Washington, DC—Two years after Hurricane Katrina decimated the homes of thousands of Gulf Coast residents, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) today released a report exposing how insurance companies systematically denied paying policyholders fair and just claims following this and other natural disasters.
The report—Pattern of Greed 2007: How Insurance Companies Put Profits over Policyholders—reveals how insurers collected billions in premiums from policyholders and then stiffed them in their time of greatest need. Shockingly, in the two years since the nation’s worst natural disaster, insurance companies have reaped more $100 billion in profits.
The AAJ called on insurance regulators to immediately initiate investigations into companies that continue to unfairly delay and deny thousands of unresolved claims in light of the obscene profits insurers have pocketed over the past two years. A special AAJ website “People over Profits” will also enable citizens to contact their state officials with the same demand.
To view the report, click here.
“While the insurance industry is enjoying record profits, thousands of people continue to live in FEMA trailers and other temporary housing, waiting for their policies to be honored,” said AAJ CEO Jon Haber. “It is a sad and shocking fact that after every natural disaster insurance companies adopt a pattern of delaying and denying the payment of just and fair claims. We urge state governors and insurance commissioners to investigate this outrageous behavior and take action against it.”
The report reveals that Hurricane Katrina is just the most recent example of insurance companies putting profits over policyholders. Facing their darkest hour, even those who had insurance have found themselves victimized a second time by companies that offered pennies on the dollar, refusing to honor many agreements and pay policyholders’ fair claims. Meanwhile, insurance companies continue to pull in record profits each year, having posted $100 billion in profits since Hurricane Katrina.
“Time after time when a major disaster strikes, Big Insurance puts its profits ahead of its policyholders” Haber added. “No region of our country is immune from natural disasters, so every American is at risk of being victimized by their insurance company as we have seen after hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes. The insurance industry’s denial of fair and just claims to Katrina victims should be a wake-up call for all Americans.”