Follow up: Insurance Companies Earn Record Profits While They Fight Paying Billions in Injury Claims

Keeping them honest
Insurance Battle.
CNN Anderson Cooper 360

In the end, insurance-industry backed Reject 67 Campaign raised $11.5 million in an attempt to defeat the ballot measure, shattering state records on the most money ever spent to defeat a ballot measure in Washington.

Insurance giants like Allstate, State Farm, Safeco and Farmers have poured more than $8 million into the referendum battle [...] to convince voters to reject a law passed earlier this year that could force insurers to pay up to triple damages and lawyer fees if they fail to pay a legitimate claim and then lose in court.

Contrasted to the record shattering $11.5 million spent by insurance industry for their Reject 67 media campaign, the Support R67 only raised $1.4 million.

New Laws Rein In Insurance Companies:

Washington State Referendum 67

Colorado State Legislature House Bill 08-1407

Washington state passed a law earlier in 2007 greatly empowering an accident victim if their insurance company didn't offer a legitimate settlement. The insurance industry attempted to use the referendum process to strike the new 2007 law down, but the public of Washington supported the referendum which increased penalties on insurance companies that fail to offer a fair settlement within a reasonable time frame as well as paying for attorney fees,

My colleague, Colorado personal injury lawyer Brian Weiss, wrote this article about a new Colorado law taking effect August 6, 2008 that is also emposing stricter penalty on unreasonable delay and denial of insurance claims.

In my previous article, chronicling the tactics of insurance companies using "deny, delay and and defend," I mentioned the Washington State law was up against a November 2007 referendum.

The story of the referendum battle is what follows below. It is an interesting story and again reinforces why you need a personal injury lawyer if you have been seriously injured.

The media coverage of the Washington State Referendum decision largely poses trial attorneys against the insurance industry efforts to Reject R-67. This You Tube video captures some of the media attention that was building in Washington shortly before the vote in November 2007: Lawyers, insurance companies take sides on R-67.

Referendum 67 applies to auto, home, and liability insurance claims when insurance companies act in bad faith by denying or delaying legitimate insurance claims. The referendum requires insurance companies to settle legitimate insurance claims or face triple damages and attorney fees if the injured has to go to court to sue to recover damages.

In the end, corporate insurance profit interests did not win out due to the support R67 had from its grass roots public support.

The original CNN Anderson Cooper broadcast of the insurance industry tactics and record profits that insurance companies have been making by the deliberate business profit motivated tactic of, "deny, delay, defend," sums up why it's necessary to consult with an Oregon personal injury lawyer if you have been injured or in an accident before you speak to the insurance company in order to protect your rights. The original Cooper / CNN report is available on my website courtesyYou Tube Video.

Andersoon Cooper followed up on the of insurance company record profits and business tactics of, "deny, delay, defend," story with "Keeping Them Honest" which covers the story of Washington State's insurance industry reform attempt in February 2007 and the referendum R67 insurance companies poured money into Washington state in order to fight the new tougher insurance penalties for "bad faith" laws passed by the state's legislature.

In 2008, Colorado State Legislature has also increased the punishment on insurance companies if they fail to award a reasonable settlement offer in a timely manner; this new law goes into effect in Colorado August 6, 2008.

Both Washington State and Colorado have included attorney fees in these new tougher laws.

If you missed the first part of the Anderson Cooper investigative, you can find it on You Tube or on my site at my previous article on the insurance company record profits and business tactics.