Insult To injury

Insurance, Fraud, and the Big Business of Bad Faith

Ray Bourhis (Author)

Publication date: 06/01/2009

Insult To injury
  • A compelling personal story that exposes how insurance companies get away with denying valid claims, terminating benefits, and destroying people's lives
  • UnumProvident, the main company profiled in the book, has 25 million policyholders--over one out of ten people in the United States holds an Unum policy
  • Recommends how to reform this corrupt and unjust system

Joan Hangarter bought a disability policy in 1990 to protect her should she ever become seriously ill. She dutifully paid her annual premiums for nearly a decade. But when she became disabled, she and her children found themselves homeless and bankrupt when her insurer--UnumProvident--stopped paying her benefits. With the help of attorneys Ray Bourhis and Alice Wolfson, Hangarter won a landmark $7.7 million jury verdict against Unum.

Through the compelling stories of ordinary people who have been driven to bankruptcy--or worse--when tragedy struck, Bourhis shows how the insurance industry runs roughshod over the very people it is paid to protect. He shows how the industry has become so insulated from accountability that neither lawsuits, punitive damage awards, federal court injunctions, newspaper headlines, nor television exposure can derail their determined efforts to turn a profit at any cost.

Bourhis, a national champion of policyholder rights, walks readers through both Joan Hangarter's heart-wrenching case and the stories of Susan McGregor, Stuart Gluck, John Tedesco, Laurie Hindiyeh, Eugene Molfino, Julie Guyton, Michael Baldwin, Margaret Santana, and numerous other claimants--real people with heart disease, AIDS, spinal injuries, brain damage, Parkinson's disease, and other disabilities whose benefits were cut off just when they needed them most. Bourhis shows how the world's largest disability carrier, UnumProvident, has relied on a host of shady practices--from surveillance to one-sided medical evaluations to policy re-interpretations-to target and terminate benefit payments.

Through these cautionary tales, he shines a spotlight on widespread bad faith double-dealing by insurance providers and details the key regulatory failures that enable these practices to continue unchecked.

  • Find out more at www.book-insulttoinjury.com
  • A compelling personal story that exposes how insurance companies get away with denying valid claims, terminating benefits, and destroying people's lives
  • UnumProvident, the main company profiled in the book, has 25 million policyholders--over one out of ten people in the United States holds an Unum policy
  • Recommends how to reform this corrupt and unjust system

Read more and meet author below



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Overview

  • A compelling personal story that exposes how insurance companies get away with denying valid claims, terminating benefits, and destroying people's lives
  • UnumProvident, the main company profiled in the book, has 25 million policyholders--over one out of ten people in the United States holds an Unum policy
  • Recommends how to reform this corrupt and unjust system

Joan Hangarter bought a disability policy in 1990 to protect her should she ever become seriously ill. She dutifully paid her annual premiums for nearly a decade. But when she became disabled, she and her children found themselves homeless and bankrupt when her insurer--UnumProvident--stopped paying her benefits. With the help of attorneys Ray Bourhis and Alice Wolfson, Hangarter won a landmark $7.7 million jury verdict against Unum.

Through the compelling stories of ordinary people who have been driven to bankruptcy--or worse--when tragedy struck, Bourhis shows how the insurance industry runs roughshod over the very people it is paid to protect. He shows how the industry has become so insulated from accountability that neither lawsuits, punitive damage awards, federal court injunctions, newspaper headlines, nor television exposure can derail their determined efforts to turn a profit at any cost.

Bourhis, a national champion of policyholder rights, walks readers through both Joan Hangarter's heart-wrenching case and the stories of Susan McGregor, Stuart Gluck, John Tedesco, Laurie Hindiyeh, Eugene Molfino, Julie Guyton, Michael Baldwin, Margaret Santana, and numerous other claimants--real people with heart disease, AIDS, spinal injuries, brain damage, Parkinson's disease, and other disabilities whose benefits were cut off just when they needed them most. Bourhis shows how the world's largest disability carrier, UnumProvident, has relied on a host of shady practices--from surveillance to one-sided medical evaluations to policy re-interpretations-to target and terminate benefit payments.

Through these cautionary tales, he shines a spotlight on widespread bad faith double-dealing by insurance providers and details the key regulatory failures that enable these practices to continue unchecked.

  • Find out more at www.book-insulttoinjury.com
  • A compelling personal story that exposes how insurance companies get away with denying valid claims, terminating benefits, and destroying people's lives
  • UnumProvident, the main company profiled in the book, has 25 million policyholders--over one out of ten people in the United States holds an Unum policy
  • Recommends how to reform this corrupt and unjust system

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Ray Bourhis

Ray Bourhis is a partner with the law firm of Bourhis & Wolfson in San Francisco, California, specializing in insurance bad-faith litigation. A graduate of Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, Bourhis has been a court-appointed Special Master overseeing reforms in the California Department of Insurance and was appointed by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to her Federal Judicial Selection Advisory Committee. He was recently profiled by Ed Bradley in a 60 Minutes report concerning fraudulent insurance practices. Born and raised in Elmhurst, Queens, Bourhis credits an attempt by gang members to throw him into a blazing bonfire at the age of twelve with helping him develop the survival skills needed to deal with insurance companies. He lives with his family in Kentfield, California.

To learn more about Ray, his work, and the book, visit his website here"

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1: False Profits

Chapter 2: Licensed to Steal

Chapter 3: So Sue Me

Chapter 4: Go Figure

Chapter 5: The Seventh Amendment

Chapter 6: Open Fire

Chapter 7: So Help Me God

Chapter 8: Pinpricks and Pretexts

Chapter 9: Customer Care

Chapter 10: Fact or Fiction

Chapter 11: ...Some with a Fountain Pen

Chapter 12: A Message

Chapter 13: Liar's Dice

Chapter 14: Friends in High Places

Chapter 15: Kick in the Assets

Conclusion: Claims Games

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Endorsements



"Ray Bourhis continues his strong commitment to justice by successfully taking on the insurance industry and criminal fraud in this compelling case study. He makes clear that we need to do much more to end the shameful abuses of the current system and guarantee honorable insurance coverage for every American."

—Senator Edward M. Kennedy

"What has happened to Joan Hangarter-and so many others like her-is a grave injustice.... Readers of this book should urge their congressional representatives to force the big insurance companies to honor their obligations just as the holders of those policies honor theirs."

—John Garamendi, Insurance Commissioner, State of California

"Painstakingly documented, hilarious, and insightful. A seething indictment of the out-of-control insurance industry and its friends in Congress and on the U.S. Supreme Court who have given it a green light to defraud Americans."

—Amy Bach, Executive Director, United Policyholders

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