Close bond between insurance commissioners and insurers negatively affects policy holders.
What on the outside appear to be simple meetings with State Department of Insurance employees and insurance companies, has individuals worried that these engagements are actually being used to persuade regulators to approve increased premiums.
Perhaps most tellingly, insurance companies are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars developing meetings at prime vacation spots where regulators have access to free meals and other privileges.
It appears that close relationships between state insurance commissioners and insurers are the leading reason why consumers are at greater risk of unfair treatment.
Have you been treated unfairly by your insurance provider? Let Millin & Millin Attorneys advocate on your behalf and help you take advantage of your legal rights.
How are consumers affected?
Throughout the nation, insurers have played an influential role in the decisions of insurance commissioners, and while state commissioners are supposed to regulate the insurance industry fairly and protect policyholders, it appears that insurance companies have corrupted the system.
For example, an Arkansas case in 2008 involved an insurance commissioner who failed to comply to state standards, and showed little understanding of a hospital’s billing complaint.
After countless interactions with UnitedHealthcare lawyers and lobbyists, the Arkansas insurance commissioner decided to grant the case in favor of the insurance giant. The ultimate decision, and dishonest behavior of the state commissioner, saved UnitedHealthcare millions of dollars.
But the nation, as well as policyholders, faces a deeper concern as matters worsen. According to the Center For Public integrity, 6 percent of the annual revenues collected by insurance departments were spent on regulation.
This puts both a policyholder and the nation in general in economic distress. For example, a consumer is placed in a position of vulnerability, as insurance companies will potentially try to utilize social media to gain personal data about a customer.
This means that an insurer can adjust a policyholder’s premium to reflect a customer’s lifestyle.
Furthermore, insurance companies are economic development engines in many states, so a lack of political fortitude by regulators could place them in financial hardship.
Life after an insurance commissioner role.
The countless gatherings and powerful relationships that are developed between insurers and insurance commissioners usually are not in vain. In fact, these relationships build solid foundations and pathways for employment opportunities for former regulators who sometimes resign from their position before their term has been completed.
According to the Center For Public integrity, half of the 109 insurance regulators that resigned from their term obtained an employment opportunity with the industry they used to regulate.
There is no doubt that insurance commissioners were thinking about their future and no one else’s.
At Millin & Millin Attorneys, we understand how horrible it is to be victimized by a corrupt and unjust industry. If you have been the victim of bad faith insurance practices, then let us take the required measures that will help you gain the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys service the McAllen metro area and surrounding Rio Grande Valley cities.