"The McKinsey-designed insurance strategy was major news through the 2000s. This was thanks to numerous lawsuits by both private attorneys and state officials like Foti, who went to war with Allstate and State Farm on behalf of consumers railroaded by the companies after not just auto collisions and fires, but natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes.
Book Review by Public Adjustor Jonathan F. Sadick, SPPA
"One of the questions I’ve been routinely asked over the past quarter century as a public adjuster is some variation of, “Do I believe that insurance companies intentionally shortchange insureds?”
My diplomatic reply has generally been along the lines of, “Not necessarily, although insurance carriers look for ways to minimize claim payments, while the objective of my profession is to find ways to have them maximized.” After reading a review of David Berardinelli’s book, From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves, in BusinessWeek, I probably should revise response.
Book Review: Polarizing the Case is a book for trial lawyers written by Richard Friedman, one of the most successful trial lawyers in the United States. But anyone who has ever been a victim of an insurance company’s tactics designed to deny or underpay a legitimate claim might also find it interesting.
Trial Guides believes these case values do not reflect a true state of the severity of crash injuries, but instead a failure by attorneys to fully understand the claim process and the injuries involved in these collisions. We believe it's time to face claim underpayments head on. So, as the nation's leading publishing company for plaintiff's lawyers, we asked ourselves this question. How can we radically change the way personal injury lawyers handle motor vehicle cases with one CLE?
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has named the Top 10 Worst Insurance Companies in America. In doing so, it cites Trial Guides' book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves and articles arising from publicity around that book as the basis for naming Allstate the #1 worst insurer in America.
The 29 page report has a section for each of the ten worst insurers. The section on Allstate notes at footnote 11 "There is no better analysis of [Allstate's] McKinsey documents than the book, 'From Good Hands’ to Boxing Gloves,' by David Berardinelli, Michael Freeman, and Aaron DeShaw. Many of AAJ's citations to articles about Allstate's institutional "Deny, Delay, Defend" policy cite the book as the authoritative source on Allstate's policies and procedures as well as the way they have impacted the rest of the insurance industry. These include the feature articles by BusinessWeek, Money magazine, CNN and others.
"An epidemiologist testified Tuesday that assumptions in an Allstate claims handling manual about how much force passengers endure in low-speed wrecks have no scientific basis.
“These numbers are impossible, and they are just made up,” said Michael Freeman, an epidemiologist at Oregon Health and Science University testifying in the second day of a $1.425 billion civil trial in Fayette Circuit Court challenging Allstate Insurance Co.’s claims handling practices."
The following article is published in Bloomberg Markets [Since removed from the internet] It provides one of the most comprehensive public media stories covering the serious problems in the insurance industry in America caused by programs of defense, delay and denial of claims.
The Insurance Hoax
By David Dietz and Darrell Preston
Julie Tunnell remembers standing in her debris-strewn driveway when the tall man in blue jeans approached. Her northern San Diego tudor-style home had been incinerated a week earlier in the largest wildfire in California history. The blaze in October and November 2003 swept across an area 19 times the size of Manhattan, destroying 2,232 homes and killing 15 people. Now came another blow.
The following is a post by PBS regarding its investigation into insurance claim denials and underpayments in the United States [since removed from the internet]. The story cites Trial Guides' book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves. It is accompanied by a video "Home Insurance 9-1-1" [which has also since been removed from the internet]:
In the fall of 2003, one of the largest recorded wildfires in California's history destroyed over 2,200 houses and killed fifteen people. Soon after, many who'd lost their homes had a rude awakening: their insurance did not nearly cover their losses as expected.
CNN has released a new expose on the insurance claims handling by State Farm and Allstate, titled "Auto Insurers Play Hardball in Minor-Crash Claims. The article covers the topic in Trial Guides' book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves.
The beginning of the article notes:
"If you are injured in a minor car crash, chances are good that you will be in the fight of your life to get the insurance company to pay all the medical costs you incur -- even if the accident was no fault of your own.
Below is a Transcript of CNN’s Expose on Allstate and State Farm [since removed from CNN and all web video services.] Wed., Feb. 7, 2007
Insurance companies fight paying billions in claims
"ANDERSON COOPER: Traffic accidents, of course, are a fact of life. So is dealing with insurance companies. You pay them to protect you. That’s the idea. But some accident victims say they’re being forced to settle or go to court because
the claims are denied.
