Zurich Insurance Settlements
Zurich is an insurance company originating from Zurich, Switzerland. They now own Farmers Insurance, and these companies have both been in the news for some shady practices and large settlements. They can handle these settlements because their profits are big.
How Does Zurich Calculate Settlements?
Zurich uses a software program called Colossus, which is also used by other insurance companies, to calculate settlements for its customers. Unfortunately, as much as a computer can accomplish, there are factors that can’t simply be entered into a program. Things like emotional distress and the pain and suffering someone suffers after a car accident can’t be easily assigned a monetary value.
If you have a lawyer, you will actually get a bigger settlement based on this software. That’s because insurance companies know that a lawyer may push things into litigation, and they don’t want that, so they offer more money to try and avoid that. Insurance adjusters often discourage contacting a lawyer, claiming they will take all your money. On the contrary, most attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning they only make money if the client does. That’s the perfect incentive for working hard to get their client a great settlement. The insurance adjuster obviously has the insurance company as their priority.
Will Zurich Lowball my Settlement Offer?
In short – probably. The job of insurance adjusters is to try and give out as little money as possible, to protect their company. Adjusters also don’t have much power when it comes to calculating your settlement, so even if they claim they will get you lots of compensation, they don’t necessarily have control over it.
One of the major customers of companies like Zurich is commercial trucking companies, who are required to carry lots of insurance. Because of this, Zurich often prioritizes these commercial customers.
There are plenty of examples of Zurich insurance settlements in the news. In the past five years or so, they appear to be getting slightly more aggressive with their offers, requiring a big fight from anyone filing a claim. It doesn’t help that their profits took a hit during the pandemic, with countless claims for travel or business interruption insurance. For some reason, Zurich didn’t see this coming.
Hunton vs. Zurich
A classic example of one of the many bad faith suits against Zurich is seen in Hunton vs. Zurich, a workers’ compensation claim where the insurance giant was the carrier. The case involved Bryan Hunton, who was injured while working for a construction company—his employer for nearly two decades. Hunton sustained a work-related back injury that was clearly compensable and quite commonplace. However, Hunton’s employer, a large, premium-paying customer of Zurich, wished to have the claim denied, and it was denied. This was clearly a bad faith move.
Additional bad faith conduct on Zurich’s part occurred when the company’s own independent medical consultant informed the insurer that the claim was, indeed, valid, with compensable injuries resulting from injuries sustained on the job. Regardless, Zurich continued to deny the claim, burying the opinion of its medical expert in the process.
Hunton hired Dawson & Rosenthal who specialize in workers’ compensation claims, and they were later able to get the decision reversed, but that was not the end of the insurance company’s bad faith actions. It went on to terminate the claimant’s benefits, which was done, based on evidence during the proceeding trial, to appease Hunton’s employer. Following a bad faith trial that ran three weeks, Hunton was awarded $1.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Cano v. Zurich
Another verdict was won by plaintiff Cano in Cano v. Zurich. This case involved Cano, an injured worker who filed a claim for workers’ compensation, but the claim was treated unfairly. As a result, Cano’s medical condition worsened. A jury saw the bad faith conduct on Zurich’s part and awarded Cano a verdict of $325,000 as a result.
Zurich’s Claim Settlement Ratio
Zurich is a behemoth in the insurance industry—a corporate megalith that rakes in more than $4 billion annually. An insurance company’s claims settlement ratio, or CSR, gives customers a glimpse at how expedient the company is when it comes to settling claims. A company’s claim settlement ratio is derived by dividing the number of claims settled in one year by the number of claims received in the same time period. So, if a company has a 98 percent settlement ratio, then it means that the company settled 98 percent of the claims it received.
Still, even though Zurich’s claim settlement ratio may hover in the upper 90s, it is important to understand that the sheer volume of claims this multi-billion-dollar company processes makes it difficult to truly get a feel for how many claims actually go unresolved.
Do You Have a Claim With Zurich?
While all insurance companies can be difficult to work with, some well-known issues with a particular company should set off some alarm bells. If you have a claim with Zurich, then being proactive by contacting an attorney for help can be a smart move.
Our firm is ready to help you with your Zurich claim, whether that means negotiating with Zurich’s adjusters to increase offers from Colossus or facing down the company’s attorneys in court. If you are facing issues with a Zurich insurance settlement, contact a bad faith insurance attorney for help getting the compensation you deserve.