USAA advertises the motto “We know what it means to serve.” I’m not sure how to match that up with the USAA that I deal with in the law practice.
The Virginia Lawyers Weekly Blog reports a recent court case that was brought against USAA. A Hampton Roads woman brought a bad-faith lawsuit against USAA for failure to pay her medical bills, under her medical payment coverage. Medical payment coverage is additional coverage under your own automobile policy that you can elect to purchase.
In this instance, Sandra L. Simpson had been in a car accident and received treatment that resulted in medical bills in excess of $24,000. Under her policy, she had $10,000 in medical payment coverage. It should have been a simple procedure to just submit her bills and have them reimbursed under her USAA coverage. They denied payment for all but a few hundred dollars.
She filed suit in Virginia Beach General District Court for the bills, her attorney fees and costs and for bad faith punitive damages. After she filed suit, USAA offered to pay the remaining amount of the $10,000. When she turned that down, they threw in an additional $500 for an attorney fee. She turned that down.
The General District Court Judge returned a verdict for the medical bills, $1500 in attorney fees and $4,000 in punitive damages, plus the costs of bringing the suit. A total verdict of $13,187.
I have about 9 or 10 medical payment claims just like the Sampson case that I need to file against USAA. We just settled another that was recently filed. It’s a regular occurrence.
In our cases, they just decided not to pay the submitted bills. Then, they usually send a letter from some adjuster in some state like Texas, indicating that they don’t think the bills are reasonable or that they are too high.
Wouldn’t it be great if you and I could just tell the phone, electric or cable that we won’t be paying this month… we just don’t see the bills as reasonable; And, they are just too high!
I guess USAA just figures that most will just go away and never file suit against them. That brings up the real question, “Is it really insurance coverage if they don’t pay?”. Maybe their slogan should really be “We know what it means to be served with a lawsuit”.
If you click here, you can find the results when I googled “USAA Bad Faith”. They are no strangers to bad faith damages after not paying benefits to their own insured.
For pic o’ day, just as USAA has rules; so does this cat!