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Home > Blog > Out Out Damn Insurers
Out of Our Minds
Monday, July 19, 2004 9:57 AM
Out Out Damn Insurers
Kevin Salwen on Business

In the past 24 hours, I have learned about the house crises of two friends. In one case, the city sewer system backed up into his home, pouring gallons of water (and other less savory stuff) onto his floors, destroying thousands of dollars of rugs, warping hardwood floors and ruining baseboards. In the other case, the ceiling above a friend's condo living room collapsed in a plume of sheetrock and plaster.

Both of these incidents are weeks old. And in both cases, the insurance companies are fighting the claims, contending that someone else should be liable for the damages. The homeowners fume, consult lawyers, spend their precious time, energy and money. The insurance companies take a 'just say no' tack. Of course, the obvious question is why the companies feel they need to run their businesses that way. It seems that every 10 minutes on TV there's an ad for an insurer who comes to some homeowner's aid. But in real life, it's a strategy of stonewall and procrastinate.

I find though that what bugs me most is that the companies are acting with a guilty-until-proven-innocent philosophy. Come to think of it, isn't that what so many companies do to their employees -- presume the worst until proven otherwise? Maybe that's what wrong with so much of corporate America.


3 comments

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Marie - 7/20/2004 12:58:42 AM
I've seen where some insurance companies have a philosophy of litigate-litigate-litigate at any cost. There should be a way for the insurance companies to pay the claims and then go after the 'real culprits' after the fact. I suppose, contractually, they're precluded from doing that.

Everything is turned upside down. You're right about the guilty until proven innocent thing. But, there's another thing, and I haven't quite figured out what's going on, but somehow it goes along side what you're talking about. And, that's elected officials seem to be forgetting who they're working for. (I realize that's not where you were going with this, but I just wanted to throw that in.)

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