Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices Are:
Use of fraudulent or unfair business methods, leading to consumer injury.
Unfair and deceptive business practices include:
- Insurers' unfair claims practices
- Insurance failure to pay
- Insurers not acting quickly
- Other unfair business activities
unfair business practices - an ATTORNEY's overview
Insurance companies are an essential element of the claims process. While our system holds individuals responsible for their negligence, insurers pay for these claims. Insurance companies, their adjusters, investigators, and attorneys, therefore, are the roadblock standing between you, as an injured party, and fair compensation.
Despite insurers' abundant willingness to decline to settle cases, Massachusetts law requires that insurers deal fairly with injured persons; to promptly evaluate their claims; and, when liability has been established or is abundantly clear, to make reasonable offers of settlement. Massachusetts, like many other states, has adopted General Laws chapter 93A, Massachusetts' own version of the Federal Trade Commission's laws requiring businesses to act fairly and reasonably. The statute has been used to force insurers to act fairly; and, to pay punitive damages and attorneys' fees when they don't.
As an insurance defense lawyer, I became quite familiar with claims practices and procedures, and insurers' strategies for denying or avoiding claims. I became frustrated when I saw claims that should resolve get delayed or dragged out simply to weaken an injured person's will, or because the insurer was making interest off of the money that they should pay to an injured person. I use that knowledge now to help my clients, and to hold the insurers to their obligations. I have successfully litigated and resolved unfair practice claims against many insurers in Massachusetts. I also know that simple threats to file unfair practice claims are routine, and that there's a world of difference between schoolyard threats and effective litigation. In short - while I don't believe in idle threats, I use this tool, like any other, when appropriate litigation, or threatened litigation, will bring the best results for my clients.
The same rules that apply to insurers also apply to other businesses, and I’ve taken my experience with these claims to other disputes involving attempts to defraud consumers, with great success.