I just hung up with an Allstate adjuster. At-fault carrier (Safeco) put up 50,000 so we turn to the UM carrier for the additional $50,000. She offers $2,500 on top of the $50,000. She said something to the effect of, “There is only $50,000 left so what incentive do we have to offer that anyway?” When I reminded her of the fact that she just committed an offense that the Maryland Insurance Commission would fine Allstate for, she quickly backed down.
I’ve defended Allstate in the past, arguing that they are comparatively not as bad as everyone says. I’ve made flowery, loving statements like, “in spite of Allstate’s reputation, our Maryland accident lawyers [geez, that’s a painful use of keywords to pander to Google, I have to fix that] do not see Allstate as the most difficult car insurance company to deal with in Maryland.” I even said once that I thought GEICO was worse.
I take all of that back.
Realizing I was getting nowhere, I said, “Look, there is not a lot of money at stake, why don’t we just agree to arbitration.” She categorically dismissed the idea. Why? The Oliver Stone in me thinks it is because they want the client to spend money on experts and preparing the case, in part to induce settlement, but in part out of spite. Keep in mind, this is their own policyholder.
I’m tempted to file a bad faith claim with the Maryland Insurance Administration. Not on what the adjuster said about not having to pay fair value because of the policy limit. She will just deny it. (The call was not recorded. I asked.) But the case’s valuation is just ridiculous. My guy has a permanent injury that will exceed $100,000. But the MIA will not give a bad faith finding on a value of claim question. History has taught us that.
What we need in Maryland is a real bad faith law where the uninsured or underinsured motorist carrier is required to stand behind their denial of the claim and pay the full value of the jury’s verdict even if it exceeds he policy limits. But Maryland will not get what it needs.