CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Our Firm's Experience with The Hartford Insurance

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For nearly 40 years, Edward A. Smith and AutoAccident.com have handled personal injury cases against The Hartford. 

Due to our lengthy experience with claims handled by The Hartford, we are knowledgeable about the tactics used by the company, and as such, can maximize monetary recovery for our clients. 

The Hartford sells a wide variety of policies, including: 

  • Automobile 
  • Homeowners 
  • Business lines such as:
    • Small business
    • Commercial liability
    • Industry-specific policies
    • Commercial automobile

The Hartford Insurance is an east-coast-based company founded in the early 1800s in Connecticut, where it continues to maintain its headquarters. In California, many of the claims we see involving Hartford Insurance are for commercial/business coverage rather than non-commercial automobile claims.  The company does sell personal automobile insurance in California, but it is exclusively sold to older adults in conjunction with the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP).

Claims Against Hartford Insurance 

If you are involved in an automobile accident, and the other driver has Hartford auto insurance, you may report your claim through the main Hartford claims phone number: (877) 805-9918. Their company website also includes an option to report the claim online. If you were injured in the car crash, it is advised that you seek legal advice as quickly as possible following the incident and before entering into any serious conversations with an insurance adjuster.  Send your inquiry online or call us at (916) 921-6400 or, from outside the local area, at (800) 404-5400.  

The insurance company will do everything in its power to protect itself and its finances - shouldn’t you do the same?  

The Hartford and Colossus

Like most bodily injury liability insurance companies, The Hartford punches information such as the amount of damage to the vehicles, information gleaned from any statements you have given to them, and notes taken from your medical records into evaluation software called Colossus. The program will then come up with a dollar amount range for settlement that is typically very low. The insurance adjuster often has no authority to increase the offer beyond the range that has been regurgitated by Colossus.

An experienced attorney will have knowledge about how to get that needle to move.

Trials Against The Hartford

Trials are costly and similar to many insurers, The Hartford will only take a case to trial as a last resort. It is much more cost-effective to settle before trial, but The Hartford may force the claim to go through the entire litigation process, heading toward trial before it will increase its settlement offer enough to fairly compensate the injured party. In some instances, however, they will fight the case all the way through jury trial.

Settling Accident Cases Against The Hartford Insurance

Again, it is somewhat uncommon to have The Hartford as a personal automobile insurer in California, but they appear to operate much like other insurance companies that are more frequently dealt with.  There is some indication that they may be slightly more reasonable and may calibrate their Colossus settlement ranges higher than some other companies.

In an auto accident case with clear fault against The Hartford’s insured and solid medical evidence supporting an injury, one may expect to have a fairly simple and straightforward experience with getting the claim settled. Unfortunately, that is often not the case.  Like most insurance companies, The Hartford seems to instruct its adjusters to downplay the seriousness of the injuries and not offer much as compensation for a claimant's pain and suffering.  They may not even make an offer that covers the full value of the medical expenses incurred. An inability to receive a fair settlement offer from The Hartford may make it necessary to file a lawsuit.  

After a lawsuit is filed, the claim will be transferred to Hartford’s in-house legal counsel to handle the litigation phase.  At this stage of the claim, after some written discovery and depositions take place, it may be possible to get a fair settlement offer from the attorneys who have had the opportunity to review the evidence presented and who will have a better understanding of the injuries. This is more likely if the injured party has retained a skilled lawyer who can present case information in such a way that the effect that the accident and injuries had on the claimant's life is undeniable. 

Hartford Insurance Settlement Reached by Our Law Firm

Over the years, our law firm has handled several cases against Hartford auto insurance.  One such case involved our client, a hard-working, self-employed baker, who was making deliveries to his customers one early morning when he was rear-ended at high speed by a drunk driver. Due to the extreme negligence of their insured and our client's serious injuries, the insurance company for the drunk driver paid its full policy limits quickly. The full amount of the policy was not sufficient to cover all of our client’s significant damages, so a claim was filed with his own business insurance carrier, The Hartford, under the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) portion of the policy.  

As discussed above, a common tactic used by insurance companies is to undervalue and downplay a claimant’s injuries and the need for medical treatment. Some of the monetary damages that The Hartford low-balled concerning our baker client included: 

  • The value of our client’s projected future medical expenses
  • The value of our client’s loss of future earning capacity given the physical nature of his work
  • The negative effect the injuries had on our client’s life overall.

Our firm retained expert economic valuation witnesses who prepared detailed analyses of the future medical and future wage loss aspects of the claim. As the case was heading toward binding arbitration (UIM cases do not go to a jury trial under clauses in nearly all insurance contracts), we instead decided to mediate the case.  Given the strength of our evidence and expert witness reports, we could secure an additional $300,000 for our client. Insurance companies do not part with such sums willingly or easily.  Their hand must be forced by the strength of the case. Preparation by an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial in the quest to receive full case value.

The Hartford Insurance Adjusters and Addresses

All written correspondence to The Hartford is sent to the following address:

The Hartford
P.O. Box 14272
Lexington, KY 40512

Below are the names of several claims adjusters we have worked with over the years concerning Hartford claims filed in California:

  • Emily Durowoju
  • Stephen Chinn
  • Clarissa Nanawa
  • Alyssa Isenhower
  • Joyce Deyo
  • Mark Swearingen
  • Kristine Frausto
  • Michelle McMurray
  • Lisa Howell

In general, The Hartford seems to have more reasonable claims adjusting practices than many other insurance companies. Their claims adjusters may be more knowledgeable and experienced, given that they handle so many commercial claims, which tend to be larger and more complex.

Watch the YouTube video.  The Hartford maintains a channel on YouTube and has uploaded the clip below explaining the concept of automobile insurance.

Call Our Injury Lawyers About Your Claim Against the Hartford

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident caused by a driver who has a Hartford Insurance policy, reach out to us to protect your legal rights and to maximize your financial recovery.  We have years of experience dealing with Hartford Insurance adjusters and can present your case professionally and effectively.  

For compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice, call us at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.  Alternatively, you may send your inquiry online.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

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