A former claims adjuster supervisor at Allstate Insurance testified in a first-party bad faith case in Kentucky that Allstate strong-armed injury victims and bullied them into taking less than the fair value for their personal injury cases. According to the former Allstate manager, the company changed its paradigm in 1995 and created a “dehumanizing process” where the only goal was maximizing profits.
The former Allstate employee made a few other claims of note. First, if Colossus, the computer program that evaluates the value of personal injury claims, came out with a value not to Allstate’s liking, the adjusters would manipulate the data so it produces a lower figure. The adjusters who paid out too much were punished in their evaluations. This adjuster also testified, as I have written about in the past, that Allstate keeps track of which plaintiff personal injury lawyers will go to trial and who settles for the best possible offer.
I’m sure these allegations are true. But Allstate is hardly the only insurance company that puts profits first and tries to pay as little as possible, nor is it the most egregious practitioner of this art. Insurance companies by their inherent nature are good at accepting premiums and bad at playing claims. Bobby Kennedy, one of my idols, said, “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and say why not?” When it comes to insurance companies,
I am no Bobby Kennedy. I don’t even bother to ask why, nor do I take great umbrage at their tactics, even with bad faith laws. It is what it is and it will not change. Thankfully, in the adversarial system, there are remedies to the insurance companies’ refusal to pay fair value on claims.