GreatMinnesota.com/blog contains latest information about business & economy, finance, education & training, employment, travel & transportation, shopping in Minnesota.
 
Home    |    About Us    |    Contact Us    |    Link To Us    |    Disclaimer    |    Privacy Policy    |    Submit Site
 

Archive for November, 2007

Minnesotans Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs

Monday, November 26th, 2007

A growing coalition, called Minnesotans Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs is working to convince the Legislature to reject these ill-conceived bills. Minnesotans Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs is a broad-based coalition of consumers and taxpayers, businesses and civic groups. The group aims to send a strong message to the Legislature that consumers deserve to be protected from fraud, higher insurance costs and frivolous lawsuits. These Double Lawsuit bills were written by personal injury lawyers for the sole benefit of personal injury lawyers. If passed, these bills will result in a massive increase in the number of lawsuits filed, drastically increase costs for consumers and their insurance companies and give personal injury attorneys double the chance to win big fees on a single case. The consequences of these bills are far reaching and will affect every policyholder in Minnesota causing higher costs for virtually ALL lines of insurance, including auto, homeowners, general liability, etc. Good drivers will be punished as their insurance rates rise, even if no claim is filed. In fact, when similar law was in effect in California (it was later reversed by the California Supreme Court and then rejected by voters), a California study showed that these types of laws can drive up auto insurance premiums as much as 14.5 percent. Homeowners will face higher costs and an increased threat of lawsuits for such a thing as an accident on their property.

A very common example that can happen anytime that can initiate double lawsuit bills:

You are a homeowner and a neighbor is invited onto your property and slips and injures themselves. That neighbor might then hire a personal injury attorney to sue you for damages. Your insurance company steps in to assess the injury and may offer to cover the medical bills for the injured party as well as pay for pain and suffering.

However, under these proposed laws, instead of accepting the settlement, the other party’s attorney sees an opportunity to get more money and they file two separate lawsuits (one against you and another one against your insurance company) costing far more than what the insurance company deemed to be fair based on its investigation. These extremely costly, multiple lawsuits provide powerful incentives for filing frivolous lawsuits or fraudulent claims. The only real benefit goes to the lawyers who stand to gain much higher attorney fees.

Virtually every insurance policyholder in Minnesota will suffer the negative consequences of these self-serving bills. Written by personal injury lawyers to benefit themselves, these laws would allow two separate lawsuits for a single claim. The lawyers behind or supporting these bills stand to make millions of dollars by threatening to file multiple lawsuits, forcing consumers and their insurance companies into huge out-of-court settlements to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation.

This will drastically raise insurance costs for everyone and increase the number of lawsuits filed in our already strained court system. Minnesota consumers deserve better and should demand that legislators reject these bills.