“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”
Policyholders guilty of insurance fraud need to be held accountable and pay a penalty. Who disagrees with that?
Barry Zalma noted the unfairness when some do not pay for breaking the law in Mercy to Insurance Criminals Aids & Abets The Crime:
“We, as insurance fraud professionals must inveigh against those “merciful” judges and prosecutors who insist that a “white collar criminal” should not go to jail. The prosecutors and judges must know that insurance criminals are as more [sic] vicious and damaging to society than the armed robber who holds up a convenience store and is punished to the full extent of the law without mercy.”
I agree with Zalma that insurance criminals need to be punished.
But, I wonder what insurance companies would say if they had to pay more severe penalties for delaying claims payments or applying wrongful schemes to underpay claims?
I was at a conference some time ago in Philadelphia when insurance industry attorney, Steve Cozen was talking about the possible unconstitutionality of insurance companies having to pay punitive damages after breaking the rules of claims handling. I suggested that since they are stealing from the policyholders, if the rules were that the claims executives went to jail instead of paying punitive damages, there probably would be a lot less cheating against policyholders and the punitive damages argument would be moot. The insurance defense attorneys smiled and shook their heads at me—they knew I had a point.
From the policyholders view, the insurance company that fails to pay on time and denies benefits for various unfair reasons is not that much different from the bank robber or internet thief that takes money in a different manner. It is quite ironic that the insurance industry lawyers and spokespeople are not publicly calling for greater penalties for those acts by claims executive "white collar criminals." Maybe they think accountability works only one way.