Chicago, IL (PRWEB) May 14, 2006
The personal injury lawyers who sponsor the Total Injury website at http://www.TotalInjury.com have long known that insurance companies have only one motive—to protect their own profits. This experience isn’t unique to the attorneys who work with Total Injury. A book by attorney David Berardinelli, due out this summer, demonstrates just how widespread, and how calculated, the problem is. In From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves, Berardinelli exposes the results of—and the motivation behind—Allstate’s radical redesign of its claim processing procedures in 1995.
Interestingly, one of the key points in the Allstate plan, which is still in effect today, was to actively discourage claimants from retaining personal injury attorneys. That’s a sure sign that insurance companies are well aware that they’ll end up paying more in claims if victims have attorneys than if those claimants go it alone.
When a claimant doesn’t have an attorney and doesn’t know the law, the insurance company has much more power to provide inaccurate or incomplete information and to control the terms of the settlement. That’s why the resources at http://www.TotalInjury.com are designed to educate personal injury victims, and to help them get advice from experience personal injury attorneys.
Total Injury provides specific tips on dealing with insurance companies at http://www.TotalInjury.com/insurance_companies.asp. The best piece of advice on that issue, though, is “let an attorney do it for you!” The information that Bernardinelli obtained, under court order, from Allstate shows a pervasive system of reducing payments to claimants as part of a successful effort to decrease the percentage of premium dollars paid back out in claims.
According to Bernadinelli, the new system met with initial resistance from experienced claims adjusters, and so a new “performance measure” was adopted that forced claims adjusters to see policyholders who resisted early, low-ball settlements as obstacles to achieving good job performance evaluations. Even more disturbingly, McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm that designed this program for Allstate and presented it to company executives with slides including one encouraging “boxing gloves” treatment for claimants who didn’t follow the program, is believed to have provided similar consulting services for other major insurance carriers, including Farmers Insurance Group, USAA, State Farm, and Fireman’s Fund