We wanted to know the facts, and in a CNN investigation, we looked into
whether some big name insurers are more interested in profit than
Rules of the Road co-authors, Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone, entered a recording studio with Trial Guides audio engineer Josh Derry to record the audiobook over four days. The audiobook CD set is an unabridged reading of the book.
We recently received the following lawyer success story using Rules of the Road:
"I recently tried a bad faith case here in Kentucky that was supposed to be a very conservative jurisdiction. The judge, as well as everyone else, warned me not to turn down the offer of $300,000. We did, and the verdict was $755,000 plus $195,000 to be added for attorneys fees. Not a big verdict for California, but very respectable for here.
We recently received the following lawyer success story using the information in From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves - How Allstate Changed Casualty Insurance in America.
“David Berardinelli's book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves is an essential tool for any trial lawyer handling bad faith claims against Allstate. The book details how Allstate redesigned its claims handling process to offer policyholders a very simple choice: accept less than fair value for your claims or face a battery of lawyers and years of costly litigation.
Eugene Anderson is a pioneer in the field of insurance law, and and is an icon in the field of insurance law. He is the founding member of Anderson Kill, arguably the leading insurance coverage law firm in the United States. Gene has written several legal treatises and legal journal articles on insurance, including Insurance Coverage Litigation, the ABA Manual for Complex Insurance Coverage Litigation, and more. Some even say that Anderson's career fighting insurers was the inspiration for John Grisham’s The Rainmaker.
So, we are pleased to announce that Mr. Anderson has agreed to write the introduction to Trial Guides' upcoming book “From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves.”
Here is his introduction:
“Allstate Corp., fresh from fending off criticism about its response to policyholders affected by Hurricane Katrina, faces another potential storm, this one from an author [David J. Berardinelli] who claims the insurer is forcing policyholders to accept prompt but lower payouts or risk time-consuming and expensive litigation...The book [tells how and why] the nation´s second-largest home and auto insurer treats some policyholders with ‘boxing gloves’ during their time of financial and personal duress, rather than the reassuringly familiar “good hands” highlighted in its advertising.”
A new article by BusinessWeek titled "In Tough Hands at Allstate"
The article notes that From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves "tells the story of the key role played by management consultant McKinsey & Co. in reengineering auto insurance claims operations at Allstate Corp. (ALL ) -- and it's a story Allstate doesn't want told."
Trial Guides authors David Berardinelli and Aaron DeShaw are being interviewed by Turner Network for CNN and Money Magazine regarding Allstate Insurance's claim handling method called Claims Core Process Redesign ("CCPR").
Nationally prominent bad faith trial lawyer Rick Friedman has agreed to a multi-book, video, and audio CD series for personal injury and bad faith lawyers.
Rick Friedman has been called the insurance industries' worst nightmare. His successful career has been distinguished by multi-million dollar verdicts and precedent-setting case law. Among many of his landmark cases are the $152 million awarded to a State Farm agent in Bellott v. State Farm, $84 million awarded to a disabled doctor in Ceimo v. Paul Revere, and $16.5 million awarded to a disabled worker in Ace v. Aetna Life Insurance Company. His verdicts to date total over $300 million. Friedman is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group that limits its membership to 100 of the leading trial lawyers in the country.
"Allstate Insurance Co. is engaging in a systematic and fraudulent scheme to make obtaining fair offers for damage claims so difficult that victims accept low offers rather than pursue costly and time-consuming litigation, attorneys for a Richmond woman argued yesterday in Fayette Circuit Court..."
Approximately 70 percent of all auto insurers in the U.S. use bodily injury assessment software to determine claim value. Most of them conceal its use. The most widely used bodily injury claim software is called Colossus, but there are others also used by large insurers including Claims Outcome Advisor. Bodily injury assessment programs require specific information in order to generate claim value in a client's case.
The Colossus Forms CD provides lawyers with the legal forms necessary when dealing with modern insurance companies on personal injury cases.
Colossus: What Every Physician Needs to Know is the definitive resource for doctors who handle personal injury cases on the insurance claims process involving their patients.
The book provides physicians clear guidance on dealing with personal injury cases that will be analyzed by claims assessment software including Colossus.
Presently, nearly 70% of auto accident cases in the U.S. are evaluated by claims assessment software. The book provides physicians an insider’s view of the medical and legal defects in the programs used by 16 of the Top 20 auto insurance companies in the US.