My goodness, who would have ever guessed that an insurance company might use underhanded tricks to avoid paying money to deserving policyholders making claims?
But it looks as if Farmers may have done just that in Hawaii. Here is the opening paragraph of a story from the American Association for Justice:
Seven former Farmers Insurance policyholders have sued the carrier in Hawaii state court for engaging in a bad-faith scheme—they allege that the company used a biased doctor to deny auto injury claims and terminate policies without examining or interviewing the plaintiffs or conferring with their treating physicians. Plaintiff attorneys say that bad-faith scams are common, especially in auto injury claims involving personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, an extension of car insurance that covers medical expenses and in some cases, lost wages. (Major v. Farmers Ins. Hawaii Inc., No. 13-c-2585-09 KTN)
The policyholders sued Farmers’ Hawaii division and its senior claims adjuster for breach of contract, bad faith, fraud and misrepresentation, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair business practices, and violating Hawaii’s no-fault law. They allege the defendants paid Christopher Brigham—a doctor with a local and national reputation for being biased in favor of the insurance carriers that hire him—substantial fees to write reports that Farmers then used to terminate the plaintiffs’ insurance coverage after they filed auto injury claims.
They say that Brigham, who was not named in the lawsuit, wrote the medical reports without examining or interviewing the policyholders and without communicating with any treating physicians. The plaintiffs seek an injunction permanently enjoining the defendants from using this “biased record review” as a basis for denying or terminating PIP benefits.