Following yesterday’s post, What is a Bad Faith Claim? Or, When Does an Insurance Claim Wrongfully Handled Become a Bad Faith Claim?, there were a couple of posts suggesting that class action lawsuits were the answer to wrongful claims practices. Frankly, most policyholders are more successful financially with individual cases than through class action cases in insurance matters. Many class settlements are nothing other than the insurer buying its way out of a bigger mess and paying off attorneys looking for a big payday. Our firm is very selective about class matters because of the “good for the attorney’s pocket versus bad for the client’s pocket” conflict.

Continue Reading Influence and Passion Revisted: The Art of Conflict Resolution Even if Insurers are Hard Nosed and In Your View Not Playing Fairly

I once told an Allstate Insurance Company adjuster that if forced, I was going to sue over a very small matter, less than a thousand dollars, because it simply was not right that Allstate was taking “betterment” deductions on the adjustment of an automobile comprehensive coverage loss to a friend of mine. This small county court case eventually resulted in a significant class action settlement in Florida in excess of $20 million dollars. I have no idea why some insurance companies do not try to settle earlier and would rather wait until the information uncovered results in a bad situation getting worse. Unfortunately, unless the litigation fortunes of one public adjusting company changes dramatically on appeal, a seven thousand dollar fee dispute could cost many public adjusters millions in class action lawsuits.

Continue Reading A Small Insurance Case May Cost Many Florida Public Adjusters Millions in Class Action Lawsuits

Throughout U.S. history insurers have routinely discriminated against minorities. Discriminatory treatment included such practices as charging minorities higher rates, offering minorities policies with inferior coverage, not returning calls for information from minority applicants or denying minorities coverage altogether. Homeowners insurance redlining is a form of this discrimination where an insurance agency or agent treats homeowners differently not necessarily because of their minority status, but because of the minority composition of the neighborhood their home is located in.

Continue Reading Credit scores in underwriting: The redlining of the new millenia?

Back in January, Mississippi’s attorney general, Jim Hood, agreed to drop State Farm Mutual Fire and Casualty Company from a lawsuit that his office filed against several insurance companies for refusing to cover damage to homes from Katrina’s storm surge.   The dismissal of the orignial lawsuit was part of a deal in which State Farm

A Broward County Court has approved a class action settlement on behalf of more than 12,000 State Farm Insurance policyholders in Florida who will receive 100 percent of the damages they requested in a $6.8 million settlement of claims filed last year in which they alleged the insurer refused to pay replacement costs of screen