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Insurance - neb i wrando
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Insurance

It's difficult these days not to have some kind of insurance, usually many kinds. Unfortunately, the insurance companies are just as bad as any other companies, and just about the worst in some ways.

There are many problems with many different types of insurance, but the worst two that I know much about are health insurance and car insurance.

Just like other public corporations, insurance companies are constantly driven to increase profits for their executives and investors. Again as in other industries, a lack of quality in the products can adversely impact customers. Unlike most other industries though, the insurance industry is capable of avoiding their obligations and allowing the financial ruin, bodily harm and even death of their customers, and they are increasingly willing to do it to save their companies money.

The health insurance companies are the ones who are responsible for the deaths of many people by taking a greater and greater role in determining what treatment their customers will or will not receive. If a patient has enough money to pay, they can get whatever they want. Most people don't have that luxury though, and must rely on insurance if they can even afford it at the high prices we have to pay now. Unfortunately the insurance companies often put investors' interests above patients' interests though, and if they can deny claims or services, many of them will do it even if it means that customers die.

Probably more common than the health insurance problems is the practice of Delay, Deny and Defend used by car insurance companies today. When a perfectly legitimate claim is made, particularly in minor injury cases, they will often delay payment, then attempt to deny the claim, often offering to settle for a small part of what they are legally obligated to pay. If the injured party refuses to accept their unreasonable terms, they will fight the claim in court as long and hard as they can, incidentally costing themselves more than they would have paid out in the claim in most cases I'm sure, but I suppose the intent is to make examples of these terrible people who want fair treatment from the companies.

Unfortunately the individuals they are fighting are usually at a great disadvantage due in no small part to the fact that they are often already in significant debt from the medical bills and other expenses the insurance company was supposed to pay for. This process can drag out for years, and even if a court finally forces the insurance company to pay the claim, it's unlikely that the plaintiff will be compensated for all of the time and expense of fighting for the money.

The government of the state of Washington finally decided that this practice was getting out of hand, and they passed a law saying that if an insurance company denies a legitimate claim and is eventually forced to pay it by a court, they will be required to pay three times the original amount plus legal costs. This is not an outrageous amount, and it should not even affect companies who fulfill their obligations.

Of course the insurance companies could not let such a horrible law stand. Since they were apparently unable to buy off the government officials, they decided to try to fool the public into taking their side. The day after it was signed, they started trying to get rid of it by getting a referendum into the next elections there as Referendum 67. Apparently their misinformation campaign got them enough signatures for the referendum, so we can only hope for the sake of the people of Washington state, and other states which might follow, that people see through the lies in time and it passes.

If you want to know more about it, check out approve67.org. If you're a Washington voter, please pay attention to this.

People always talk about insurance fraud as false claims made to insurance companies by customers, but I think it's about time to start talking about the rampant fraud perpetrated by the insurance companies against their customers.

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Current Mood: frustrated frustrated
Current Music: Murphy's Wake - McDermott's 2 Hours v Levellers

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Comments
eemfibble From: eemfibble Date: October 3rd, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if this is why I dreamt about the AFLAC people last night. They come to our office twice a year to sell supplemental insurance, and they always arrive late, saying they passed by a really horrible accident, often involving the loss of a limb. Or they talk about a relative with cancer. Or a past client they know who was out on extended disability from work because of some unforseen tragedy.
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