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We have talked about "Delay, Deny, Defend" polices here at the Injuryboard many times. Basically, the insurance company uses a combination of delaying claims, denying claims , and defending claims so that they wear the claimants down. There are all sorts of examples of people with significant valuable claims just walking away.

The Huffington Post business section took a recent look at what delays can mean. The whole story is worth reading. Some points that I found of interest:

Delaying small claims can make a difference:

"An insurance company can make a lot of money on the small claims," said Jay Feinman, a professor at Rutgers University School of Law, "because if you save a few dollars on a huge number of claims, it's worth more than saving a lot of dollars on a very small number of claims."

It makes a difference to the bottom line:

Allstate has certainly gained: It made $4.6 billion in profits in 2007, double its earnings in the 1990s. The stunning increase, said Russ Roberts, came through "driving down loss values to an average of 30 percent below the actual market cost" — that is, paying dramatically less on claims………………………………………………..Roberts told HuffPost that, by his estimate, the companies that take in 70 percent of total insurance profits in the United States now abuse their obligations to their policyholders. When Allstate CEO Tom Wilson earned $9.3 million last year, he was not even on the top 10 list of best-paid insurance executives, compiled by New York Law School's Center for Justice and Democracy. (The top 10 list was led by William R. Berkley of W.R. Berkley, who made $24.6 million in 2010.)

The consumer can be an easy target:

With 15.3 percent of Americans — about 46.2 million people — living in poverty, close to 10 percent unemployment, and roughly 2 million people who've been looking for work for more than two years, Allstate's business model is profiting off many consumers at their most vulnerable. A claim delayed by even a month can spell financial disaster for a family. As a National Bureau of Economic Research study found, about 25 percent of Americans could not come up with $2,000 in a 30-day period.

There isn't much help with regulation:

State insurance departments are usually understaffed and overwhelmed. And even if they had the legal firepower to contend with giant insurance companies, Feinman said, "the regulators are closer to the industry than they are consumers." Eleven of the past 15 presidents of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) went on to work for the insurance industry after leaving office, while a 17-year study from two Georgia State University professors found that around half of state-level insurance commissioners did so as well.

All of this is the reason many trial lawyers are in business. They really could eradicate us if they took care of the consumer. Imagine these are people who actually paid the company money to take care of them if they needed to use their coverage. If you are a victim of these practices, which in most cases means do you have some type of claim, make sure you get someone on your side whot has the experience to fight for you.

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Of Interest