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Insurance Companies are Not Your Friends

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Insurance Companies are Not Your Friends

I’m Paul Meissner and I’m the senior managing partner of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett and I want to talk to you for just a minute or so about insurance and insurance companies. Goods hands, good neighbors, acting responsibly, etc., all millions of dollars spent over a long period of time for years to drill into your brain that the insurance companies are your friend. I say to you, talk to anybody who has been injured, disabled, or whose property has been lost in a hurricane or another natural disaster. Talk to someone who has had to deal with an insurance company in terms of making a claim for payment against that insurance company. They are more likely than not going to tell you that their best friend was not their insurance company but in fact was their lawyer. Insurance companies operate for profit, their whole existence. Their performance is measured by collecting the most in premiums that they can legally collect and that the market will bear and by paying as little out in claims as they can.

Ask yourself what is more fair: armies of lawyers available to multinational and multimillion dollar corporations who are on call 24/7 and who are paid for every second or every minute that they work for the insurance company, or is it lawyers who are paid only if they prevail on behalf of their client? Who is more motivated to work more aggressively and efficiently? Who do you think is the more inventive and imaginative one? The longer an insurance company delays payment, even if payment is ultimately inevitable, the more that company makes. Lawyers to them are a cost of doing business and those cost amounts are factored into the cost of their premium. How do you think an adjuster’s performance is evaluated? By paying or not paying a claim. How do insurance companies evaluate their lawyers? By quick resolution of the claim or delay or denial of payment for the claim.