What are the Insurance companies' "Tricks of the Trade?"

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has followed up its report The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America; How They Raise Premiums, Deny Claims, and Refuse Insurance to Those Who Need It Most with a further report, this one detailing the insurance companies' most common ways and means to keep from paying claims.

AAJ's latest report is titled:  Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse. 

The most common tricks are denying claims, delaying until death, confusing consumers, discriminating by credit score, abandoning the sick and cancelling for a call. 

Here's some things you can do to help keep yourself from being victimized by these tricks:

  • read your policy carefully: make sure you understand what is covered
     
  • fill out any forms very carefully: a mistake, however innocent, in filling out a form can be used as a basis to deny your claim on the grounds that your mistake on a form was a misrepresentation
     
  • if your insurance company decides to refund your premium check, don't cash it because cashing it can be considered your agreement that your insurance company does not have to cover your claim and can instead refund your premium
     
  • document your communications with insurance company representatives; do not count on the insurance company standing by what it told you verbally
     
  • do not give up; insurance companies make millions and millions of dollars every year because people with valid claims get tired of the run-around and stonewalling and just give up