To those of us who represent personal injury clients, this story is no surprise at all. It’s all a part of the phony “tort reform” movement that has swept the country in recent years. But the Raleigh News & Observer has an interesting article on the subject. Here are excerpts:
A new study produced by consumer and public-interest groups claims insurance companies create periodic crises to drive up profits.
The Americans for Insurance Reform study says these crises, where coverage becomes unaffordable or unavailable, are known as “hard markets,” sending premiums sky-high. Authors of the study further claim the insurance industry uses these supposedly manufactured crises to support their calls for “tort reform” – asking legislators for new laws making it more difficult to sue.
Sound familiar? North Carolina’s General Assembly passed legislation this year restricting the ability of people who claim they have been injured to seek compensation through the courts.
The report, titled “Repeat Offenders: How the Insurance Industry Manufactures Crises and Harms America,” also concludes the country has been in a soft market since 2006, with rates stable and dropping in every state. Now, according to the report, some in the insurance industry are using Hurricane Irene to justify jacking up rates, even though the storm wasn’t as bad as predicted.