you already have coverage through a health insurance policy). If buying a new car, read the full factory warranty to see what's included. Then you can possibly drop these items from your car insurance policy and reduce your premium.
8. Keep Inexpensive Auto Insurance
The best way to keep your auto insurance at a low cost is to maintain a good driving record. Avoid speeding or traffic violations. These can cause your insurance premiums to increase a great deal. Also, try to maintain good credit. Many insurers today are considering a person's credit rating when determining auto insurance rates. Remember to pay your premium bills on time. Being late on a bill payment can cause your policy to be reinstated to former higher pricing even if you've been using the same company for a long while. Combine each of these tips to enjoy great savings on insurance. You can comparison shop online and get instant car insurance quotes. The cheapest car insurance comes only with a little research and staying in step with the rules of your agency.
Most insurance policy holders haven't heard of bad faith and so don't even think about challenging their denied insurance claim. But it happens every day in the insurance industry.
Yes, there are many responsible and ethical insurance adjusters out there, but the majority of them are extremely overloaded with claims. They simply can't handle every single one of them according to their company's or the Department of Insurance's guidelines.
After a while, handling claims "in bad faith" becomes routine. And since most people have no idea what constitutes bad faith, they do nothing to fight their insurance claim denial.
That's why it's so important to understand the theory behind bad faith so you can protect your "rights of insured".
What Is Bad Faith? And What Are My Rights of the Insured?
An insurance policy is a contract between you (the Insured) and your insurance carrier (the Insurer). As an insured, or policyholder, you are bound to the terms and conditions set forth in the policy. You also have certain duties when it comes to filing a claim.
However, the insurer is also bound by the terms of the policy and has certain obligations to meet. So in exchange for your monthly premium, the insurer agrees to provide the coverage set forth in the policy. This contract requires that it acts in "good faith" toward you.
When an insurer unreasonably withholds the benefits of the policy from its insured, it is considered to be in "bad faith" and is not upholding your rights of insured.
Insurance attorneys know that insurers attempt to deny or underpay claims for any reason they can. To determine whether an insurer is acting in good faith, the court must determine whether or not their conduct is "reasonable". To prove bad faith, you only have to show that the insurer failed to honor the contract and had no reason not to pay what was due.
Examples in Insurance Claim Denials
There are many ways insurance companies commit bad faith and violate the rights of the insured:
Failing to promptly and thoroughly investigate a claim;
Unreasonable delay of payment of benefits;
Unreasonable insurance claim denial;
Using unreasonable interpretations in translating policy language;
Refusing to settle the case or reimburse you for your entire loss.
If an insurance claim denial is considered "unreasonable" and is demonstrated to be dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent, a judgment may be obtained and punitive damages awarded as well as compensation for the actual loss under the policy.
However, insurance companies have the right to deny your claim if you haven't lived up to your end of the contract/policy, if your claim isn't covered by your policy or is fraudulent.
How to Dispute Insurance Claim Denial
If you still feel you are in the right after having reviewed your insurance policy, collect all of the correspondence you've had with your insurance company and other pertinent documentation. Write a letter and send it certified mail to the Director of Claims of the insurance carrier you deal with citing the pertinent points of the policy and demonstrating that their insurance claim denial of benefits is unreasonable. Also write the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance in your state and ask them for a review and assistance in the matter.
If that doesn't work, take your policy and documentation to a qualified insurance attorney. He or she should be able to determine after a review of the facts whether or not your insurance company has violated your rights of insured and committed bad faith.
How To Fight Back
When an insurer commits bad faith on a denied insurance claim, you have three options: 1) negotiate an acceptable settlement with the insurer, 2) do nothing and give up, or 3) sue the insurer. A vast majority of people unfortunately choose to do nothing and give up.
But often when an insurance attorney becomes involved, an insurer will take the claim much more seriously and try to correct its earlier bad faith direction in order to minimize the amount of the claim and any punitive damages. Typically, even when it is necessary to sue an insurer for bad faith, the case is often settled before the trial.
Why Do They Commit Bad Faith?
There is a good financial reason for insurance companies to unjustly deny claims. Because very few policy holders dispute an insurance claim denial, insurers save a lot of money.
Here's how it works: Let's say that an insurer denies 100 claims. Of these 100 claims, 95 go unchallenged and disappear while five policy holders decide to dispute their insurance claim denial.
Of these five, the insurer reverses its denied insurance claim decision on four of the claims. But it continues to refuse coverage on the fifth claim.
The fifth claimant then files a lawsuit for bad faith and is awarded punitive damages against the insurer. Even if this claimant gets millions of dollars, the insurance company still saved millions by not having paid the other 95 denied insurance claims that were not disputed.
And that, in short, is why they do it and how they get away with it.
The Auto Claims Guide goes into greater detail on bad faith claims handling practices. You will learn what defines bad faith, read a case study of bad faith handling, and learn what your rights are if you believe your claim has been handled improperly by the insurance company.