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Report: Coloradans Face Auto Insurance Delays, Low-Balling

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 By Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Contact
March 6, 2007


Delay and denial are standard insurance company practices when it comes to accident claims, according to a recent report from CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360". For auto accident victims in Colorado and across the country, the report says getting fair compensation from insurance companies can be a long, hard road; that common tactics include routine delays in handling claims, denying the victim was injured, and defending their decisions in court. Grand Junction attorney Keith Killian says people across the state face these situations every day.

"That causes people to become frustrated; it causes people who are injured to give up hope, to become angry -- and if they're destitute, it causes them to take less money than their claim would be worth."

The insurance industry defends the delays, saying it needs to make sure claims are valid before paying on them.

Killian explains that as a result, many accident victims end up taking a fraction of what they're entitled to.

"It's a strategy which creates a delay system, which then rewards the insurance company -- because people become frustrated and, a lot of times, they give up."

Killian acknowledges that insurance companies provide a valuable service, but he feels they should be subject to more stringent regulations for setting rates and handling claims.

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