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Selective Insurance Auto Accident Claims and Settlements

Selective Insurance is a regional insurance company that sells, among other things, both personal and commercial car insurance. At last count, they served 22 states, including Maryland. Car insurance customers, according to a JD Power study, seem mostly happy with their coverage. In accident claims dealing with Selective, at least in Maryland, the results are more mixed.

Last year, this insurer was fined $10,000 by the Maryland Insurance Administration for failing to include a fraud disclosure on Selective’s applications for insurance and its claim forms. But it is hard to make much of this; it is just a lack of technical compliance with a new law.

Selective Insurance tend to write larger than-average insurance policies. Accordingly, there is likely to be more coverage when it insurers the defendant than with the average insurance company in Maryland.

Selective Insurance is owned by Selective Insurance Group which is a publically traded stock on the NASDAQ (SIGI).

How Does Selective Insurance Value Injury Claims for Settlement Purposes?

Selective evaluates the accident victim’s medical records and bills and decides how much treatment it thinks was necessary for the accident and what the fair value is of (1) the medical treatment, (2) past or future wage loss and (3) the victim’s pain and suffering. Like most insurance companies, Selective typically undervalues all of these categories before a lawsuit is filed.

Who Are the Lawyers Who Defend Lawsuits Against Selective Insurance?

Selective has in-house counsel in Maryland (Joanne Dicus, who is universally considered a good lawyer) that handles many of the tort claims involving Selective or its insureds. For more significant cases where the verdict could potentially exceed the policy limits, Selective typically hires counsel to defend the suit. It certainly spends more money defending individual accident claims when they bring in outside counsel.

Selective has a lot of adjusters. We have seen Matt Karpovich, Donna Herbert, Chuck Chapman, Marie Hardwick, and Christie Noble as the claims adjuster in some of our more recent car and truck accident cases.

Is Selective Insurance a Good Insurance Company to Bring a Claim Against?

Selective Insurance is hard to label with respect to quality of settlement offers in car accident cases. Our experience with its settlement offers is that they run the gambit from ridiculous to reasonable. We do think that the gap between fair and what Selective will offer narrows as the lawsuit process unfolds.

Big Verdict Against Selective Insurance

Selective is not letting many personal injury cases go to trial. Selective never tried a lot of cases, but its last big verdict in 2015 reminded them of the risk of going to trial.

A 63-year-old man was following his son who was driving his son driving westbound on Nursery Road in Lusby near Route 4. Both vehicles stopped a stop sign. The son proceeded through the intersection.The defendant diver was coming northbound on Route 4 in a Ford F-550. He was working a job assigned by Ameri-Star Homes. The defendant driver fell asleep and veered across the highway and hit the man’s car with such force that he was ejected from the vehicle.

He did not die on impact (conscious pain and suffering) but was pronounced dead at Calvert Memorial Hospital. The verdict was later reduced to $2.4 million consistent with Maryland’s cap on damages.

How Selective Calculates Insurance Settlements

Insurance companies, including Selective Insurance, follow a structured process to evaluate bodily injury claims and calculate settlement amounts. In this, Selective is pretty avearge in term of how it determines what level of settlement payout to offer a personal injury victim:

1. Initial Claim Review

Upon receiving a claim, the insurance company assigns it to a claims adjuster. The adjuster’s first step is to review the claim’s details, including the circumstances of the incident, the nature and extent of the injuries, and any property damage. This getting your ducks in a row phase includes gathering all necessary documentation, such as medical reports, police reports, and witness statements.

2. Liability and Policy Coverage Assessment

The adjuster determines liability—that is, who is at fault for the accident—and whether the policy covers the incident and resulting damages. This assessment will influence the direction and outcome of the claim process.  If Selective thinks its insured did nothing wrong, it will fight.  It will rarely make a pre-suit settlement offer in a case where liability is in dispute.

3. Medical Expenses Evaluation

The adjuster examines all medical expenses related to the injury. This includes past medical bills and estimated future medical costs. Insurers often use computer software to estimate these costs, which can also help predict long-term expenses in cases of ongoing medical care.

4. Non-Economic Damages Assessment

These damages, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, are more subjective and harder to quantify. Insurers may use formulas, often a multiplier of the economic damages (like medical bills), to estimate these costs. They deny directly using a “times specials” multiplier and that might be technically correct.  But Selective really values large medical bills when making settlement offers in bodily injury claims.

5. Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

If the injury caused the claimant to miss work, the adjuster would calculate lost wages. This calculation is relatively straightforward if the claimant is a salaried employee but can be more complex for self-employed individuals. Future lost earnings or diminished earning capacity due to long-term or permanent injuries are also considered, often requiring expert testimony.

6. Contibutory Negligence Consideration

In jurisdictions with comparative negligence laws, the settlement amount can be adjusted based on the claimant’s share of fault in the incident. For example, if the claimant is found to be 20% at fault, the settlement amount might be reduced by 20%. Maryland has contributorily negligence would allow Selective to be bolder when there is a liablity dispute.

7. Settlement Amount Calculation

After evaluating all the above factors, the adjuster calculates a settlement amount. This calculation is initially an internal figure that serves as a starting point for negotiation with the claimant or their attorney.

8. Negotiation

The settlement process often involves negotiation. The first offer from the insurance company is rarely the final amount agreed upon, particuarly when you have a seasoned lawyer on your case. Claimants can counter-offer, and negotiations continue until both parties agree on a settlement amount.  It almost never hurts to ask for more money.  Selective pulled a settlement offer with us in one case but they came back and later increased the offer substantially.

9. Agreement and Payment

Once both parties agree on a settlement amount, the insurance company processes the payment, and the claimant signs a release form, agreeing not to pursue any further claims related to the incident.  How long does it take to get a settlement check from Selective?  Less than a month, often within the week.

Our Lawyers Can Help You With Your Accident Claim Against Selective Insurance

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free online Selective Insurance claim evaluation and consultation.

Client Reviews
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois. Maggie Lauer
The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa
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