You're trying to navigate the maze of issues after a car crash: medical payments, property damage, rental cars, bodily injury settlements.
You may find yourself asking, “should I trust my own insurance company?”, in terms of what they tell you, what they want you to do or sign, and whether what they're offering you is fair. It's a legitimate and important question.
Insurance Companies Are Made Up Of Normal People
I know one veteran plaintiffs' attorney who is fond of saying that insurers are “liars and thieves”, the whole lot of them. All of us feel that way at one point or another, especially those of us with plenty of litigation battle scars. But most of us also realize that insurance companies are made up of individual people. We have the pleasure of working regularly with many fine insurance adjusters who try their hardest to be fair to our clients while still doing their jobs.
Adjusters Are Limited By Company
Often, however, even the fair-minded and reasonable adjusters are hamstrung by the culture and constraints of their employers. And the simple fact is that insurers don't keep their enormous reserves intact by paying out claims. Their wallets stay full by paying out as little as they can get away with. And that includes your own company, even though you have dutifully paid your premiums for years, often decades, with few if any claims made.
Avoid Unbounded Trust
So unbounded “trust” might be unwise. Don't confuse trust and cooperation, though. As we have detailed in other posts about underinsured motorist (UIM) and personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, you have a duty under your insurance contract to cooperate, within reason, with requests made by your insurer that you provide them access to documents, submit to medical examinations, and the like. You must cooperate, even if you don't trust completely.
Question Everything With Regards to Trusting Your Insurance Agency
I'd say maybe a good synthesis of this information, and good advice to follow could be this (quoting President Reagan): “trust but verify.” Do not hesitate to question what the insurer's representative is telling you, and ask them to provide documentary proof or citations to specific policy provisions supporting what they're telling you.
And by all means, consult with an experienced personal injury/insurance claim attorney if you're having trouble verifying anything the insurer is telling you. We perform this service on the phone or in our offices for many people who never become clients, but who just need to run something by us that may not be passing their smell test.