Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Insurance companies fight paying billions in claims
Put yourself in the driver's seat of this accident. You are heading down the street when a truck comes out of nowhere and slams into the right side of your car. The damage to the vehicle is obvious: dents across the passenger door.

You are hurt too, thought it's not obvious how much: a slight cut above your eye, an ache in the neck.

Your doctor says your spine was injured, you have soft muscle tears, and the pain in your neck mostly likely is whiplash.

It's going to need therapy, she says, and some time off work to heal. And in the end it's going to cost you $15,000 in medical payments and another $10,000 in lost wages, because you took so much time off work.

But when you send the $25,000 bill to the insurance company of the person who hit you, the insurance company says it's only going to pay you $15,000. You can take it or leave it.

What do you do?

That's what producer Kathleen Johnston and I have been investigating for the last 18 months -- accidents most of us don't pay attention to, the fender-benders we pass by without even slowing down. In part, we looked at how Allstate handled the claim of one woman, Roxanne Martinez. Her car was hit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her medical bills and lost wages added up to $25,000.

Allstate offered $15,000 to settle. Roxanne Martinez didn't know what to do.

Sure, she could try to find a lawyer. But if you were in her shoes, would you? After all, you are fighting insurance giant Allstate over a $10,000 difference. What attorney is going to take on that case?

Martinez's case represents what 10 of the top 12 auto insurance companies are doing to save money. And if you are in a minor impact crash and get hurt, former insurance industry insiders say, insurance companies will most likely try doing the same thing to you: delay handling your claim, deny you were hurt and defend their decision in drawn-out court battles. It's the three Ds: delay, deny and defend.

That, in a nutshell, is the strategy adopted by several major auto insurance companies over the past ten years, a lot of lawyers, former insurance company insiders and others tell CNN.

With nowhere to go, Allstate and others bet you'll take what they offer and walk away. It's right in the training manuals we obtained from Allstate: force "smaller walk-away settlements."

Shannon Kmatz, a former claims adjuster for Allstate, told us she would offer as little as $50 dollars in some cases. Poor people would take it, she said, fearing that if they didn't, they'd get nothing at all.

Roxanne Martinez didn't take it. She sued and a jury awarded her $167,000 dollars. But that verdict took three years.

Allstate is betting you won't wait, you won't sue and you'll take what you get and walk-away. And that, say our experts, has been a good bet for Allstate and others. Accident victims have been walking away from billions of dollars that insurers now keep for themselves.

Allstate would not grant an interview or answer our questions. Instead, they sent an e-mail saying they didn't think CNN would deliver a fair report. I hope you will watch our report tonight and decide for yourself who is being fair.
Posted By Drew Griffin, CNN Correspondent: 3:11 PM ET
Allstate sent you an email stating CNN wouldn't be fair in the reporting? Delay...Deny...Defend...
Posted By Anonymous Sherry Sarasota, FL : 4:18 PM ET
Hi Drew, Keep shing the light on Insurance Companies and hopefully new laws will be passed to prevent this abuse. There has to be some way to force them to be honest.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn Michigan : 4:51 PM ET
Wow, one of my friends is going through this. I'm going to call her tonight. She should watch this story. Yhanks!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 4:56 PM ET
Most people assume that the insurance companies are ripping them off but we are left with no other option. We have to have insurance so we are stuck with the bad actors that come with it.
If they were smart they would let 360 cover the story as that is their best chance of getting a fair shake. The fact that they won't just adds to the suspicions about how they operate.
Posted By Anonymous John Mozurkewich, Mount Pleasant, Michigan. : 5:03 PM ET
This is just a small example of the blatant fraud and abuse tactics of all insurance companies, health, auto, life, home, etc. They collect billions in deductibles, premimums, etc but then delay paying anything out. It is a disgrace and something that has been ignored by the federal government, but then should we suprised? Our government is owned and run by these corporations. I'm guessing there are many insurance company lobbyists in Washington buying and selling the consumers rights right along with the Federal Government.
Posted By Anonymous Katherine, Woodland Hills, CA : 5:15 PM ET
I guess it is not just Allstate. I got rear-ended by an NYC cop once and had to deal with city officicial for damages. My damages were measly $450 but the city said they are willing to pay only $250. I didn't know what to do so I took the money and paid the balance out of my pocket.
Posted By Anonymous Dev, palm bay, FL : 5:22 PM ET
Let's all have a laugh
roses do not blume in the winter and neither will the insurance giant's ever be for the insured
Posted By Anonymous duck slc utah : 5:24 PM ET
I know this first hand. I had a U.S. mail truck run a stop sign and hit my car. My car was totaled. The mailman in the truck was at fault and ticketed with failure to stop at a stop sign. The insurance company I dealt with was State Farm ( as far as I know). I didn't deal directly with the insurance company because since it was a government vehicle, I had to deal with some guy in the postal service who took care of accidents. It was not a fun experience. The accident was not my fault and I lost my means of transportation. They would not pay for a rental car until my car could be replaced. I couldn't afford to pay for a rental myself so I had nothing. When we finally settled (over a year later) I was told that the most I could get was around $2,000. If I turned in a higher claim, it could take years before I would see the money. I had been without transportation all that time, so I settle because I needed a car. It wasn't my fault, but I was the one who was punished in the end. It's not fair, but what do we do? The insurance companies are out of control, but who will reel them in? Congress? Yeah, right.
Posted By Anonymous Lee Fairfield Iowa : 5:24 PM ET
Hey Drew,

