August 30, 2010
Choosing an insurance company should not solely be based on low or high premiums, but what an insurance company does when comes time to pay out on a claim. Because, insurance companies are not in the business to payout claims; but are in business to collect premiums and deny claims. But some insurance companies take that edict a bit more seriously than others.
The AAJ came to the following conclusions about the insurance industry as a whole:
- Companies consistently put profits over policyholders. The report concludes that many insurance companies may “talk the talk”, but don’t “walk the walk.” They may advertise that your “in good hands”, are “like a good neighbor” or “provide the strength to be there”, but fall short when it comes to actually serving their customers.
- Companies continually deny, delay and defend. Insurance companies make more money when they pay out fewer claims. Obvious? Yes. Ethical? No. The industry as a whole routinely denies, delays and defends claims – all in the name of the “bottom line.”
- Profits and salaries are skyrocketing. The property/casualty and life insurance industries average $30B in profits every year. In fact, the U.S. insurance industry as a whole receives premiums of over $1 trillion with a “T” every year and has assets of $3.8 trillion.
The Chief Executive Officers CEOs of the ten insurers in the report averaged an annual salary of nearly $9 million in 2007.
Who made the list?
These ten companies were named the worst insurers in America for denying claims, raising premiums, refusing insurance to those who need it most and many other reasons:
- State Farm
- United Health
- Liberty Mutual
To learn more about what each of the above insurers did to earn a place on the list, click on the names above.
August 27, 2010
This is indeed a tragedy on several level. One that has caused a young child to be killed and further it is a tragedy that caused the death of four animals who did what their instinct and/or what their teaching told them to.
Each year more than 800,000 dog attacks causes many person to be injures, mauled or killed. It is always a tragedy but one that is preventable.
A 7-year-old boy was attacked and killed by dogs on a central Illinois farm that he was visiting Wednesday with his mother, authorities said.
Jason Walter of LaSalle was alone when he was attacked and died in the driveway of a farm outside Varna, about 30 miles northeast of Peoria, Marshall County Sheriff Rob Russell said.
The dogs, three pit bulls and a mixed breed owned by people who lived on the property, were captured and euthanized, Russell said. No charges have been filed, and there is no legal requirement to keep dogs on leashes, he said. The dogs’ bodies will undergo testing for rabies.
“It was an emotional scene,” Russell said. “Obviously, it’s a tragedy.”
August 25, 2010
Now why would the State regulatory body disallow the public access to this powerful information where information about hospitals and medical personnel can be found by consumers? This just does not make sense to me!
Illinois once provided the public with detailed histories of the states doctors — including whether the physician was convicted of a crime, fired by a hospital or forced to make a medical malpractice payment within the previous five years.Judging from online traffic, there was great hunger for that information: During the two years that they were posted, the physician profiles generated 130,000 clicks per week.But access to the profiles came to a screeching halt in February, when the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation removed them from its Web site and placed them under lock and key — the latest chapter in a long political battle that has pitted patients advocates against the states medical lobby.Now the only information available to the public is whether the regulatory agency has disciplined the doctor.
August 18, 2010
I have heard so many plaintiffs whose first issue with the doctor’s negligence is that he or she did not apologize or owned up to the error and/or did not take responsibility for the error that caused additional injury to them when under the care of their doctor or hospital. On many occasions a simple apology or taking of responsibility will restore faith and respect towards the doctor who knows about the malpractice or error he has committed. It is good to see that objective and convincing evidence provides for an alternative to reduce healthcare costs and expenses.
Nine years after it began disclosing medical errors to patients and offering to compensate them, the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) has seen its rate of malpractice litigation and total liability costs drop dramatically, according to a study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The UMHS exercise in transparency is just the sort of tort reform that President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have pushed to spare both physicians and patients long, painful slogs through the court system. The new healthcare reform law authorizes the US Department of Health and Human Services to give states 5-year grants to test alternatives to malpractice litigation that encourage disclosure of medical errors, prompt and fair resolution of disputes, and overall improvement of patient safety. The Department of Health and Human Services can begin awarding the grants next year.
The so-called disclosure-and-offer program at UHMS is not unique. Other healthcare organizations such as the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, the Lexington (Kentucky) Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and a hospital system called Catholic Healthcare West have also taken to revealing medical errors, apologizing, and offering compensation when appropriate. To some experts, such policies represent a second generation of tort reform that tries to bypass the judicial system, as opposed to refashioning it with the likes of caps on noneconomic damages.
