Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums and NOT paying claims unless they have to. They can act in BAD FAITH when they fail to honor a policy or refuse to pay a valid claim. Bad faith claims management can occur with any kind of insurance policy including auto insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. Usually, insurance companies commit bad faith by doing one of the following:
Bob and His Staff Know How to Hold Insurance Companies Responsible for Bad Faith Claims Management
Many insurance companies will go to every length to keep their profits up. The fact that they may be committing BAD FAITH in the process often never comes into the equation. They have learned that they can simply make more by paying less and dealing with the few cases that they are found to be acting in bad faith. If you have been the victim of BAD FAITH insurance tactics, call Bob to get a FREE honest opinion regarding the value of your case. The call is FREE. The value of the advice may be priceless.
Illinois Insurance Law and Bad Faith
The Illinois Insurance Code provides for punitive damages and attorneys fees for the “unreasonable and vexatious” delay in settling an insurance claim. Pursuant to the law, if it appears to the court that the insurance company was acting in bad faith the court can, in addition to the amount of the claim, award reasonable attorneys fees, other costs, plus an amount not to exceed the following:
Has an insurance adjuster told you that your claim is denied? Are you getting the run around about payment of your claim, just one delay after another? It is probably time to consult an attorney. The insurance industry is one of the largest industries in the country and makes gigantic profits. In the United States, insurance companies collect over $1 trillion dollars in premiums each year. Insurance companies control over $3.8 trillion in net assets, which exceeds the Gross Domestic Products of almost every country on earth. (excluding the US and Japan). During the last 10 years, the insurance industry has earned over $30 billion in profits annually. The CEOs of the top ten insurance companies earn an average of $8.9 million a year.
If you or a member of your family has been denied a claim or is just getting the runaround, Bob and his staff can help you. Bob and his staff have over 20 years of experience dealing with insurance companies, and once we are involved in the case the insurance companies know that they can not delay the inevitable. Contact us now for a free legal consultation about your insurance dispute or bad faith claim. You will be under NO obligation whatsoever, nor any pressure to sign an agreement of any kind. There is no fee unless our attorneys recover fair compensation on your behalf.
In an effort to help the public, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) conducted an investigation into the practices of the largest US insurance companies.Its investigation set forth the top 10 worst companies in terms of bad faith claims practices. The includes companies in various insurance fields surprisingly including homeowners, auto, health, life, and disability insurers.
1. Allstate Insurance Company
3. American International Group, Inc. (AIG Insurance)
4.State Farm Insurance
5. Conseco Insurance
6. WellPoint Insurance
7. Farmers Insurance Group
8. UnitedHealth Insurance Company
9. Torchmark Insurance
10.Liberty Mutual Insurance
Allstate’s tough claims management policies towards its own policyholders is of legend. Allstate was instrumental in the development of COLOSSUS. COLOSSUS is a computer program in which adjusters enter a whole wide range of data and the program spits out a value. This is the top-end value that the company values the case. The adjuster then starts by offering much less.
Their adjusters are promoted and compensated based on their ability to settle claims for less than the true value. This software is now used by many of the top auto insurance adjusters. Auto insurance companies across America have learned that they can make millions of dollars by not spending their time and effort defending the big claims, saving 100,000 on 100 claims or 1,000,000.
Rather, they now take the position that it is better to save 1,000 on 1,000,000 or 100,000,000 on SMALL claims. This tough policy towards the smaller claims nets them much more money. Allstate, and most large auto carriers, focuses on reducing the amount of money it pays on each smaller claim, regardless of whether the claim is valid. When it implemented this software, Allstate made a conscious decision to start putting profits over policyholders.
The company uses lowball offers and hardball pressure. The adjusters routinely offer claimants much less than their claim is worth. They pretend to be on your side and strongly discourage you from getting an attorney. The bottom line is that their policyholders are left with less money than they need to cover medical bills and lost wages. Allstate adjusters have said that they were rewarded for keeping claims payments low.
Unum has a long history of bad faith claims management policies and practices. It might be said that their middle name is deny and their last name is delay. They most often start the claims process with a denial of one sort or another. Denials may be to coverage, degree of an injury, amount of fault, and the list goes on. Former employees have indicated that Unum has a policy of denying claims in order to reduce policy payouts.
In 2005, Unum settled claims in 48 states over their claims-handling practices. Under the settlement agreements, Unum agreed to renegotiate on 200,000 claims and pay over $15 million in damages. According to the commissioner of insurance in California, Unum systematically violated state insurance laws and regulations with its policy of denying claims and low-ball offers on claims.
State Farm is the largest auto insurance carrier in the country with about 60% of the market. Like Allstate, State Farm uses Colossus to reduce payouts on smaller claims. State Farm agents are trained in building a tall fence to prevent policyholders from recovery the true value of their claims. The fence is made of three Ds. Deny the claim, Delay the payment, and if that doesn’t work, Defend against the lawsuit. State Farm has never backed down from using the courts to their advantage either.
AIG is the largest insurance carrier in the world. The company didn’t get there by playing nice. AIG has a long history of bad faith claims handling. AIG adjusters have alleged under oath that the company used all sorts of tricks and traps to deny or delay valid claims. One adjuster indicated that they went so far as to lock settlement check in a safe until claimants complained.
The delay in payment of attorney fees until they were a year old, disposing of important correspondence, and routinely fighting claimants for years in court over small mundane claims are just some of the tactics that have been brought out in litigation.AIG is not alone in using tricks and traps. What is different is the way it has so brutally sought to profit from its policyholders’ accidents and mishaps.
Many insurance companies have a history of bad faith claims management and this is not likely to stop. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim to the BAD FAITH tactics of your insurance company or the at-fault individual’s insurance company. Call Bob to get a FREE honest opinion regarding the value of your case. The call is FREE. The value of the advice may be priceless.