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When It’s Time To Pay- Worst Insurers Report

Posted on July 10, 2008

The American Association for Justice, is an organization of personal injury attorneys that is long experienced in fighting insurance companies.  This report just issued shows what some of the fights are about, and the consumer is getting the short end of the stick.

The number one worst insurer for consumers is Allstate, says AAJ.

AAJ issued its report after sorting through thousands of legal documents, financial filings, as well as complaints filed with state insurance departments, the Securities and Exchange Commission and FBI records to determine how many claims were paid and how often the company employed hardball tactics against policyholders.

“While Allstate publicly touts its ‘good hands’; approach, it has instead privately instructed its agents to employ a ‘boxing gloves’; strategy against its policyholders,” said American Association for Justice CEO Jon Haber says in a statement.  “Allstate ducks, bobs and weaves to avoid paying claims to increase its profits.”

Allstate is known to force consumers to accept lowball claims or to deny claims altogether. One Allstate employee reported that supervisors told agents to lie and blame fires on arson, and in turn, they were rewarded.  

Some other wrongdoing AAJ found was extravagant salaries for upper ranked executives while consumers faced rising premiums. 

Some of the others at the top of the list include :

*  Unum — which sells disability insurance.

*  AIG  — The world’;s biggest insurer.

*   State Farm — Lawyers are familiar with State Farm’;s deny and delay tactics, especially during Hurricane Katrina.

*  Conseco  — Conseco sells long-term care policies, typically to the elderly.

Also in the Top Ten are —  WellPoint, Farmers, United Health, Torchmark, and Liberty Mutual.

The bottom line to all of these companies is greed- taking care of the bottom line and not the customers who pay the premiums making them annual profits that exceed $30 billion and take in more than $1 trillion in premiums every year.

See the full report here.

It is especially important if you are in an auto accident to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Last year, CNN reported that McKinsey Consultants has coached insurers on how to play hardball in minor-crash claims that might result in soft tissue injuries which are difficult to prove. The end result has been billions in profits to the insurance industry as large insurers have adopted a take-it-or-leave-it strategy. 

It’;s difficult to image that a company you support can treat you that way. Let’;s hope your experience with an insurance company doesn’;t match some of the stories in this report.