CT Auto Repair Shop Awarded $15M Due To Hartford Insurance Co’s Bad Faith Insurance Practices

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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: Feb 9, 2020

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A Stamford Connecticut jury awarded an auto body repair shop a whopping $15 million after it sued The Hartford Financial Services Group (The Hartford) for unfair trade practices because the insurer attempted to control all aspects of car repairs – something that long time State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says cannot happen.

Big insurance company tries to control process & increase profits

The Hartford, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, tried to have its cake and eat it too – but a Stamford, Connecticut Superior Court jury took the cake away and replaced it with a $15 million bill. According to news reports, the Auto Body Association of Connecticut, a statewide trade association of collision repair industry professionals, filed a lawsuit against the Hartford alleging that the insurer acted in bad faith by engaging in unfair trade practices.

Specifically, the group says that the insurer’s labor rates were artificially low and that it discouraged the use of independent appraisers in favor of using appraisers it specifically selected in order to control the entire car repair process – and increase its profits by paying as little as possible. The Connecticut jury agreed with the group and awarded it $15 million in damages. The Hartford says it will appeal the verdict.

Bad faith insurance practices a common occurrence

Unfortunately, bad faith insurance practices are a common occurrence in the insurance industry. Bad faith insurance lawyers say that insurance companies routinely put profits first and engage in practices of denying and delaying insurance claims in order to accomplish that. These un-consumer friendly practices, which occur in auto insurance liability claims, healthcare insurance claims, long term care insurance claims and many other areas, can go on for years without retribution – until someone takes them to court.

Here’s a few examples of recent verdicts and settlements against insurance companies for bad faith insurance practices:

  • $5.3 million bad faith auto insurance verdict: A Montana jury awarded a woman who suffered severe brain injuries in an auto accident a record $5.3 million after Fireman’s Fund refused to pay her valid insurance claim.
  • $676 million bad faith disability insurance settlement: The Unum Group recently settled a multi-state disability insurance complaint for $676 million after it wrongfully denied thousands of disability insurance claims. Forty-eight states will participate in the settlement – which affects an incredible 42 percent of the insurer’s previously denied disability claims.

If you’ve been denied valid insurance benefits, you can fight back. Contact an experienced bad faith insurance attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. You may be entitled to retroactive insurance coverage as well as other compensation being denied coverage.

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