Last week, I discussed some of the insurance companies' dirty tricks to deny claims or delay payments. Consider this scenario used by one to increase profits. You are in your car running an errand. Suddenly, a pickup truck crosses the center line from the opposite direction and smashes into you. Waking from the coma days later, you have collapsed lungs, broken bones, medical bills beyond imagination, and the news that the next few months will be painful, under the constant care of doctors.
Now, you get unwanted news from the insurance company that you had paid premiums to for years. It's denying coverage to you because it claims the driver who hit you acted in a moment of deliberate road rage, so the accident was not really an accident at all. As such, it wasn't covered. You can't work, your bills pile up, and your insurance company has said "goodbye" to you. This happened to a 60-year-old woman who had a $2 million policy with one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. That insurance company, like others, is in the business of denying claims, not paying them, as a way to boost profits. Her company even had an employee incentive program that offered prizes to adjusters who met low payment goals.
It wasn't and isn't the only insurance company systematically denying claims without good reason. One company gave adjusters who denied valid claims rewards like portable refrigerators. Following an earthquake in California, one company's officials forged signatures on waivers of earthquake coverage to avoid paying claims.
These travesties of justice are sometimes caught by vigilant attorneys, as was the case for the 60-year old-lady in the bad wreck. She prevailed, but only after a legal battle. Too many people are victims twice in a wreck – first, because of the fault of a careless driver and, then, a second time, from the dirty tricks of an insurance company. It can be the same with any kind of coverage. Watch carefully.