"CNN wouldn't be fair"? Like what they are doing is!!
We pay like little robots, they take our money with a smile,but when we are in need, they almost treat us like criminals. You didn't talk about having to go see "their" doctors to evaluate us, and so on and so on...

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R. Laval Quebec : 5:28 PM ET
The insurance companies that try to prevent valid claim payment from victims should be prosecuted for criminal action. Enact a law that results in the company officers doing jail time if they are found guilty of such fraud. Jail time seems to get the companies ear.
Posted By Anonymous John, Columbus, Ohio : 5:28 PM ET
As a licensed insurance broker myself, I have to say that what Allstate is accused of doing is entirely unethical. Most insurance companies do not operate this way. Those that do should be taken to court repeatedly and sued for so much money that they eventually find that it's cheaper to just pay the claims that they know are legitimate. Sadly, this is probably the only way of forcing them to accept their responsibilities.
Posted By Anonymous Jackson Landers, Charlottesville, VA : 5:29 PM ET
The insurance industry and the healthcare industry both need to be regulated. These are not luxury services, they are necessities to all people. The insurance companies have trained us to only use them in catastrophic cases. That is not the way it use to be and it doesn't take a catastrophy to wipe you out.
Posted By Anonymous Christine Hattiesburg, MS : 5:30 PM ET
I work in the insurance industry and am aware of the situation you describe. It is an interesting debate philosophically, because insurance claim managers are practicing good business sense when offering "walk away" settlements. Unfortunately, they (along with many other industries that do not exhibit good social behavior) forget the human factor. This is especially easy when the claimant is not a customer of the insurance carrier. I think you have a wonderful example of corporate citizens behaving badly in the Allstate example, but the problem you are reporting transcends beyond the insurance industry. If corporations want to enjoy the benefits of "citizenship," they should enforce on themselves a sense of responsibility for the impact they have on our world. This means some hard choices, like avoiding too much direct fast food advertisements to children when the product in large quatities is inherently unhealthy.
Posted By Anonymous Paul Pleva, Hamilton, Ohio : 5:34 PM ET
The insurance industry is probably one of the most dispicable in the private sector, right next to Big Oil. I would like to think that more congressional oversight would help rein in the procedural tactics that insurance companies use to deny full compensation, BUT who are we kidding? There is no easy fix to the conflict of interest that is inherent in the insurance industry (paying more out in claims lowers profitability). For one thing, if insurance companies are forced to pay more out to victims everyone else should expect to see a corresponding increase in premiums. Perhaps, federal and state governments could provide for a legal fund that victims could use to bring suit against insurers. If victims use the legal fund and win, they would be required to reimburse the fund for the legal fees plus an additional fee (which would progressively increase the size of the fund and make legal assistance more assessable). Not everyone would be able to use the fund, however, administrators of the legal fund would have to examine each case.
Posted By Anonymous Matt, Waldwick, NJ : 5:39 PM ET
Insurance company will do everything in their power to raise rate, but not paying claim. Years ago, I got rear ended at a toll booth. The guy who hit me admitted to me it was his fault because the brake failure. It was $7000 repair job. Did his insurance paid! NOOO. His insurance company want my insurance to take care the claim, and will reimburse them later. My insurance agent said if I filed with them, I will take the deductable and my rate will go up.
I ended up going to a lawyer, and they got my car repair, my rental car bill paid (a total of 5 weeks). Eight month later, I get my medical bill settlement. I am lucky, the injury was not serious, and I was able to cover my medical expense out of my own pocket.
If the insurance company treated their clients fairly, there would not be so many personal injury lawyer sueing them for car accident victims.
Posted By Anonymous Alice, Sugar Land TX : 5:44 PM ET
Hmmm...sounds like a giant business opportunity. Pay the injured party up front some amount greater than the insurance company is offering, sue the bastards and pocket the difference!
Posted By Anonymous Tom Cape Elizabeth, ME : 5:47 PM ET
Continue exposing the insurance companies. It will get the general public mad at them, make All State the weaker link and justice will prevail. Till them, you take it or leave it!
Posted By Anonymous Jackie, Hamilton, ON : 5:47 PM ET
This is just the kind of story that 360 should get its teeth in. We pay premiums, how can they get away with this? It is so frustrating!
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 5:47 PM ET
Try John Grisham's "The Rainmaker". And if your at the low end of the wage scale which influences the possible amount of your settlement good luck getting any representation because the contingency fee is too low.

