Leesburg Car Accident Lawyer Explains Bringing a Claim Against State Farm Insurance
State Farm writes automobile insurance through two companies, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, which is the larger company, and State Farm Fire & Casualty Company.
State Farm, which some people loving call “snake farm” is the largest automobile insurance company in the United States. State Farm’s home office is in Bloomington, Illinois. State Farm ranks 44th in Fortune 500’s 2013 rankings because it has recently had to pay out a number of claims for recent natural disasters. State Farm’s jingle, “like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” was written in the early 1970s. In Florida, we may remember that State Farm threatened to leave the state after the multiple hurricanes in 2004-2005. State Farm refused to renew 1000s of homeowner’s policy claiming that it was losing too much money on the product. We handle claims against State Farm throughout Florida.
Over the years, State Farm has expanded and contracted its claims offices. For a while, State Farm felt that it was important to have multiple claims offices so the adjusters worked and lived in the communities in which they adjusted their claims. Recently, State Farm has contracted its claims offices and has gone to more centralized claims handling. State Farm’s main Florida service center is in Winter Haven. If you receive a letter from State Farm after a Florida car accident, you will notice that the mailing address is in Winter Haven; however, that doesn’t mean that the claim will be handled in Winter Haven. State Farm is now paperless so all correspondence is mailed to Atlanta and is electronically stored.
When State Farm was more local, it was much easier to predict how it would respond to a client’s claim and/or demand because we continued to see the same adjusters on files. Now, because of more centralized handling of claims we do not have the same relationships and see a wider variety of claims adjusters or “representatives” as State Farm calls them.
In the past, I have done work for State Farm and it certainly is the big boy on the block. State Farm will sometimes take what we believe to be unreasonable stands because of a history it may have with a healthcare provider or law firm.
To illustrate this point, in South Florida, State Farm decided to sue a number of healthcare providers alleging racketeering and fraud. Some observers think State Farm is trying to stamp out bad healthcare providers. Other observers think State Farm, being the big boy on the block, is trying to send a message to healthcare providers that if you do too much work on car accident victims – and cost State Farm too much money, State Farm will make your life difficult.
In 2009, State Farm sued a local Orlando doctor alleging fraudulent billing. So, when State Farm digs its heels in, and doesn’t like a healthcare provider or law firm, it will make an artificially low offer to a client – even if the client is really injured.
In 2013, State Farm filed a lawsuit against ASK GARY a medical and legal referral service that operates in many Florida cities.
State Farm has a pretty good size corporate litigation counsel offices throughout Florida. The lawyers at State Farm are good to deal with but because they are employees of the insurance company do not have a lot of input with the adjuster that will be handling the litigation file. Once State Farm litigation counsel meets its monthly quota of cases or if a case has potential high exposure, State Farm will refer the matter to private counsel. A majority of State Farm’s private counsel throughout the state are good trial lawyers. As a general rule, they have more authority than in-house counsel to persuade an adjuster to resolve a case for fair value.
If State Farm is sued for Uninsured Motorist benefits and the case has a value that is greater than $75,000, State Farm will probably remove the case to federal court. State Farm is an Illinois corporation and most of our injured clients are Florida residents so State Farm will remove these cases to federal court. State Farm has used this tactic throughout the United States. Federal court is a tougher forum to litigate cases and many attorneys do not like practicing in federal court so State Farm has found it a more inviting for contract actions against the company.
If you have any questions about filing a claim against State Farm, you can always give me a call on my cell at 352-267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.