This article from the Louisiana Voice gives another example of an insurance claim being unfairly denied and underpaid. Unfortunately there appears to be some discrimination involved in the case because the homeowner is a Japanese-American. The conflict of interest between policyholders and stockholders mentioned in the story is real. This quote by former Allstate Chief Executive Officer Jerry Choate to a group of stockholders always makes an impression on me: “The leverage is really on the claims side. If you don’t win there, I don’t care what you do on the front end. You’re not going to win.” See my previous post.
I do not agree with the portion of the story claiming that the Commissioner of Insurance is biased in favor of insurance companies. I have found the Department of Insurance fair and objective. My experience with the Department has been positive. My public records requests have always been responded to timely and thoroughly. Although the Department does not have the authority to make the carrier pay a claim, consumer complaints and investigations do get the carrier’s attention. And, if the claim cannot be resolved amicably, the documents generated can serve as good evidence in a bad faith lawsuit.