If you have never had any dealings with an insurance company, you may still actually believe the television advertisements which portray these companies as your friend—as someone who will be there for you during difficult times. Last year, auto insurance providers spent more than $6 billion in advertising to consumers. Because there are so many insurance companies with so many advertising claims, it is difficult to know which one is truly the best. In 2011, about 9 percent of all policyholders switched their car insurance, and 27 percent admitted to shopping around. Since statistically speaking the “average” driver will be involved in an accident every 18 years or so, you will need to call on your insurance company at least three times over your lifetime.
Below are some facts about Direct Insurance:
- Direct Insurance Company is a new company, founded in 1991 by William Adair.
- Adair envisioned a “non-standard” auto insurance company which would better serve its customers.
- Direct Insurance expanded rapidly across the Southeast, providing low rates, great service (regardless of driving history) and flexible payment plans.
- The Direct General Group is headquartered in Nashville, TN
- Direct offers car and motorcycle insurance, term life insurance, roadside assistance memberships, vehicle protection plans and Mexico auto insurance.
- Direct specializes in high-risk auto insurance, including those who require an SR-22 certification.
- Direct offers a multitude of ways to pay: via checking or credit card, debit card, pay-by-text, pay via e-check, pay cash, or pay at a Direct On the Spot kiosk for those who reside in Tennessee.
On one website, customers noted the following negatives aspects of Direct Insurance:
- Customer service can be difficult to deal with;
- The rates at Direct are relatively expensive;
- Direct has a fairly poor financial standing, and
- Direct holds about 0.16% of the insurance market share.
On the “pro” side:
- Direct does offer some discounts for customers, such as homeowner bundling, and
- Direct offers emergency roadside assistance.
Class-Action Lawsuits Against Direct
A class action settlement against Direct Insurance was filed in 2015 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Under this settlement, any medical provider who submitted bills to Direct General after January 1, 2008 could be entitled to join in this settlement, and receive 75 percent of the difference between 80 percent and the amount you originally billed and the amount paid by Direct. The class-action suit alleged Direct improperly reduced medical charges by Providers throughout the state of Florida. In particular, Direct relied solely on the Medicare fee schedule when calculating reimbursement for provider bills.
In 2014, insurance agents who worked for Direct General filed a class-action suit against the company for failure to pay overtime compensation for all the overtime hours worked. The suit alleged Direct General failed to include earned commissions when calculating the overtime owed to agents and forced them to work off-the-clock, without pay. The lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid overtime wages owed to the class, as well as attorneys’ fees, costs, and liquidated damages.
Filing a Direct General Insurance Claim
Currently it is not possible to file a Direct General insurance claim online, however you can call the company, toll-free at (800) 403-1077.
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim
No matter which insurance company you have, there are several things to remember in the event you must file an insurance claim.
- First, make sure all those involved in the accident receive medical attention.
- Even if you think you are not hurt all that badly, go to the ER or your doctor. Many times the flood of adrenaline you receive in an accident masks serious symptoms.
- If you are able, take photos and keep concise notes of all information related to the accident.
- Review your policy to see what your coverage is.
- Don’t give a recorded statement to an insurance company until you have spoken to a Mississippi personal injury attorney.
- Don’t accept a quick settlement offer until you have spoken to a Mississippi personal injury attorney.
- Make sure the claim is worth filing—if you have a $1,000 deductible, and there were no injuries, make sure the damage to your vehicle will exceed $1,000. If not, you are better off paying for the repairs.
- If you have anything more than minor injuries, it can be very beneficial to speak to a Mississippi personal injury attorney.
Getting Legal Help
If you have suffered an auto accident or other type of personal injury in the areas of Southaven, Horn Lake, Hernando, Walls, Tunica, Olive Branch, Desoto County, Memphis TN or Shelby County TN, contact Stroud, Flechas & Dalton as soon as possible at (662) 536-5656. We will be your advocate and will do our best to ensure you receive equitable compensation for your injuries.