Ethel Adams, a 60-year-old woman from Seattle, suffered a nightmare scenario in 2004. Her car was hit by a truck that managed to cross the centerline from the other direction. She sustained broken bones, collapsed lungs, and had to spend the following months in intensive care. Ethel thought that the $2 million policy that she purchased from a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance would cover her devastating injuries. However, the company denied her claim. The company informed her that she was the victim of road rage and not an accident, and thus She would be responsible for all of the medical costs arising from the horrifying event. Farmers Insurance had a history of denying claims in order to improve its bottom line. Farmers even ran an employee incentive program, "Quest for Gold," that offered various incentives.
This sort of practice is not limited to Farmers Insurance. Some of the other insurance company giants, such as Allstate, are known to aggressively fight claims in order to help their bottom lines. Allstate rewards employees who deny claims with items which include portable refrigerators..
Ethel Adams eventually received help paying her medical bills after Farmers’ denial of her claim sparked an outcry and the state insurance commissioner intervened. However, other victims of insurance companies have no such luck with their valid claims.