August 18, 2010
But the accused was later cleared of any wrongdoing so why is there an issue? This is like adding insult to injury.
A company that insured Will County is fighting in court over whether it should pay the remaining amount of damages awarded to Melissa and Kevin Fox after Kevin Fox was charged with his 3-year-old daughter’s murder and jailed for eight months before being freed by DNA evidence.
A company that provided liability insurance for Will County is fighting in court against paying the remaining damages awarded to Melissa and Kevin Fox after Kevin Fox was charged with his 3-year-old daughter’s murder and jailed for eight months before being freed by DNA evidence.
In April, an appeals court agreed with a federal jury’s 2007 finding that Will County police framed Kevin Fox for the 2004 murder of his daughter, Riley. The court awarded $8 million to the Foxes, which includes compensatory and punitive damages.
August 17, 2010
It would have been a mistake to think that the healthcare debate was over, at least for a little while. Evidently, debate rages on the meaning of some of the terms used… Stay tuned!
The healthcare reform law requires that, starting in 2011, insurance companies’ medical loss ratios — the ratio of an insurance company’s spending on healthcare for policyholders to its revenues — must be 85% or higher in large-group markets and 80% or higher in individual and small-group markets.The Department of Health and Human Services asked the NAIC to propose specifics for the medical loss ratio, and that definition was due by June 1. The NAIC missed that deadline and explained to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that it needed more time to figure out a formula that wouldn't harm the insurance market.Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act PPACA stated that federal taxes would be excluded from the formula used to calculate the medical loss ratio, the NAIC, the insurance industry, members of Congress, and others, are locked in a debate about what, exactly, constitutes a “federal tax.”Ultimately, HHS will have the final say.
August 13, 2010
I often come across this issue in cases where a client has been followed by a videographer for sometime to catch him in acts that he claims he cannot do. This is a real issue and can hurt a case or even destroy it if not dealt with properly. Often, I have seen, the videos the insurance company is attempting to use have been highly edited.
In fact, in one deposition the videographer admitted to the fact that the insurance company had instructed him to not film any instances that may give credence to the fact that the person was in fact injured–that is he was to turn the camera off if we could clearly see the person in pain or having difficulty doing his day to day activities.
Fighting fraud is a legitimate goal. Fraud hurts both the insurance companies and also the legitimate victims of injury who not only will have to prove their claim but will also have to prove the legitimacy of their claim–which adds to the burden of proof they already carry and is becoming more and more difficult each day.
An insurance company is paying Langford, a private investigator, to follow a man who is drawing workers compensation checks after claiming he hurt his back at work.
On this mid-June day, Langford watched him leave a doctor's appointment in West Ashley and drive to a downtown Charleston restaurant for several hours. The PI’s wife and business partner, Laurie, sits in a sport-utility vehicle that’s parked out of sight a few blocks away, listening to him speak through a black device planted in his ear.
“It isn’t like he’s going to work,” he remarks of the man he is tailing.
The Langfords, both retired New York City police officers, say they’re increasingly asked to run surveillance on people who are trying to extract money from insurance companies. Representatives are referring an increasing number of suspicious cases to insurance fraud watchdog agencies, while national numbers show that certain types of suspicious insurance activity have fluctuated since the economic downtown began.
August 13, 2010
I am with the reader in his view about the reader’s comment on almost any article, blog or news. The comments are generally misinformed, fail to take into account facts, confuse facts with fiction, and generally, are useless soundbites.
At least the blog here is cleaning up some miss-conceptions about malpractice lawsuits and the non-existent frivolous lawsuits.
I’ve read similar comments on other articles about lawsuits that have been filed. There are a few good reasons why the commenters are wrong.
First, the time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois is generally two years from the date of a death (one year if it’s against a Government facility). So while a lawsuit can technically be filed at any time, they had up until two years to do it. You will find that many cases are filed right before the deadline.
Which leads us to the second reason. Before filing suit, it is common practice to try and negotiate a settlement. Why spend all of the money on a lawsuit if you can negotiate out of court. That saves you a ton of money on expert fees as well as the extensive work it takes to go to trial. That may or may not have happened here. I suspect it's more likely reason number three which is . . .
Putting together a medical malpractice lawsuit takes a ton of time. On average it takes at least six months to pull a case together. If the family was grieving and didn’t approach a lawyer for a few months (very typical) then their malpractice attorneys would have even less time to get ready.