Macro Look at MIA Bad Faith Cases
Robert L. Siems and Yosef Kuperman
About half of bad faith cases in any given year settle. Of those cases that reach a merits decision, the insurer usually wins. In 2013, the worst year for insurers so far, the insurers won 75% of merits decisions.
We pulled all the data in this article from the MIA’s annual reports. The annual reports cover 2007-2008 until 2013. The 2007–2008 report covers two years for administrative reasons. We treat the data from the report as a single unit for reasons of convenience.
MIA Cases Filed
The MIA’s workload has steadily declined since it started the reports. 2012 saw approximately less than half of the total cases in 2007-2008. But numbers climbed for the first time in 2013.
MIA Cases Excluding Those Without Jurisdiction
If you exclude cases dismissed for lack of jurisdiction (see data summarized below), the graph looks slightly different. The decline in cases prior to 2013 becomes far more pronounced.
MIA Cases Decided On Merits
When you narrow it down to how many cases were decided on the merits in any year, excluding both improperly filed cases and settled cases, the numbers still show the same basic trend.
MIA Cases by Line of Business
The MIA Reports classify their cases by line of business. In the first year, they listed what percent of all cases filed came from what line of business. In later years, they listed what percent of all cases decided on the merits came from what line of business.
Misc. includes “miscellaneous”, “commercial”, and “trademark”. In 2007–2008, the report used “Auto” instead of UM, but later reports switched to UM. “Home” includes “Renters.”
MIA’s caseload originally overwhelmingly consisted of UM / Auto cases, but the proportion has decreased as the number of cases has declined. 2013 was the first year that Auto/UM did not constitute a majority of the cases involved.
Reasons for Grievance
The MIA also reported the reason for cases in the first two reports.
MIA Case Dispositions
The MIA Report tracks what happened to cases. Both the number and the percentage appear on the chart.
Two things stand out:
Office of Administrative Hearings Appeals
Circuit Court Appeals
Claim Handling Mistakes
Robert L. Siems is principal in the Law Offices of Robert L. Siems, P.A. His practice is primarily first and third party coverage litigation, extra contractual insurance claims, insurance bad faith, insurance defense, complex litigation, and ADR. He is certified as a chartered property casualty underwriter. Mr. Siems previously has spoken for various professional groups on his areas of practice. He is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, Inc., American Bar Association, Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc. and the Defense Research Institute. Mr. Siems earned his B.A. degree from the University of Miami, his J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore and his M.B.A. degree from Loyola College.
Yosef Kuperman is a recent graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, Class of 2014. He has worked as a law clerk for the Law Offices of Robert L. Siems, and he plans to take the July 2014 Bar Exam. He hopes to practice civil litigation in Baltimore.
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