Occupy Insurance Companies!

I call on the protesters across America to focus on some of the worse abusers of power: insurance companies.

Legislators do nothing to control them. Yet they routinely rip off thousands of people damaged in motor vehicle collisions –and brazenly pocket billions of dollars they collect from their policyholders when they refuse to pay claims.

The Dallas Morning News investigated this problem in the article on its front page yesterday. Its reporter talked to the leading state official in charge of policing the insurance companies, House Insurance Committee Chairman John Smithee, R-Amarillo. He claimed he had growing concerns about certain insurers who regularly refuse to pay claims in which their policyholders are at fault. “I get calls about this all the time,” he admitted.

So why doesn’t he/the Legislature do something to stop these rampant abuses?

Why was Old American County Mutual Insurance Company allowed to illegally rescind hundreds of auto policies from 2005 – 2009 after claims were filed and not pay any money to injured drivers, even though hundreds of complaints were filed with TDI?

One reason is that these companies are huge and have plenty of money to hire influential lobbyists in Austin. State Farm Insurance alone paid $510,000 to lobby state representatives and the auto insurance industry paid up to $12,5000 to make sure that consumer friendly legislation was gutted.

Alex Winslow, the head of Texas Watch, a consumer protection group, noted that the unethical companies have an advantage because they undercut regular insurers on price largely because of the claims payment practices.

“The business model is they drag their feet and make it as difficult as possible for the claimant to collect in hopes they will take a low-ball offer or give up,” WInslow said.

These carriers received the most complaints from Texas drivers: Old American County Mutual, Fred Loya, AAA Texas County Mutual, Home State County Mutual and Southern County Mutual.

I call on the state legislature to curb these renegade insurance carriers and make auto liability companies pay the damages their policyholders cause to innocent drivers.

In the meantime, hire an aggressive board certified injury attorney and get the results you are entitled to.

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