Avoiding GEICO Low Accident Claims

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) insures an estimated 15 million drivers, making it the second-largest insurer in the United States. 

Their commercials are famous for their gecko spokesperson touting the significant savings you get on auto insurance by getting a policy through them. While GEICO does offer low, affordable rates, there’s also a downside—Geico’s low car insurance rates may not be saving you money.

The insurer is well-known for paying out low settlement amounts that frequently aren’t enough to cover medical expenses or property damage sustained in an auto accident. Thankfully, you can take advantage of some hidden secrets that can help ensure your claim is settled to your satisfaction.

Tips on Avoiding GEICO’s Low Settlements

Even though it’s common for insurance companies to offer low settlements, GEICO can take it to the extreme. Sometimes, the auto insurer can even make unnecessary deductions from your settlement amount; an example of this is the 2023 case of Moe v. GEICO

The plaintiff is suing the insurance provider for misrepresenting its policy providers and failing to promptly pay claims. To avoid these issues, you can take some steps to help move your claim smoothly along.

Don’t Be Too Friendly with Your Claims Adjuster

There’s a good chance your claims adjuster will be friendly and likable. They may even be the type of person you don’t mind grabbing a beer or a bite to eat with. However, before you start thinking about adding the insurance adjuster to your friend’s list, it’s a good idea to remember exactly what their job entails.

An insurance adjuster has one primary goal: to save the company money, which means as they’re evaluating your claim, they’re looking for ways to reduce your settlement amount. This is when it pays to read the fine print included in your insurance policy.

During your discussions with the claims adjuster, watch what information you impart. You can give broad details about the accident, including basic information on any injuries or property damage.

What you don’t want to do is:

  • Avoid accepting any blame or responsibility for the accident.
  • Don’t tell the adjuster specific details about your medical treatment or even the diagnosis. If your arm is broken in an accident, you can acknowledge the injury. After all, a cast on your arm is hard to miss—however, don’t discuss how long the injury will take to heal.
  • Don’t discuss your income or the total of your medical expenses.
  • Avoid talking about how the accident is affecting your life.

Anything you tell the adjuster can be used to diminish your claim, resulting in a lower settlement check. Sometimes, even a skilled accident attorney can’t undo any statements you may make to the claims adjuster.

The best advice is to be polite and friendly and stick to the basic details. Don’t get into an in-depth conversation; let your accident attorney handle the discussion for you.

You Don’t Want Your Conversation Recorded

Whether the conversation with the Geico claims adjuster is done over the phone or in person, don’t let the conversation be recorded. You have the legal right to refuse to have your conversation recorded, even when it’s only for quality assurance purposes.

Did you know that it’s illegal for a claims adjuster to record your call? If you refuse to record your conversation, GEICO must comply with your wishes. If the conversation is still recorded, you may be able to sue for breach of privacy since the law is pretty clear when it comes to protecting individual privacy. This is good news for your auto accident case. 

Sometimes, you may say something that can be used against your claim. Your words can also be taken out of context, resulting in a legal battle. Politely refuse GEICO’s request to record the conversation and refer the claims adjuster to your accident attorney.

Be Cautious When Placing a Value on Your Claim

Did you know your insurance policy through GEICO may cover more than your medical expenses and car repair bills? Before submitting a claim to the insurance adjuster, talk to an attorney.

You may be entitled to more than you realize. Some of the items you may receive compensation for include:

  • Future medical expenses. If your injuries require ongoing care, you can submit a claim. You’ll need to include copies of your medical records and existing expenses to support this claim.
  • Lost income. Did the accident leave you unable to work? If so, you are legally entitled to receive compensation for lost income. This can also include any future earnings if you are unable to return to work. Supporting documentation is necessary, which typically includes pay stubs and financial records.
  • Pain and suffering. Are you experiencing pain and suffering as a result of the auto accident? This type of damage is harder to calculate and prove, but you’re legally entitled to receive compensation.

Adding these factors to your current medical and repair expenses can significantly increase your claim amount, which is also something insurance adjusters will work diligently to disprove. If you haven’t started saving all receipts and records about the accident, now is the time to stop throwing any scrap of paper away.

Never Accept the First Settlement Offer

This advice applies regardless of who holds your auto insurance policy, as GEICO is not the only company that offers a ridiculously low initial settlement. Insurance companies are typically for-profit and don’t like paying large claims.

Politely decline the first settlement offer—remember, once you accept a claim amount, your case is considered close, which means you can’t refile for additional damages. Don’t be surprised if the insurance adjuster applies a little pressure, since their job is to convince you that accepting the initial offer is in your best interests. The best course of action is to refer the adjuster to your personal injury attorney.

Don’t Deal With Insurance Adjusters Alone

If you’re involved in an auto accident, don’t deal with the insurance adjuster on your own. Consult with an accident attorney before accepting any settlement offer. 

Your attorney will work to ensure your claim is settled fairly and the amount covers all of your current and future expenses.