This story is part of a very good series in the Kansas City Star about consumer complaints for auto, heath and homeowners insurance. It’s long as newspaper stories go, but worth the read. (Warning: you may encounter a registration pop-up, especially if you try to open other stories in the series). The computer research done by the reporters is impressive and comprehensive, and in a nutshell, they found that most of the time consumer complaints are found valid, at least in part.
I loved the anecdotes in the story about outrageous insurance company decisions. This got me to thinking, is there any one of us who doesn’t have some kind of outrage to tell about an insurance company? Mine is this one: some years ago my wife went to a routine health appointment, and one of those health care management companies was in charge of reviewing and approving bills. For some reason, they refused to pay $120 for a test, even though there was no question it was covered, and this went on for almost two years. Finally, one of the company’s employees, who was leaving for another job, called me and told me the real reason: the worker in charge of approving payment decided he didn’t like me or my wife, and routinely denied the claim out of spite every time it came in. I wrote a blistering letter to the president of the company threatening various lawsuits and complaints to regulators, and the check arrived in about two weeks, along with perhaps the most illiterate letter — apparently written personally by the president — I have seen since I left fourth grade.