We blogged yesterday about the Reject R-67 campaign's release of an analysis by independent actuarial consulting firm Milliman pointing out that passage of R-67 would mean a $205 per household increase in insurance costs next year, or $650 million cumulatively, because of more lawsuits and higher legal costs.
1. Interesting that the effort to "impeach," as lawyers say, the study is based on the rather obvious fact that it was "funded by insurance companies." Even more interesting that this pro-side talking point actually becomes one of the headlines of the story. Better to let the report stand or fall on the merits of its analysis.
2. So on the merits, the pro-side spokeswoman has this to say: "I think the actual [financial] impact would be zero if [insurance companies] treated people fairly." This is more than a tad simplistic, even for campaign rhetoric. And if you doubt that, call to mind the Washington Supreme Court's rather interesting view of what it takes to "treat people fairly" in insurance disputes.
3. Too bad the story didn't pick up on the report's confirmation of something we've argued (e.g., here). There is no law like R-67 in any other state. That's because it premises the imposition of punitive damages in bad faith claims on a mere finding of "unreasonableness." Other states imposing punitives require willfulness, maliciousness, an intent to deceive, or the like. So in that sense, R-67 would be the most far-reaching first-party bad faith law in the country.
4. Had the Olympian editorial board enjoyed the benefit of reviewing the study, which itself corroborates an earlier (if less specific) analysis from OFM, would it have changed or perhaps moderated the tone of its rather credulous endorsement of R-67?