Fraud by Insurance Companies in Michigan
Caught in the act
The powerful insurance industry has been caught red handed engaging in the most obvious and devastating forms of fraud. Cheating policyholders. Denying valid claims in the midst of crises like home fires and medical emergencies and auto accidents knowing that most people don't have the ability or the will to fight a huge insurance carrier for years.
You buy insurance and pay the premiums. They deny your claim, keep the money and tie you up in court for years.
Such examples of insurance fraud are not just isolated instances: they are the result of written insurance corporation policy. One company even changed its own study when the Michigan Insurance Consumer Advocatecaught them fudging the numbers and overcharging drivers.
The insurance industry bets on the odds that most policyholders will 'just go away.' Insurance companies have even been caught delaying settling claims in hope that the policyholder "will just die" so the claim won't have to be paid.
The insurance industry is one of the least regulated industries in Michigan from the perspective of families and consumer protection. Insurance is not bound by anti-trust regulation that prohibits collusion and price gouging. Consumer protection laws don't apply to insurance corporations. There is currently no meaningful punishment for insurance corporations that play games with the lives of policyholders in the midst of crisis and loss.
Insurance corporations can deny valid claims knowing there are no real consequences. And so they do.
It is a David versus Goliath battle in every way.
If a policyholder is accused of cheating an insurance company it is a felony. The policyholder could face jail time. Or a $50,000 fine. But if an insurance company is caught committing fraud there are no real consequences. There is no jail time for a corporation or its CEO. If your insurance company defrauds you instead of paying for your home, or your lifesaving medical care, they just keep the money. They invest it and profit. They make interest off the profits. All while you struggle with homelessness or bankruptcy, or the lost of your business, or debilitating medical problems. The worse that can happen to the insurance company that committed the fraud is they might eventually have to pay you the money they owe you with interest [but not whatever profit they made in the bond market]. Plus the possibility of a ridiculously lax $500 fine. And even that fine is rarely --if ever-- levied.
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Insurance companies make the rules
What usually happens is that insurance companies win. They break the rules. They deny valid claims, they delay paying policyholders, and they never face consequences. They just wait for you to go away, or die, so they can keep your money.
Michigan is one of only four states that don't allow you to hold your insurance corporation responsible for defrauding you.
Insurance frauds have said that they operate in Michgian because our legal climate encourages them to come here. One scam artist running a fake insuance company was caught, but not punished. He was merely told by a court that if he did not stop selling bad insurance policies in Michigan he might face a whooping $500 fine! That is hardly a punishment when it would cost many times that much money to create a legitimate licensed insurance corporation.
Desperate judges in Michigan have acknowledged that the laws acutally allow and encourage insurance corporations to cheat their own policyholders.
Finally, that wild-west, get-out-of-jail free situation is going to change.
Michigan Lawmakers fight for accountability
A brave group of lawmakers is standing up to the powerful multinational insurance industry. They are working on changing the law to stop insurance industry fraud and to create consequences for "bad faith" behavior by insurance corporations.
Please consider taking a moment to sign the petition and demand that the insurance industry be held accountable and made to play by the rules, or punished if they don't.
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