Several days ago, I posted a blog on bad faith denial of claims by insurance companies. I don’t usually write blogs on the same topic within several days of each other, but I must comment on the superb reporting on insurance company bad faith, in this month’s issue of Trial magazine. Trial is the journal of the American Association for Justice, the plaintiffs’ trial lawyers association. The issue highlights intentional campaigns by the insurance industry to raise profits by denying valid claims and delaying payment to pressure policy holders to accept low ball offers.
Amongst the most shocking incidents of insurance company fraud reported are claiming poverty and threatening to leave states, amidst record profits, forging signatures on earthquake waiver forms after a major California earthquake in 1994, deceptively obtaining statements by Hurricane Katrina homeowners that their homes had been damaged by “flood” (as opposed to the hurricane), because wind and rain damage were covered, while flood damages were not, using catastrophes to raise rates and dramatically increase profits, independent of actual increased risk of loss. The greed is astounding. Legislatures appear too weak to stop the insurance industry cabal. Once again, it is left to the maligned plaintiffs’ trial bar to right the balance.