Insurance Companies Employ "Deny, Delay, Defend" Strategy Toward Its Own Customers
Read our blog posts about the improper Delay, Deny, Defend strategy here
At the Chaney Law Firm, we've handled dozens of bad faith claims against insurance companies. Under Arkansas law, bad faith happens when an insurance company commits any of the following acts:
- fails to give its insured the benefit of the doubt
- fails to give its insured's interests at least equal consideration as its own interests
- fails settle a case when it's the reasonable thing to do
- ignores facts in its own files that it should pay a claim
- acts in a dishonest or oppressive manner
- acts with hatred, ill will, or a spirit of revenge
An insurance company owes a fiduciary duty to its insureds. That means an insurance company must do the things an insured (someone who has or is covered by an insurance policy) would do in his or her own best interests. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen.
For example, CNN conducted an 18 month investigation into the insurance claims practices of America's largest insurers. Not surprisingly, it found what trial lawyers have known for years, the insurance companies put their own profits over the rights of the injured people. CNN says that "profit ... is the reason companies decided to play hardball in small accidents." Watch the video:
A former Allstate and State Farm employee says that the insurance companies' strategy relies on the three D's — denying a claim, delaying settlement of the claim, and defending against the claim in court. This person says, "The profits are good, and as long as the community, the public allows this to occur, the insurance companies will get richer and people ... will not get a fair and reasonable settlement."
You can read the article "Auto insurers play hardball in minor-crash claims" by Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston by clicking here.