Motorists across the country have many auto insurance companies to choose from when seeking coverage for their cars. There are several large, well-known insurers that advertise broadly, as well as smaller companies that are not so well known. Recent research shows that some of the biggest and best-known companies actually receive more than their share of customer complaints and might not be the best choice for drivers seeking good coverage. If you have a claim against any of the companies listed below, the services of an attorney are strongly recommended if you hope to get a fair settlement.
Common Insurance Customer Complaints
Like any other for-profit business, an insurance company has a duty to its shareholders to make profits, which it does by setting high premium rates, collecting monthly payments, and paying out as little as possible in insurance claims. Using this formula, insurance companies across the U.S. bring in more than one trillion dollars yearly in revenue. This means they’re very good at collecting premiums but not so good at paying out claims. It’s no surprise that the most common complaints from insurance company policyholders have to do with the handling of insurance claims. Complaints about unacceptably low settlement offers are the most common, followed by complaints about settlement delays.
Five of the Worst Insurance Companies in the U.S.
According to the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the worst car insurers in the U.S. include the following five companies:
- Allstate. The “good hands” company actually encourages an adversarial relationship between its adjusters and its policyholders. This means adjusters are trained to deny policyholders’ claims or to make lowball settlement offers that are not sufficient to cover the expenses of a customer who’s been hurt in an accident. Allstate also intentionally uses “legalese” and complex insurance jargon in its policies to confuse policyholders, who are often led to believe they have comprehensive coverage when they actually don’t. Allstate’s CEO earns more than $16 million per year.
- Unum. This well-known insurer, which commonly delays and denies its policy holders’ claims, has been the target of investigations in more than one state and has been labeled an “outlaw corporation” by the California Insurance Commission. In one case tried before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Unum was found to have denied the claim of an injured man whose doctor gave him strict orders not to return to work. Unum’s adjusters insisted the man was well enough to resume his employment, despite his physician’s restrictions. Unum also denied the claim of one of its own employees who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. After three years of denials, the employee finally hired an attorney and managed to get a fair settlement. Unum’s CEO earns nearly $10 million annually.
- AIG. The world’s largest insurer’s company policies include built-in obstacles that work against claimants. AIG’s systems are set up to deny as many claims as possible, regardless of their validity. Its lawyers have been sanctioned by the courts for violating the rules of discovery and other procedural regulations. AIG’s CEO earns nearly $20 million per year.
- State Farm. The “good neighbor” company makes more money than any other U.S. insurer, and it does not do so by paying legitimate claims fairly. It has been accused of forging policyholders’ signatures on earthquake insurance waivers after the policyholders have been damaged by earthquakes so that it will not have to pay damage claims. State Farm is also alleged to have changed engineers’ reports on damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, depriving flood-stricken policyholders of benefits they desperately needed after their property was destroyed by the storm. State Farm’s CEO earns an annual salary of $8.5 million per year.
- Anthem. Formerly known as Wellpoint, this company has been penalized by the government for denying claims and unfairly canceling coverage of chronically ill policyholders. It has also been accused of seeking confidential information from doctors about patients’ pre-existing conditions that might be used as excuses for not paying claims. Anthem’s CEO earns more than $15 million annually.
Do You Have a Claim Against an Unscrupulous Insurer That Wants to Deny You or Cancel Your Coverage?
An experienced car accident attorney can help you fight for ethical treatment and a fair settlement. Contact us online or call us at 540-341-0007 to schedule your free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.