Another gambit they use is limiting the time of coverage for medical expenses to one year.

The Bean Counters-Actuarials analyze the 'odds' makers for Insurance Co.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista,ar : 5:57 PM ET
One step would be to always sue the insurance companies for the absolute maximum amount permissible. If enough people "walk away" with one penny more than the actual value of the claim, the insurance companies might begin to regret their Potterville business ethic. Fight fire with fission!
And never be polite to an insurance agent. They are in the business of ripping you off, after all.
Posted By Anonymous john robert san francisco ca : 6:00 PM ET
Insurance companies are only out to get money anyway.What other business you know charges you every month "just in case"? Then when "just in case" does happen you still have to pay more money to cover damages.
Posted By Anonymous Kathryn;Austin, TX : 6:02 PM ET

I've been on the other side of the coin for fifteen years. Some people think insurance companies should pay for everything and often see an accident as an opportunity to make money and take time off from work.

And some health professionals go out of their way to find accident and workers' compensation claims work because they know they can charge more and push more more services.

While I would not deny that some people get caught in the middle of insurance companies versus a section of the public with an entitlement and lawyer mentality, I have seen few cases over the years where insureds are not reasonably taken care of by either their or the at fault insurance company.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Marks, Franklin, WI : 6:09 PM ET
All she has to do is refuse their offer until they up it to the amount she wants. The longer it goes the more the insurance company will offer to get it off their books. They want to see if you will settle for less. They will eventually settle for fair market value. Patience is a virtue.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 6:16 PM ET
This is sick, but certainly it is not news. These companies have been ripping people off for decades. What we need are whistle blowers from the executive levels of these comapnies - then the federal government can go at them for fraud. But of course - that won't happen. A - these people get paid too much to have a conscience. B - the thought of goverment standing up to big business is laughable. There go all the republican & democratic campaign contributions.
Posted By Anonymous Milena Amit, Ft. Lauderdale, FL : 6:32 PM ET
I was involved in a minor rear end accident 3 years ago. Idiot was on cell phone and wasn't paying attention to us stopped at a yield sign for traffic. Damage to the mini van was $250.00, no big deal. I missed 3 days of work for silght neck injury, no big deal. Insurance company would only pay for 2 days missed work. I only make $13.00 an hour, so I thought no big deal to them to pay for 3rd day of missed work. Their client recieved 3 tickets for causing the accident and they still argued about the 3rd day. I had to threaten to get a lawyer to get them to pay for the 3rd day. When I wouldn't relent after 2 hours on the phone they finally paid up for the 3rd day. It is another case of corporations out of control because our goverment allows it. It's not right and borders on criminal in some cases.
Posted By Anonymous Jack- Amarillo, TX : 6:40 PM ET
Please do not paint the entire industry with a broad brush. It will make your report inaccurate. There are a few bad guys out there who use terrible tactics and you have found one of the key players. But make sure you look at the others who play a vital, ethical role in our lives. Remember that they are hundreds of small mutual carriers that provide excellent service and pay what is due. And these carriers are staffed by your neighbors and friends.
Posted By Anonymous Lorraine Sanstrom, East Haddam, CT : 6:53 PM ET
Insurance premiums are barely affected by the amount of losses paid out. The vast majority of their profit traditionally came from investing the billions in premiums they collect. However, in the late 80's, early 90's the industry realized it could make a profit off of the claims payment center as well. Instead of paying claims fairly, they would undercut them and reap the amount withheld as profit. At the same time, they set in motion a propaganda campaign to make people believe there was a litigation crisis and that every injured person was a criminal. When the stock market tanks, and they fail to realize hundreds of billions in profit, they again shout out litigation crisis, jack up the premiums and move for limits on the amount one can recover for an injury. Thanks for exposing this tragic business practice.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Grand Junction, CO : 7:20 PM ET
