This past November, despite insurance companies spending millions on the election, Washington State Votes passed the “Insurance Fair Conduct Act” which allows for treble damages against insurance companies that treat their customers in bad faith. Predictably the insurers played from the old script of threatening higher rates if they were forced to behave responsibly. Not as predictable were the voters that ratified the law, evidently tired of being mistreated by insurance companies.
“Companies (that) act in good faith are not going to have a problem, its not going to cost any more money , its not going to be any legal action and its not going to cost them treble damages because if companies deal with their customers in good faith, there is no penalty.” said Mike Kreidler, Washington State Insurance Commissioner when interviewed about Washington State Fair Claims Act.
Why would any business be against treating it’s customers fairly? One look at the profit made from institutionalized customer/claimant abuse reveals the answer.
Anderson Cooper has reported on the issue of insurance bad faith repeatedly since Hurricane Katrina, possibly because he was moved by the treatement of ordinary men and women here in Mississippi by their insurers after the storm. The following video clip is from a report on CNN on the Washington State Vote and is well worth watching. Enjoy.