I suppose if business is really bad for some lawyers, they could just fantasize about representing people and seeking justice. If the pleadings filed by Allstate are true, one Texas lawyer went beyond fantasy and literally filed insurance claims and threatened lawsuits on behalf of policyholders he never represented. The story was reported by Texas Lawyer. It stated in part the following:
Many bad faith cases against insurance companies allege improper or inappropriate behavior toward an insured. Sometimes, this conduct rises to the level of bad faith, and other times it does not. This week, I write about a case where a court agreed that the carrier breached the contract, but not in bad faith.
As expected, the Texas Department of Insurance – the government regulator in charge of overseeing the insurance industry (also known as “protecting the public”) – has approved Allstate Texas Lloyd’s request to raise rates across Texas by 5.7%. The Texas Department of Insurance has the ability to deny any requested rate hike if it determines that the rate increase is excessive, discriminatory, or inadequate. Kristen Beaman, an Allstate spokesperson, said that the Texas Department of Insurance has decided to take no action on recent increases.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Season’s Greetings! I hope all of you are enjoying some well-deserved time off. And since many of you are on holiday, I’d like to pass along some light insurance reading that may interest you.
It’s no secret that insurance companies are in business to make money, but the lengths some insurance companies go to in order to increase profits is alarming. In fact, dozens of posts on this blog have alerted our readers to the improper actions some insurance companies may take to put profit above their policyholders’ interests.
Fire insurance claims spike on Thanksgiving Day. I became interested in this fact after viewing the following commercial by Allstate:
Policyholders with flood and all risk policies usually do not have as many problems collecting benefits following a hurricane where wind and flood damaged a structure. Those with only one policy are not so fortunate. When the combination of payments from both policies is less than the cost to repair or when delays in payments occur, numerous issues arise.
One of the questions I hear most often from policyholders is, “why is the insurance company handling my claim in an inadequate fashion?” Often, the policyholders are confident that if they could just explain the situation and get someone’s attention at the insurer’s main office, their claim would be resolved. Many of my clients and former clients explained they tried to get the corporate office’s attention—and to no avail. This is usually the point where conversations start with a neighbor or co-worker about what to do; late night internet searches are done, and the insureds realize they need to start keeping a tally on just how poorly the claim is being handled. This is when public insurance adjusters are often hired. A client explained to me that she was happy to pay someone 10% of her claim so she could carry on with her everyday life and pass the burden on to a professional. She explained that dealing with the insurance company forced her to take time away from her job, and that if she spent any more time on the phone with the insurance company between 9-5, she was sure she was going to be in trouble with her boss. Now, the same client has also hired a lawyer to get the insurance company’s attention and to get the claim resolved.