The U.S. insurance industry is an economic dynamo. It has trillions of dollars in assets, rakes in over $30 billion in profits annually, and pays its CEOs more than any other industry. But in an effort to boost their bottom lines ever further, many insurance companies seek to pay as few claims as possible, or the smallest amounts possible. They’re not beyond employing unethical tactics, either.
One of the tricks of the trade is simply denying perfectly valid claims. In some instances, employees are rewarded for successfully denying claims; other employees are booted because they didn’t.
Delaying claims is a favorite strategy of many insurance companies. Some claimants become frustrated and just give up. In a particular act of callousness, some long-term-care insurers take advantage of a policyholder’s age and/or poor health. If they delay a claim long enough, the policyholder will die and they’re off the hook.
Some healthcare insurers cancel policies retroactively or rescind the policies of clients of whose conditions have become expensive to treat—a potentially devastating turn of events for a client and their family.
Although more than half of states have what are called “plain English” laws, incomprehensible, convoluted language used in contracts is still a problem and serves to confuse and undercut policyholders. Consumers believe they have proper coverage; technically speaking they don’t. Bottom line: A financial crisis ensues.
Insurance adjusters may be friendly and polite, but they are not your friend. Their first allegiance is to their employer, not consumers. If you have a claim against an insurance company, contact an insurance-claims attorney to protect your rights.