Ten class action lawsuits filed Tuesday accuse auto insurance companies of not reducing premiums sufficiently for Nevada policyholders as traffic fell during the pandemic.
“With fewer people driving fewer miles, there are fewer car accidents and therefore fewer car insurance requirements,” the suits say. “The COVID-19 pandemic has thus led to a dramatic reduction in car insurance claims from Nevada residents.”
In the early part of Government Steve Sisolak’s stay at home last year, the state’s total traffic volume fell to as much as 70 percent in some areas compared to the same period the year before.
Still, insurance companies have not “delivered and charged a reasonable and appropriate insurance premium,”
“There is very little risk or much less risk now than there was before COVID,” attorney Robert Eglet told the Las Vegas Review-Journal Tuesday. “So they make record profits on the backs of Nevada consumers, many of whom are in pain, who have lost their jobs, who stay home or can not work because their children go to school.”
The lawsuits in Clark County District Court named State Farm, USAA, Geico, Acuity, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Progressive, Travelers, Nationwide and Allstate. The cases allege breach of contract, bad faith and a violation of Nevada’s misleading commercial law.
A State Farm spokesman issued a response to the complaint, citing that company.
“The filing of a lawsuit does not substantiate the allegations within the complaint,” the statement said. “We have recently learned about archiving and it is too early to comment at this time.”
A spokesman for Liberty Mutual said the company did not comment on issues in lawsuits.
Phone calls and emails to the other companies were not returned Tuesday.
Eglet could not place a dollar figure on the lawsuits, but said millions of people could be part of the class. Any Nevadan with a car insurance policy from one of the 10 companies can be a qualified member of the class, he added.
Lawyers argue in the complaints that reduced driving, crashes and allegations “will almost certainly continue in the foreseeable future, and as long as the COVID-19 crisis continues.”
The lawsuits seek to reimburse policyholders retroactively for premium payments, while potentially adjusting future rates, Eglet said as more and more people continue to reduce vehicle travel.
“It’s like most of the problems with the American company,” he said. “They do not do the right thing until they are forced to do it. Most of the time, they are forced to do so by either regulation or litigation. ”
While some insurance companies dropped rates as much as 25 percent, the suits claim it was “insufficient” to match the reduction in driving time, distance and requirements.
“They made it a PR purpose to make them look good,” Eglet said. “All the while, the discount was a sadly minimal amount, nowhere near covering the amount it should have been.”
Eglet represented thousands of victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, which is shooting in lawsuits against MGM Resorts International, the owner of the festival site and Mandalay Bay, where the shooter was located. A judge approved a $ 800 million settlement for the victims on Sept. 30, a day before the third day of the mass shooting.
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