Good morning. I’m Marcus Michles and welcome to this week’s edition of our video blog. You can find us at michlesbooth.com/blog, and you can contribute if you’d like by calling us or emailing us or texting us, and let us know what your questions are.
One of the questions that I got recently, I thought was kind of interesting and want to talk about that is – “Can you trust your own insurance company?”. I thought, you know, from my perspective the answer to that is always a resounding “no” but that’s not a fair answer across the board. So you’ve got to ask yourself – “Why do insurance companies spend so much time and energy convincing you that they’re like a good neighbor or on your side?” The truth is that they’re on their side.
Now if they’re your insurance company, let’s take for example a car accident. You get into a car accident. It wasn’t your fault. Your insurance company has a responsibility to do some things. They are supposed to supply you with PIP, personal injury protection benefits to pay for medical bills. Well, it used to be that you got $10,000 in PIP, right? Some of you are watching saying “yeah, but I still get $10,000 in PIP”. No, you don’t. You get $2,500 in PIP and then you have to prove that you have an emergency medical condition and then you get the additional 7,500. So you get ten thousand dollars IF you meet the insurance companies prerequisite.
Independent Medical Examination
Now some of you that have been through the process know that your insurance company has a right to submit you to an independent medical examination. That’s kind of a misnomer, because there’s nothing independent about it. They send you to their doctor, and their doctor says whether you really should get additional care and additional treatment or not. So let’s say you’re under the care of your doctor, and your doctor prescribes physical therapy, and you’re going through physical therapy, and you’re going and you’re going. You’re following your doctor’s orders. Your insurance company has the right to hire their own doctor to say “guess what? You don’t need any more physical therapy. You’re okay. You’re done.”
Now at Michles & Booth, we handle about 70 car accident cases a month, and I’ve been doing this for about 30 years, so I’ve seen quite a few independent medical examinations. You want to take a big, wild guess at how often their doctor says “you don’t need any more treatment”? You think that happens very often? Yeah… like about all the time. Ok. So they send you to their doctor. State Farm does. Nationwide does. You know those good hands people that are on your side and like a good neighbor. They send you to their doctor, which cuts off your benefits.
Bottom Line – Be Careful.
So here’s the bottom line. Be careful. I met with a lady a couple of weeks ago whose family was visiting from Eastern Europe. They were all in a car accident. The insurance company showed up the next day, very nice, offered them a quick settlement. They each got $500 that day, and they signed away their rights. The mother needs shoulder surgery. The father needs back surgery. They didn’t know any better. They were just taken advantage of. The moral of this morning’s video blog is “just be careful”. The side that insurance companies are on are their own side, and you know what, that’s okay. That’s all right. They’re in business. They’re in business to make money. They’re a for-profit business, but just don’t make a mistake and think that they have your best interest at heart, because they don’t.
Got a question? Got a comment? Let me hear from you. I’m Marcus Michles here with Michles & Booth in our video blog. I’ll see you next week.