How about how health insurance companies reimburse physicians? As a doctor, we are always faced with the 'delay and deny' technique. I will perform surgery on a patient, and that procedure has been pre-authorized as medically necessary by the insurance company. After the surgery claim is filed, the insurnace companiy sometimes take 4 or 5 months to pay, and that's only after multiple phone calls. But they know the doctor can't find a lawyer who will take a case for a few hundred dollars dispute. But these 'small amounts' add up. The insurnace companies prove to us the golden rule. Whomever holds all the gold, makes all the rules.
Posted By Anonymous Ron Joseph, Houston, TX : 8:10 PM ET
Simply taking the time to go over your insurance policy would show many that these so-called denied claims many are talking about was never covered the way you assumed it was, nor was coverage going to work how you also assumed it would. Find an agent who takes this time with their clients and these problems don't arise.
Posted By Anonymous Daryan, Iowa City, IA : 8:14 PM ET
I am in exactly this type of event right now. I was rear-ended by a hit & run driver. My vehicle suffered minimal damage, which I've already been told by my insurance company, "Well, you only had $700 worth of damage to your van and nothing was broken. After all, this is just a "soft tissue" damage and that always mends...". I've already had one claims adjuster changed because I told her supervisor that I never get calls back and, "I'm a Compliance Supervisor at my job and that is not tolerated where I work, I just don't understand what's taking so long to look up when I got everything to her in November & here we are in February." I just left another message today to that new claims adjuster, with no return call today. Menawhile I owe about $1500 just since Jan 1, 2007 for Chiropractic and massage therapy that helps, but I wake up in pain every day and cannot perform the "normal" tasks of everyday life yet. Where do we turn???
Posted By Anonymous CSChaney, Georgetown, TX : 11:53 PM ET
Another example of profits over ethics that is rampant in many major US corporations. Do whatever you can to increase "stakeholder value" (and your bonus and stock option worth)even if you know that the actions you take are unethical or walking the fine line.
Posted By Anonymous Richard Randolph, La Quinta, CA : 11:57 PM ET
Don't blame the insurance companies. THere are so many people who are liars and commit fraud out there this is what the companies are forced to do.

Must I remind everyone that the $2000 FEMA gave to thousands of Katrina "victims" was spent on porn, football tickets, and other junk.

I know its a tough pill to swallow for most, but we the people, have to take a lot of the blame
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Bolingbrook-IL : 12:04 AM ET
Drew, responding to your report on automobile accident victims...maybe we should consider abolishing harmful laibility laws, eliminate crooked judges and lawyers, and require drivers to insure themselves for the negligent acts of other drivers. In simple terms: Insure youself, and not others that steal from insurance companies and other policy holders.
Posted By Anonymous Greg, Bay St. Louis, Ms. : 12:11 AM ET
You should tell the other side of the story of when someone is not really seriously hurt but decides to make out what they can on the insurance company. My 19 year old daughter was involved in a minor fender bender last summer. The man got out of his car and proceeded to yell at her, scaring the heck out of her. The damage was done to his left front fender but he comments to the cop when he arrives that his right passenger door does not work. A couple of months go by and he is sueing for $200,000. His spine was hurt and now he needs medical treatment for years to come. What a crock. You guys need to tell the whole story...there are alot of scammers out there, and that hurts the ones that are really injured.
Posted By Anonymous Brenda S. Frego-San Antonio, TX : 12:40 AM ET
Excellent story! I believe in self insurance and forcing the US Government (IRS) to eat the difference between actual medcical costs and Insurance compensation in the form of TAX DEDUCTIONS. It's the way an egalitarian Democracy should behave. You saw what the Insurance Cos. got away with after Katrina- It's embarrasing to call this "The American Way".
Posted By Anonymous Trevor Doyle, Bethesda, Maryland : 2:46 AM ET
brasslaw wrote:

Dear Drew:

