Are Insurance Companies Daring Us to Fight Back?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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Experts say that insurance companies reportedly make so much money because they charge consumers high premiums and then underpay or deny claims altogether. Some have even said that insurance companies are just daring us to fight back.

Just how much money DO they make?

You might want to sit down for this. According to a recent study, property casualty insurers reported a record $73 billion in profits in 2006. That number is significantly higher than the $49 billion reported in 2005. Even though insurers were still paying out Katrina claims, they were able to significantly increase their profits – something that insurance industry experts and consumers say is another example of putting profits over people.

Evidence of higher profits / lower claim payouts

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), claim payouts for the entire property-casualty industry have consistently decreased in the last 10 years. Property-casualty insurers paid out 64% of the premiums they received on claims. In 2006, that number dropped to 55%. In addition, the III reported that profits have increased by an annual average of 46% since 1994.

When insurers keep more of their premium dollars by paying fewer claims, they invest that money and make additional profits. To many of the insureds whose claims have gone unpaid, this seems to be an unfair process and they often feel powerless to fight the insurance company’s team of lawyers.

Katrina victims know first hand

The victims of Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 hurricane that destroyed thousands of homes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, know first hand what it feels like to be powerless against insurance companies. Many Katrina victims report battling with their carriers over whether their home was destroyed by wind or water.

As these homeowners quickly discovered, water damage was not covered under their homeowner’s policy. Wind damage was, but many insurance companies denied coverage by attributing their damage only to water damage. In most cases, the destruction was a combination of both.

More than 1,000 homeowners sued their insurance companies and thousands more were forced to accept less than they were entitled to. As if that weren’t bad enough, there have been countless reports alleging that insurance companies altered adjusters’ findings of home damage simply to avoid paying out claims.

Accept their dare

If your insurance company has refused to pay out a valid claim, it may be time to accept their dare and fight the matter in court. An experienced insurance attorney knows how insurance companies operate. If you are a victim of insurance bad faith, the Advocate Law Group can help you. [Sponsored Link]

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