Texas lawmakers seek to stop ‘Swoop and Settle’ insurance tactic used after car crashes – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
COLLIN COUNTY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Just hours after 18-year-old Rayza Dominguez was involved in a car accident in Frisco, the phone rang.
It was the other driver’s insurance company.
The insurance company told Dominguez that they wanted to get some money into their hands quickly so she could fix her car.
Over the phone, Dominguez was offered $ 1,000.
She said yes,”
“[The insurance representative] says if you don’t take this now, I can’t guarantee that we will offer you so much in the future, ”Dominguez said. “For me it was a lot of money at the time, so I said ‘okay, I’ll just take it.’ ‘
Days later, Dominguez said she found out that it would cost her almost $ 2,400 to repair her car and that she needed to see a chiropractor following the accident.
But by saying “yes” to the insurance company over the phone, Dominguez had already legally settled his claim.
There was nothing she could do to get more money from the insurance company.
“The match was already over when she came to see us,” said lawyer Lin McCraw. “The reality is that there was not much we could do to help him. I hate to tell people this and that’s one of the reasons I think it’s extremely important for lawyers to report this abuse.
McCraw, along with consumer advocates, is lobbying Texas lawmakers to protect motorists from the insurance practice often referred to as “swoop and settlement.”
Texas House Bill 1793, written by Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Irving), would ban oral auto insurance claims.
If passed, insurance companies should put all auto insurance regulations in writing.
“What it does is you have an opportunity to stop and think about what you’re doing before you give up your rights,” said Ware Wendell, executive director of the nonprofit group. Texas Watch.
“You may decide that the time has come to settle your claim. It’s your choice, but at least you don’t just say “yes” on the phone and give up your rights before you’ve even had a chance to go to the doctor.
Insurance companies say the ban on oral insurance claims will slow drivers in getting their money.
“It’s a practice we’ve been doing for quite some time and it works,” Beaman Floyd said with the Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions.
Floyd said claim unblocks made over the phone are only offered in simple minor accidents to quickly resolve an insurance claim, allowing everyone involved to live their lives.
“In cases that are clearly defined, everyone wants to walk away with one person saying, ‘Wow, I got a check and I’m really happy with it’ and the other person saying, ‘Wow, I don’t.’ you don’t have to worry about that ‘. “
Dominguez said that was not the case for her and regrets having said “yes”.