About American Family Insurance Company
American Family Insurance is a private mutual company that primarily focuses on selling property, casualty and auto insurance, but also offers commercial insurance, life, health, and homeowners coverage, as well as investment and retirement-planning products. A Fortune 500 company, its revenues for 2008 were over $6.7 billion.
American Family Insurance's history began on October 3, 1927, when insurance salesman Herman Wittwer opened the doors of Farmers Mutual Insurance Company in Madison, Wisconsin (not to be confused with the Farmers Insurance Group).
At the time, the company's only product was auto insurance and its target market was farmers. Wittwer believed farmers presented lower risks than city drivers because they drove less often and not at all in the winter.
Over the years, Farmers Mutual expanded its market and product line to meet the changing needs of its customers. In 1963, Farmers Mutual changed its name to American Family Mutual Insurance Company to reflect its broader customer base.
Understanding the Claims Process and Your Legal Options
Were you in a serious accident in which you or the at-fault party are covered by American Family Insurance? If you must take legal action, it is critical to research how other people and organizations have successfully navigated insurance claims negotiations and settlements with specific insurance companies in order to achieve a just settlement or court outcome.
Substantial research will help you avoid mistakes others have made when dealing with insurance companies and their representatives. Gaining a better understanding of the legal system and the personal injury claims process may provide additional insight to successful courses of action that can affect the monetary value of your settlement.
Insurance companies are notorious for stalling the release of settlement funds until the last possible second. This questionable practice is implemented by an extremely high percentage of insurance companies. It is designed as both a money-making and a money-preserving technique.
Major insurance corporations typically have access to tens of billions of dollars due to high volume revenue and cash flow. Similar to banks, they invest these funds in order to amplify their profits. Even if they are required to pay out a settlement to a claimant, they will hold the money as long as legally possible in a leveraged effort to increase their own profits through the interest they earn on their investments.
In addition to delaying the disbursement of settlement funds, most insurance companies implement many of the following strategies to cut costs and generate profit:
- Nickel and dime smaller individual clients with various charges with the knowledge they cannot afford to investigate their legal options;
- Present clients with a very small initial settlement offer, as many policyholders do not realize they do not have to accept the insurance company’s first offer;
- Wait until the last possible week to disperse funds, as some negotiations can last well over a year.
In the event that you are injured in an accident and have filed a claim with American Family Insurance, you may become frustrated with the process due to any number of the settlement tactics mentioned above. The important thing to understand is that accident victims have certain legal rights to protect them in these situations, and leveraging that knowledge during your discussions with the company's representatives may improve the likelihood of a successful resolution.