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Insurance Defense Work

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woomen:
Thinking about joining an insurance defense, but I've heard it's "shitlaw"?  I appreciate any perspective from people who have gone into ID or knows of people who have.  Thanks!

Alamo:
I haven't practiced with such a firm, but clerking, I've seen a few cases come through.  My impression is that the typical car/fire/life insurance gig pays well, and the work is complex enough to make it somewhat intellectually engaging, but it can be soul-crushing. 

Sometimes, you're probably fending off frauds who are looking for a quick payday; that would be gratifying.  But most of the time you'll be across the table/aisle from someone who just had something terrible happen to her -- and you'll be telling her that, for X reason, you're not going to pay.  And, before that, you'll have searched through her policy to find any clause, and and her file to find any action, that would render your client's coverage inapplicable.  Sometimes, you might even string her along for a while, making her think you'll settle, then, as soon as the statute of limitations runs, you either hang that over her head and make her settle for a fraction of what her case would've been worth, or litigate and pray the judge doesn't find a way around enforcing the time bar. 

Thus, my impression is that it's "make you feel like *&^%" law.  But to each his own.  I'd take it over domestic relations work any day of the week.

BikePilot:
From what I've seen most ins companies are quite fair and do pay out when they should - most of the litigation ends up when someone wants a benefit they never paid for is is doing something shady like burning their own house down for the ins payout. Also there's a huge range of ins defense from auto liability to D&O to general commercial liability.

Jhuen_the_bird:
Run awaaaaay!!

haha, no, not really ... but I've clerked at an insurance defense firm for a year and a half (I'm in my last semester of law school) and I would NOT want to work here as an attorney - insurance defense seems like a billable hour nightmare.  At least at this firm - it's 2000 hr requirement for the firm, and hours get kicked back ALL the time!  It seems really stressful since the clients are pretty sophisticated.

FalconJimmy:

--- Quote from: BikePilot on February 02, 2010, 07:53:09 AM ---From what I've seen most ins companies are quite fair and do pay out when they should - most of the litigation ends up when someone wants a benefit they never paid for is is doing something shady like burning their own house down for the ins payout. Also there's a huge range of ins defense from auto liability to D&O to general commercial liability.

--- End quote ---

I work with property and casualty companies every day.  I can't divulge much given that I still make my living this way, but suffice to say that my impression of property and casualty insurers is 180 degrees different than yours. 

I also am a person who was against litigation most of my life until I was hit by a woman in an SUV who made a left turn while oncoming and knocked me from my bike.  The insurance company was so uncooperative and unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement, I ended up hiring a PI firm. 

I think a lot of people have good interactions with insurance companies that pay fairly and promptly.  However, there are enough cases that I've personally witnessed where nothing of the sort happened, that I absolutely don't look down at PI attorneys anymore.

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