You are in your car running an errand for your job, when all of a sudden a pickup truck crosses the
centerline from the other direction and smashes into you. The accident is catastrophic. You are seriously
injured and left in a coma.When you wake nine days later you have multiple broken bones, collapsed lungs,
and are destined to spend the next few agonizing months under constant care.
And then comes the real kick in the teeth. The insurance company denies your claim. They claim the
driver who caused the crash acted in a moment of deliberate road rage, and so the accident was not an
“accident.” Your hospital bills pile up, you are too injured to go back to work, you are left without a driveable vehicle and your insurance company has deserted you. This is now happening every day in Texas and Oklahoma.
For 60-year-old Ethel Adams, that nightmare scenario became a horrifying reality.
She had a $2 million policy with a subsidiary of insurance giant Farmers, the nation’s third largest
personal lines insurance group. However, the company denied her claim under the tortured logic that it was
never an “accident.” “The insurance companies say they’re here to protect people,” said a wheelchair-bound Adams during the battle with Farmers, “but then when you need them most, they do something like this.” Ms. Adams eventually won after retaining an attorney to help her in this fight.
[Farmers] even ran an employee incentive program, “Quest for Gold,” that offered incentives, including $25 gift certificates and pizza parties, to adjusters who met low payment goals. One Farmers’ executive told claims
representatives to stop paying claims, saying, “Teach them to say, ‘Sorry, no more,’ with a toothy grin and
Farmers was by no means the only insurance company systematically denying claims. Some of the
nation’s biggest insurance companies—Allstate, AIG, and State Farm among others—have earned reputations as unlawful, aggressive claims cutters in an attempt to boost their bottom lines. Allstate gave employees who denied valid claims rewards such as portable fridges, and used a “boxing gloves” approach to policyholders who refused to accept lowball offers. When AIG units lost money, former CEO Maurice Greenberg would put in place new teams of staff to systematically reject thousands of valid claims. State Farm went so far as to engage in fraud to deny claims. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, which killed 57 people, injured 9,000, and caused an estimated $33.8 billion in damage, company officials forged signatures on waivers of earthquake coverage to avoid paying quake-related claims.
Things are even worse at fly-by night insurance companies like Fred Loya, US Auto, and ACCC. The horror stories from these companies (who cater to the uninsurable market) is unbelievable. How these companies are allowed to stay in business and avoid the axe from the State Insurance Commissions is unimaginable and inexcusable.
That is why it is important to contact Altman Legal Group so that justice can prevail against these types of outrageous daily behaviors of the insurance industry.