State Farm has a new cost saving trick up its sleeve. When both driver’s are insured by State Farm only one adjuster is assigned to the claim. This adjuster determines who is at fault and how much they will be paid for their cars. It is pretty safe to say this is a serious conflict of interest.
Let’s look at a crash in Vancouver Washington with personal injuries to one driver and none to the other. Let’s call the uninjured driver, who turned left causing the crash Driver 1. The driver who was proceeding straight through a green light is Driver 2. Driver 1 admits to the police officer at the scene that she does not know if her light was green or not. It would be impossible for her to have a green light when oncoming traffic also has a green. Driver 2 is certain her light was green. Both driver’s agree other folks were going through the intersection in Driver 2’s direction of travel.
After Driver 2 leaves the hospital Driver 2 discovers that State Farm has appointed a single adjuster to the case. The adjuster seems friendly. Driver 2 tells her she had a green light. Driver 1 repeats that she thinks her light was green but she does not know for sure. The adjuster determines that there is inadequate evidence to figure out fault, so both insured’s bear 50% fault. This means Driver 2 loses half her $500 deductible on the spot. State Farm then undervalued her car by using an averaging trick that is the subject of another blog. That trick took about a $1,000 more off the payment to Driver 2.
The final part of the cost saving is basically just lying. Driver 2 told the adjuster that she was going back to the doctor for more treatment. The adjuster informed her that the claim was closed and she couldn’t get payment under the no-fault PIP insurance she had paid State Farm for.
By blaming the driver with the most damage State Farm reduces its losses. By blaming both driver’s State Farm justifies raising the rates on both of them. By blaming both driver’s State Farm makes it harder for the drivers to change insurance.
As someone said: You don’t have the wrong insurance, you have the wrong insurance company.