Delay, Deny & Defend: Are These Truly Insurance Company Tactics?


It seems preposterous. You pay for insurance to protect yourself, your automobile, your home and your family, but when it is time to use your insurance, all too frequently your claim is denied. Why? Insurance companies benefit from delaying and especially denying claims. The American Association for Justice (AAJ) released a report detailing the ten worst insurance companies in America that include several of the biggest and most well known companies operating nationwide as well as here in Missouri and Kansas. The article reports that, “The rankings show a distinct pattern of insurance industry greed amongst 10 companies that refuse to pay just claims, employ hardball tactics against policyholders, reward executives with extravagant salaries, and raise premiums while hoarding excessive profits.”


What Is the Strategy Used by Insurance Companies?

The strategy is called the “Three D’s”: delay, deny and defend. The insurance company receives a claim, but delays processing. After delaying the claim the insurer then denies the claim. The hope on the insurance company’s part is that the insured party will simply “walk away” and the claim will not have to be paid. For the persistent customer, however, the insurance company’s final tactic is to defend. Many consumers feel they do not have the financial means to handle a long, drawn-out court battle against an insurance company with deep pockets, yet never consult an attorney experienced in these matters. In many cases the insurance company will offer a lump sum, “take it or leave it” offer for much less than the claim is worth. Unfortunately, people often feel the need to “take it” because they are in a position where the money is critical to their financial survival and some monetary help is better than none. According to an article in AARP The Magazine, “Medical debt caused a staggering 62 percent of personal-bankruptcy filings in 2007 – and three-quarters of these filers had some health coverage”.


What Are the Strategies Consumers Can Use in Dealing with Insurance Companies?

  • Never let your policy lapse
  • Know your policy – what is covered and what is not
  • Do not take “no” from your insurer – appeal your claim
  • Enlist the help of an advocate
    • Your employer if the insurance is through your company
    • The government – some states fund independent ombudsman offices to help citizens
    • Nonprofit Organizations – there are organizations such as the Patient Advocate Foundation that offer help 


Unfortunately, insurance companies deny 500,000 claims per day. Being prepared to deal with the insurance company can help in getting your claim through the system.  If you or a loved is having trouble dealing with an insurance company, you are sure to have immediate questions. There are answers to some of your most important questions right here on our website. For more information, you should also download our FREE book, “10 Essential Steps You Must Take To Protect Your Injury Claim, How You Can Escape The Personal Injury Trap, The Ultimate Guide To Accident Cases in Missouri and Kansas,” right here on our website.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.