I am a nurse attorney who has a practice of 45% of its work is automobile accidents, and I have found that the number of persons seeking attorneys for their accidents are increasing drastically. Even the samll ones which are consistent with your observations. My opinion is that it is not the insurance company's true fault because greed is found most places. The real problem is: that when I have a client complaine about their treatment by the (or their) insurance company; I ask them "when was the last time that you gave each of your state representatives and state senators a $10.00 contribution to their re-election". If elected state representatives/senators represented the people who vote, and even those who don't vote, they would better perform their call to duty"

Attorney Stanley J. Brassington
Posted By Anonymous Stanley J. Brassington, Esquire : 2:49 AM ET
Now there's shocking news! "Stick the consumer" is the name of the game in America today. Who can blame big business since our elected officials do nothing to protect the average citizen. All I can say is "keep the lawsuits coming"!
Posted By Anonymous Jerry Frederick, MD : 7:56 AM ET
Drew, your the best! Thank you so much for bringing this insurance matter to so many who can read it. I would like to think that if I"m ever in an accident that my insurance company would just pay the bills, but that is not the case. No wonder so many people try to scam the system, their sick and tired of being ripped off! If my insurance company ever tries to settle for less, I"ll fight it for 50 years if I have to. I'll just give the money to my kids!
Posted By Anonymous Sandy, E Norriton, PA : 8:49 AM ET
Linda, bella Vista, is exactly right... Watch or read the Rainmaker... Perfect example of what insurance companies will do... That movie really opened my eyes as to how powerful insurance companies are and how far they will go to not pay a claim... Sad, sickening, but true...
Posted By Anonymous Sherry Sarasota Fl : 8:52 AM ET
I hope your report will also discuss the billions of dollars that get paid in fraudulent claims, and why some of these so called "legitimate" claims are denied or defended by the insurance industy. The industry is already heavily regulated with Unfair claims practices, and claims are paid because the insurance company is actually at a disadvantage in some cases. Yes, there are horror stories out there, but many people look at an accident as an opportunity to collect back all those years of premiums that have been paid. Early settlements can be economically advantageous, but the motives are not always evil.
Posted By Anonymous Ted, Riverhead, NY : 8:59 AM ET
Sue, sue, sue....keep documentation as wiggle-proof as a contract that would sell your soul, and remember the phrases "bad-faith" and "treble damages"!
Posted By Anonymous Barb, Spring Lake MI : 9:07 AM ET
Reduce insurance to it's most basic form: Gambling. Review the definition of actuary and compare to odds-making. Just like casinos, insurance companies control your chances of success, with the government's approval (called regulation). The process of insurance is as complicated as taxes, and just as well liked by those of us who have to pay it.
Posted By Anonymous Charles, Sumter SC : 9:14 AM ET
Please ... wake up Insurance Companies are no different than any other business. They are created for one simple goal ... TO MAKE A PROFIT. Welcome to captialism.

Take out the emotional factor being played by CNN to attract viewers and the solution becomes clear.

We need to create a governmental enity that will monitor, regulate, and punish insurance companies when applicable.

Forget Bad Faith statues ... Insurance companies must be licensed in the state they are doing business. Have the power to revoke their license and watch how quickly their policies and procedures!
Posted By Anonymous Sam Talarico, Boyertown, PA : 9:29 AM ET
I work for a personal injury attorney in Houston, and I have seen these tactics first hand over and over again.

Another factor which allows the insurance company to delay paying the claim is that the lawyer who represents their insured in these matters is an insurance company employee. This occurs even though it creates an obvious conflict of interest. Without any outside legal costs, the insurance companies can afford to fight these matters as long as they wish.

