Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 164 Times in 161 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Re: Insurance rant - How would you respond
scrathchee, you're right that an insurer can't retroactively change the terms of your policy.
But in reality? They know that 99% of all customers never read their policy. They actually pay typesetters and designers to make the policy as unreadable as possible, even when there are legal requirements about the print. There are ways to make things so damned hard to read, that you'll give up. And brokers and insurers have paid people to design their documents that way.
Then they also know that if they deny a certain number of claims, a substantial nbumber of people will accept that and not argue--even if the denial is wrong. Big article in the NYTimes about medical insurers doing that some time ago (5? 10? years) where the claims agent said they were specifically told to reject every nth claim, right or wrong, because so many wouldn't appeal the denial. Legal? No. Industry practice? Apparently.
And then there are insurers who will offer you "book" value, except, they'll also intentionally use an illegal and incorrect valuation method, even when state insurance regulations specify otherwise. "Gee, we're sorry" and they never get penalized, because the penalty would have to be shutting them down and then catch-22, there'd be no insurers left at all.
So...it is a zero-sum game, and the insurer is rarely your friend. Some are more reputable than others. A few sometimes are honest. But overall? Most of them are for-profit corporations, and they'll do whatever they think gives them the biggest profit in the shortest term.
Like Vegas, the house always wins.