Timeline: Insurance Company Response to Legal Demand Letter

Written by James Hirby | Fact checked by The Law Dictionary staff |  

People and experts alike were at opposite ends of the spectrum on their experiences with an insurance company and attempting to get a response, any response from the company.  On the “we do not like the insurance company” end, many people saw “every attempt” to communicate and or contact someone go into what one colorful person called the “proverbial black hole”.  Many people did their own contacting, some with just a letter, some with a demand letter, some with a small gathering of pertinent information, and some even providing everything that they could think of to the insurance company.  On the other end of the spectrum there were again several people, mostly experts / lawyers / legal assistants who proclaimed having no real difficulties on a single experience or no great difficulties by the legal types over many years, and some decades of communication and myriad cases.  Many of the experts professed having to understand the insurance company’s side of things, what it has to go through, what it has to investigate, what its experiences likely are dealing with these types of cases.  At the Federal level, there are regulatory agencies that monitor various types of insurance and sometimes arbitrate complaints against insurance companies.  At the State level, every state has some regulations around the personal injury insurance industry and most states monitor these insurance companies rather strongly.  Indiana, as an example, has a set number of days for acknowledgements and responses to consumer, client and legal communications.  If the insurance company fails, the state will investigate and fine the company if at fault.  One of the experts stated a situation where it came to having to file a bad faith complaint while representing an elderly client.  The state (not Indiana) laid judgment against the insurance company for the complaint at $300,000 because the insurance company failed to act promptly and act appropriately in other areas.  This expert and others went on to explain how they prepare a package of information, organized, detailed, with clearly stated expectations and exactly why the client believes these expectations have merit.  Any and every insurance company is going to investigate a claim or case made against it.  Investigations take time, just like in a court case.  Interviews, medical and technical analyses, documentation and so on, all takes time.  As the experts and the states expect, however, no insurance company can simply ignore a “demand” made against it.  That is where the states get upset.  This is where an experienced personal injury attorney is worth his or her money.  An expert lawyer knows how to approach and manage and sometimes convince an opposing company in such a situation, seeking to keep it from becoming confrontational.  Several experts pointed out the fact that unfortunately most initial letters do not do the proper job for the person seeking money from the insurance company.  Several experts believe and act upon their belief that the initial letter is the best opportunity and will send what they see as a fully documented, end-to-end telling of situation, expectations, and basis for the expectations.  Then, they make themselves available to assist the insurance company to go through the documentation.  This is a win-win situation in the experts’ eyes.

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