Finally, your story mentioned how the jurors whom you interviewed seemed to think that the Plaintiff in the second case which was discussed was either lying about how her injuries occurred, or was exagerating the extent of her injuries. This is just another sad side effect of the current tort reform movement. All jurors now think that the plaintiff in a case is a greedy liar. It's sad when we would rather look out for the interest of billion dollar corporations that couldn't care less about us than for our fellow man. When will we wake up and realize that the tort "reformers" aren't paid to look after our interests, but are instead paid to shut us out of our court houses and leave us with nothing.
Posted By Anonymous Shaw Clifford, Houston, Texas : 10:28 AM ET
I agree with those who say we're only looking at this from the consumer's side. CNN tends to point out isolated incidents, but there's other sides to a story. We all know of someone who didn't tell the whole truth on insurance claims. I heard of a person who was robbed, but gave the insurance company a pile of receipts that weren't necessarily part of the robbery. Why don't you follow this up with a story on insurance fraud; let the ins. companies have their say on how people have manipulated their policies and stolen money through exaggerated claims.
Posted By Anonymous DH Lake Barrington, IL : 10:36 AM ET
I can understand why someone would settle when you need the money you need it. But if you can hold out, most states have "Bad Faith" laws that punish the insurance companies severely for bad faith negotiations. Yes it takes time but the payout can be many times your original claim and policy limits don't come into play. There are many lawyers that will take on bad faith cases on contingency.
Posted By Anonymous Frank Gimsdale, West Palm Beach, FL : 11:04 AM ET
Great job CNN! I read an AP article by Dan Caterinicchia on Jan. 9, 2007 and how the Consumer Federation of America accuses the biggest players of "gouging" the public on their way to an estimated combined after-tax profit of nearly $60 billion in 2006. These profits include figures even after hurricanes Katrina and Rita were factored in. Corporate greed!
Posted By Anonymous Dave Erickson, St. Paul, MN : 11:55 AM ET
The report failed to mention the plaintiff attorney's who also delay in settling claims, who refer their clients to medical providers that build up the medical expenses (only to then negotiate a reduction on those bills behind the scenes that the auto insurance company is not privy to)and by delaying the settlement, force their client into litigation. Once in litigation, the plaintiff attorney is now entitled to 40% of any settlement, rather than 30% if the case is settled prior to any legal action. Pity the person who trusts their plaintiff attorney that leads them on this path, they generally end up with little to nothing in their pocket after all the people are paid, even on large settlements!
Posted By Anonymous Terry, San Jose, CA : 12:09 PM ET
Steve Marks:

Congratulations on your successful brainwashing by your employers. Your comments show that either you have not been exposed to a sufficient number of claims to make the statements you make; or you are truly naive about the situation. To call those who have been illegally abused and taken advantage of "whiners" is disinigenuous at best, and does nothing to support your position. Good luck with that attitude.
Posted By Anonymous Scot Strong, Cleveland OH : 12:44 PM ET
I read with some amusement the comment that "most insurance companies do not do this". Hogwash!! Remember this caveat when dealing with ANY insurance company: they exist to make money... the less they pay out, the more they make. They do not make decisions based on right or wrong or even what you are entitled to under your policy. They make decisions based on the economics of each situation. And every insurance carrier operates under these principles.
Posted By Anonymous Jim DeSanto, Philadelphia, PA : 12:46 PM ET
I have seen many quick to say "shame on you", but do you know how many claims into these companies are fraud? How many staged accidents they cover, how many "doctor's" bills they cover. Most of the Chiropractor's here openly advertise (usually in big bold letters) that they are looking for accident claims, and will work directly with the insurance companies for payment. In our city of about 70,000 I can find 40 attorney firms in our phone book for Personal Injury. That was just the firms, not indivdual lawyers! This is big business, and like everything else in life the good guys usually get stuck and those who are in it for a fast buck, get more than their share.

It comes down to...Don't sign anything, Know your rights, and Get an attorney. (There's probably one on the next corner)
Posted By Anonymous Renae, Appleton, WI : 12:54 PM ET
In the days when consumers had a "third party bad faith" remedy, if the insurance company did not deal with them fairly there was a consequence. Legislature removed this remedy and allowed open season on consumers. Re-enact the third party bad faith option and this nonsense will stop -- they will no longer be able to afford the gamble.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, San Diego, California : 1:25 PM ET
Thank you for finally bringing to light one of the great ongoing injustices in America. I am a solo attorney who handles these small accident cases. I have seen these abusive tactics used for years by the big auto insurance companies. I have handled over a thousand of these cases in the 15 years I have been in practice. At the beginning, it often was possible to get a reasonable settlement, but then came the Big Lie tactic: you cannot be hurt in a small property damage crash. I hope you continue to shed light on this corrupt practice which affects millions of Americans every year.
Posted By Anonymous Fred Goss - Oakland, CA : 1:50 PM ET
The question is: What service do insurance companies actually perform? They collect dollar after dollar of the public's money and personally invest these dollars for their huge corporations. Every day that they can hold onto your money is interest in the bank. They don't actually fix your car or work on your teeth or operate on your body. Too bad none of us were raised to save our own money and deal it back to ourselves when we really need it!!
Posted By Anonymous mel : 7:08 PM ET
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• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
• 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
• 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
• 11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007
• 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007
• 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
• 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007
• 12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008

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