Insurance Claims Denied
Here in Indiana, Auto Owners Insurance Company is also one of the most difficult companies to settle your claim. They tend to take a very tough stance on settlements throughout the case — both at the claims and litigation stages.
Auto-Owners has its conservative roots in the Midwest.
Auto-Owners Insurance is a mutual insurance company that offers auto, home, business and life insurance to policyholders exclusively through independent agents. The company, which is located in Delta Township, Michigan, is the largest property and casualty insurance company headquartered in Michigan. Auto-Owners has more than $6 billion in written premium and $20.1 billion in assets. Based on written premiums, the company is the 17th-largest insurance company in the nation.
They sell exclusively through a network of independent agents. The company employs 5,500 associates nationwide in its 98 claims and underwriting branches. It has 5.1 million policies in force.
Auto-Owners was founded by Vern Moulton in 1916 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and moved the company in 1917 to Lansing, Michigan, where the company operated from until it moved to nearby Delta Township in 1976. Auto-Owners wrote insurance exclusively in Michigan until 1935, when it moved across state lines into Indiana.
But, “Auto Owners” seems to have adopted State Farm’s set of procedures that attempts to wear down all opponents into settling their cases for pennies on the dollar. From the opening outset of claims, Auto Owners will routinely deny medical treatments as “unrelated” to the collision. They also take very hard-line stances like a “take it or leave it” approach in settlement conferences (mediations) on all litigation cases.
This proves to be a difficult barrier for plaintiffs in personal injury cases, because most Indiana courts require a mediation (settlement conference) to be held before a trial date. In fact, in Allen County (Fort Wayne, Indiana), the Judges require a mediation conference to be held prior to issuing a jury trial date on the calendar. Once the mediator issues her report to the Judge that the conference was unsuccessful in reaching a settlement, then we can request a trial date on the calendar. This delay can result in jury trial dates being schedule one year or more later than other Indiana county courts.
In litigation, Auto Owners is not difficult to exchange information with (“discovery”), but their attorneys tend to be overworked and continuance requests are very common by the defense attorneys in Indiana.
Auto Owners does not play favorites; one of the worst cases I ever had with them involved an Uninsured Motorist claim made by my client — who was an Auto Owners insurance salesman !!!
They treated him badly from the beginning — eventually adopting a “take it or leave it” attitude during a court-ordered mediation.
The mediation eventually concluded without a settlement as the two sides were only $500 apart from settlement. We had used a former Judge as mediator in South Bend and even he privately expressed great surprise and disdain for Auto Owner’s tactics.
Shaw Law through Attorney Jeff Shaw has been battling Auto Owners for decades. It is important that you have an attorney who knows the ins-and-outs of handling an Auto Owner’s claim/case from start to finish.
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