The American Association of Justice put out a report on the good, the bad and the ugly in relation to insurance companies. The report found that overall, insurance companies consistently put profits over policyholders, and although the advertisements you see assure you that you are “in good hands,” or tell you “we’ll be there,” when it comes to actually taking care of their customers, the reality is somewhat different. Insurance companies obviously make more money when they pay out fewer claims—the United States insurance industry as a whole, receives premiums of more than $1 trillion each year, and has assets of $3.8 trillion.
USAA Has the Second Largest Profit in Its History in 2012
USAA, based in San Antonio, TX, is a major player in the car insurance market across the country—the majority of the company’s motor vehicle collision claims adjusters are based in the San Antonio area. USAA plays up its military connections when possible, and, in fact, sponsors the Army-Navy game each year. In 2012, USAA had the second largest profit in its history, bringing in more than $20 billion in revenues. While the CEO of UAA made $5.28 million last year, the employees of USAA don’t do too badly either, receiving a bonus of 18.7 percent of their annual salary in 2014.
Mississippi Verdict in Hoover vs. USAA
Unlike some other insurance companies, USAA doesn’t seem to enjoy taking cases to trial. The last reported verdict (other than class action suits) involving USAA, was heard before the Supreme Court of Mississippi—Dr. Jack Hoover and Margaret Ann Hoover v. United Services Automobile Association. There is, however, an ongoing class-action suit against USAA, which has been in the works for nearly a decade. The class action suit alleges USAA used a “cost containment scheme” to delay, deny or reduce medical payouts to customers injured in auto accidents. Recently, a Montana judge certified a class-action suit charging such delays and denials, claiming the number of the class action could reach 154 or more Montana residents.
USAA Settles Class Action Lawsuit, But Denies Allegations
In September 2015, USAA paid $4.2 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by three Washington state health care providers and a USAA member, injured in a car accident. Allegations against USAA were that the company failed to pay the full amount of medical bills submitted under the personal injury protection coverages. Although USAA settled, they denied the allegations and claim they did nothing wrong. Like many other insurance companies, USAA uses a computer-based program to assist in placing a monetary figure on an accident claim to compensate victims. It evaluates the medical records and bills of the victim, then determines how much treatment is necessary, the fair value for that treatment, the victim’s pain and suffering and past or future wage loss.
Some interesting facts about USAA:
- USAA was founded in 1922 in San Antonio, TX, by 25 Army officers who came together, deciding to insure one another’s automobiles.
- In 1924, USAA printed its first credo—“Services to the Services.”
- Even through the Great Depression, USAA’s employee population grew, with their employee numbers doubling from 46 to 99.
- In 1992, Fortune Magazine named USAA as one of “America’s Most Admired Companies.”
- In 2001, USAA was named to Working Mother magazine’s “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.”
- Following 9/11, USAA participated in the DOD’s Survivor Assistance Center, deployed special member services teams to Lower Manhattan, and provided special deployment assistance to members called to respond to the fight on terrorism.
- In 2011, USAA was named for the third year as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” by Fortune Magazine.
What to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim
According to the car industry estimates, you will file a claim for a collision approximately once every 17.9 years, if you are an average driver. This means if you got your first driver’s license at the age of 16, it is highly likely you will experience some type of car crash by the time you are 34. This also means that over the course of your lifetime, you will likely have three to four auto accidents, however the chances are fairly good these crashes won’t be deadly. Once you have been involved in an automobile accident, you will need to follow certain steps through your insurance company—or the at-fault person’s insurance company—in order to receive reimbursement for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and the damages to your vehicle. Remember the following:
- Never, ever leave the scene of the accident until all information has been exchanged and the police have arrived.
- Make sure yourself and others receive necessary medical attention.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident.
- Never admit fault to the police or your insurance company until you have spoken to an attorney.
- Whenever possible take photographs at the scene of the accident.
- Never give a recorded statement to your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company.
- Only talk to your attorney about the accident, and never, ever, post on social media, even if you believe what you are posting is harmless.
- Remember there is often a significant discrepancy between what you believe your car is worth and what it is actually worth—fair market value is often quite different from sentimental value.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will protect your rights, hence your future.
How to File a USAA Claim
To file a USAA claim online, visit the company’s claim center at: https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_logon/Logon or call: (210) 531-USAA (8722) or (800) 531-8722.
How Stroud, Flechas & Dalton Can Help You
Stroud, Flechas & Dalton can help you if you have suffered an auto accident or any other type of personal injury in Southaven, Horn Lake, Hernando, Walls, Tunica, Olive Branch, Desoto County, Memphis, TN or Shelby County, TN. Call our firm today at (662) 536-5656. Our attorneys will ensure you receive equitable compensation for your injuries and will advocate for you and protect your rights.