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Insult to Injury: Insurance, Fraud, and the Big Business of Bad Faith Hardcover – 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bourhis continues his commitment to justice by taking on the insurance industry and criminal fraud in this compelling case study. -- Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Painstakingly documented, hilarious, and insightful. A seething indictment of the out-of-control insurance industry. -- Amy Bach, Executive Director, United Policyholders

What happened to Joan Hangarter is a grave injustice… Readers of this book should urge their representatives to reform ERISA. -- John Garamendi, Insurance Commissioner, State of California

About the Author

Ray Bourhis was involved with the Domestic Peace Corps in his post-collegiate years, and then joined Senator Robert F. Kennedy's staff in 1968. After receiving his law degree he was engaged in civil trial practice specialising in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576753492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576753491
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If, like the average American citizen probably does, you view the insurance industry as a benevolent protector that exists to serve its' customers, you are in for one rude awakening. Ray Bourhis, who served as plantiff's counsel in the case detailed in the book he later wrote, confronts the awesome duplicity of his adversary, one of the largest insurance underwriters in existence, a company that seemed determined not to honor its obligations at any cost. Bourhis describes the unending legal gamemanship, the obdurate refusal to settle, the psychological brutality of a company that appeared to prefer to destroy a policyholder than pay a claim on the agreed terms. The jury was not deceived and awarded Bouris' client a $7.7 million judgement a compensation for the egregious bad faith demonstrated by the insurer. This is an absolutely revolting story of an "ends justify any and all means" philosophy run amok at the senior management level and the terrible human cost exacted from the trusting and powerless who had believed their policies would protect them in times of dire need, when illness or injury rendered them unable to work. If you ever plan on purchasing a long term disabilty insurance policy from any insurer, you MUST read this book first; you have no idea what you may be setting yourself up for.
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Format: Hardcover
It shows the worse of the worse in the insurance industry. I came away wondering if the all the money I spend on medical, auto, home and life is actually buying me something. Maybe I need reinsurance for my insurance. What a mess?

I always assumed they charged an appropriate rate for the risk and numbers. If they made a mistake like they made foreseeing interest rates, the new policies holders just paid more in premiums.

In the end, the case was made for higher punitive damages. I still struggle with this. It seems to me companies who are doing this much wrong by the numbers need to be deterred. But I still have trouble seeing dollars that large going to a few plaintiffs. I am not sure if this is where the class action suits come into play. I don't what the fix is but my gut says there must be a better way to punish them. One thing for sure is it needs to be stopped.
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Format: Hardcover
Insult to Injury is a passionate account of the insurance-related problems so many Americans must face on a daily basis. Ray Bourhis makes a compelling argument for reform and does so with gusto. This book is relevant, engaging, and well worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover
Being in a moneymaking society, companies obviously thrive on making economic gains; however, at the risk of dehumanizing its customers? This book solidifies what we've all been thinking and understanding about said insurance companies and charges us to continue in making this a political issue.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for every policy holder and potential policy holder. Bourhis clearly defines the dark side of the insurance industry whose reach influences state, federal and local government. His writing style is clear and interesting as he details the facts supporting his thesis. It is a shame that President Bush tried to pin the rising cost of medical care on so-called "frivolous lawsuits", when in fact the insurance companies keep costs high by insisting on unreasonable profits even when company executives make poor business decisions. After reading this book most citizens should demand a rethinking of how insurance companies do business and are regulated.
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Format: Hardcover
Insult to Injury" focuses on a disabled chiropractor driven to the brink by an insurance company (UnumProvident) that unjustly denied her claim for benefits; the "good news" is that Bourhis and his associates were eventually able to right the wrong after a long legal battle made incredibly difficult by the company's calculated mendacity and the industry's success in prior lobbying of Congress and state legislatures.

When Dr. Hangarter first purchased her disability policy from Paul Revere Insurance, companies made their profits primarily on double-digit investment profits. However, the market changed and the companies found themselves under increasing pressure. In the meantime, Dr. Hangarter was injured providing treatment to a patient, and despite significant efforts at treatment, had to give up her practice and rely on disability payments from Paul Revere. Eventually Revere was sold and then became part of UnumProvident, and Dr. Hangarter's world was turned upside down.

New corporate leadership was brought in and began a deliberate policy of searching for ways to deny benefits - goals were set, customers were lied to regarding whether they could appeal and what was covered, expert testimony was slanted through incomplete information, documents destroyed, and the disabled often forced to go through lengthy, risky, and expensive litigation to collect. Possibly most frustrating of all (to me) was the fact that even when the company lost, it simply continued the same practices with other customers, and made it as difficult as possible for those victims to learn of the firm's already uncovered pattern of deceit.

Eventually because of all the resulting bad publicity UnumProvident's CEO was "forced out," given a $17 million payment, and all his cronies were left behind.
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