I read a recent Appellate Court decision involving Mercury Insurance and its handling of a first party claim of one of their own insureds. What was surprising is that in this case, the Justices of the Appellate Court in California said what I and all of my colleagues have known for years about insurance company abuse of its claimants and policy holders for years. in the case of Amerigraphics, Inc. v. Mercury Casualty Company, LASC Case number B208654, the Court stated in its opinion, “We have little trouble in this case concluding that there was more than substantial evidence to support an award of punitive damages. The evidence showed that Mercury was intentionally dishonest and showed a conscious disregard of Amerigraphic’s rights…. Mercury’s handling of the printer and scanner was similarly despicable.”
Insurance companies have tremendous power. If they are willing to use that power against the interests of their own insureds, to the point where a Court would characterize their conduct as despicable, how do you expect them to treat everybody else?