AIG Now Supposedly Ruining Lives of Innocent Women and Children

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Photo: NYT

Tess Sosa and her husband and two children were on US Airways 1549, the flight that crashed into the Hudson this past winter, and despite their warm feelings about Sully Sullenberger saving their lives, they feel a little traumatized from, you know, being on a plane that crashed out of the sky into the water. Which is, you know, fair enough. They think they shouldn't have to pay their own therapy bills, which is also, we guess, fair enough. But so far, they have been paying them, because the insurance the airline has is complicated and has not quite kicked in. And whose fault is this, according to Tess? AIG's.

She's pretty angry, according to the Times:


“Why should we be paying out of pocket?” she said. “That’s why they’re there. They’re the insurer.” Aviation insurance specialists said that an airline’s liability insurer is not normally there for medical bills after a plane crash. Passengers’ health insurance may indeed pay first — for passengers who have it — or workers’ compensation for passengers traveling on business. Later, if liability is established, those insurers circle back and try to get reimbursed from the airline’s liability insurer.

But that does not help accident survivors who have expenses in the meantime.

A.I.G. has told Ms. Sosa and other passengers that it would pay for therapy, but only for three sessions.

“It’s like telling me, ‘We aren’t responsible for this. This is your trauma. You deal with it,’ ” Ms. Sosa said.

In one exasperated conversation with an A.I.G. claims official, she invoked the taxpayer bailout, saying she doubted Congress and the Obama administration would approve of the stonewalling. The official “told me their division didn’t get a cent from the bailout,” she said.

Okay, we understand her frustration and everything, and we're not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of aviation insurance. But blaming AIG in this situation—never mind the poor bastard who had to take Tess's hysterical phone call—seems unfair, and a little too easy. If someone really must be reamed out over this, how about giving US Airways — the company that even Sully has gone on record disparaging — a call and ask them why they purchased such crappy insurance? Oh, we forgot. US Airways doesn't even bother answering the phones.

A.I.G. Balks at Claims From Jet Ditching in Hudson [NYT]