The Reality of Special Rules for Insurance Companies

In Florida, insurance companies have special privileges that provide them with advantages more than other commercial ventures in the state get. Doesn't that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling? Insurance companies have immunity from negligence in their business activities. If I negligently practice law, or if a truck driver negligently runs over someone, we pay for any damage caused by our negligence. Not so with insurance companies. On the other side of the legal spectrum, insurance companies are allowed to negligently handle every single claim, yet they have zero accountability under most circumstances.

Insurance companies lurk in the shadowy background of litigation. The existence of insurance or the amount of it are not disclosed to a jury in Florida on the premise that this information has no bearing on issues of liability and damages in an injury case. Yet, insurance companies get to control suits on cases they insure. They make decisions not to settle, select their defense lawyers, choose expert witnesses who will invariably claim that the injured parties' claims are without merit, and otherwise orchestrate the defense of a case.

During all this, never do they have to disclose their role in the case. No other business gets that privilege. Insurance companies can completely deny coverage or fault without any justification whatsoever, and they typically do that to enhance their profits. At the same time, the person insured by the company is suffering immense damage, maybe losing a home or vehicle without having the opportunity to sue the company.

Under Florida laws, the carriers are exempt from normal class actions to keep them from committing theft in our premiums. They are also exempt from anti-trust regulations. That's why they can price fix on their premiums. Every year, their well-paid lobbyists are in Tallahassee influencing our laws in their favor.

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