Unfair Insurance Practices
Protecting policyholders from unlawful sales tactics
Consumers purchase insurance for peace of mind in the event something unexpected happens—a natural disaster, an accident, an injury, or an illness—and believe they are covered. Unfortunately, insurance companies often do not pay what they promised. This may be a violation of their contract and is against the law.
Cut through the confusion.
Insurance policies covering your home, car, health, and life are complicated. Our attorneys are qualified to review policies and litigate against insurance companies when benefits have been denied, minimized, or sold with misleading or discriminatory practices. We work to help you to receive the coverage you purchased.
Borrowers receive forced-placed insurance when they fail to maintain insurance, the lender purchases insurance (referred to as force-placed), and then overcharges the borrower. This lender force-placed insurance covers less and costs much more, and often generates kickbacks to the lender. Often, the borrower must also pay other improper charges.
Jim Pietz and Joe Kravec were co-lead counsel representing approximately 550,000 California homeowners against American Security Insurance Company (ASIC) for placing duplicative hazard insurance coverage and charging homeowners for this unnecessary coverage. In 2011, the case settled for class-wide relief valued at $86 million, including prospective relief in the form of reduced premiums. Wahl v. American Security Insurance Company, 2010 WL 1881126 (N.D. Cal.).
Deceptive Sales Tactics and Policies
Deceptive sale tactics resulted in recovery for classes of victims involving replacement policies, vanishing premiums, and other sales schemes. When insurers sell policies without disclosing the true cost, consumers purchase deceptive policies.
See Guthrie v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company, No. 3:21-cv-04688-WHO; Varacallo v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, 226 F.R.D. 207 (D. N.J. 2005) and 752 A.2d 807 (N.J. App. Div. 2000); Gaidon v. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and Russo v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, 96 N.Y.2d 201 (2001); In Re Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Sales Practices Litigation, 1999 WL 33957897 (W.D.Pa.); Cope v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 696 N.E. 2d 1001 (Ohio 1998); and Richard v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (a/k/a In re Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Policyholders Litigation),707 A.2d 512 (Pa. 1998).
Employee Health and Disability Insurance
Employer-provided health insurance plans are written in long contracts that most employees never see. Many do not notice when the insurers make mistakes, miscalculate premiums, or intentionally charge more than permitted by law.
Short- and long-term disability insurance are benefits that no one plans to need. However, if you become ill or injured, you need and deserve that coverage. Claims are often denied even when you have medical evidence that proves your disability.
Our attorneys help employees who work in many different fields who have complex medical conditions to obtain long- and short-term disability benefits.
Preserving patient access to affordable health insurance as a right and an obligation for most Americans was provided by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010.
Insurance providers sometimes do not comply with the laws. They do not pay hospitals and other medical providers; terminate or fail to renew providers’ participation agreements for illegitimate or discriminatory reasons; deny coverage; alter the terms of coverage; or deny reimbursement for medical services to patients and providers; do not cover women’s contraceptive and family-planning services; and deny benefits under health plans and cancer insurance policies.