Lawsuits Against Insurers — A 47% Increase over 5 years

Litigation trend researcher, Lex Machina recently released some disturbing statistics. Company spokesman, Ron Porter said Lex Machina’s Litigation Report 2022 found litigation against insurers rose 47% between 2017 to 2021.

The most filings in that span came in 2021 when close to 14,800 suits were filed. It’s the most filed of any year since 2009.

Porter said the biggest concern in the report is what’s happening in federal district courts and in federal appellate courts. An alarming 25% of cases that were appealed and got a positive decision on the merits of the case were overturned by federal appeals judges.

He noted that a huge percentage of the litigation involved hurricanes and auto insurance. In 2021 hurricane lawsuits in federal courts numbered 3,800 and accounted for 26% of all filings.

Business interruption is also gaining ground and that’s mostly because of COVID. Filings on that issue peaked in 2020 and were 5.7% higher than the number filed in 2014.

From 2012 to 2021 auto insurers got hit pretty hard with a steady flow of lawsuits and a 65% increase in those years. 

Porter said class action settlements received the most money. Those lawsuits picked up $657 million. Contract damages were second at $509 million.

The big winner in all this is attorneys. They earned $68 million.

The federal appeals court judges of the famous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the PIA Western Alliance state of California was the nation’s busiest court. Between 2017 and 2021 those judges saw 647 cases.

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About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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