Attorney Behind $43M Award for Ohio Agent Against Nationwide Insurance to File Class Action

By Young Ha | January 3, 2013
gavel and money

  • January 3, 2013 at 9:21 am
    Jeff Archer says:
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 29
    Thumb down 50

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm
      Mr. Solvent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 36
      Thumb down 4

      Call any former agent…you sell more, more is expected from you until you get to an unrealistic number. After that they threaten your agency. While I tend to believe Nationwide’s side of things it’s not uncommon practice for a profitable book of business to be seized in any captive situation.

  • January 3, 2013 at 10:20 am
    Former Agent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 126
    Thumb down 16

    I can tell you first hand Nationwide’s AE program was a scam. I worked for Nationwide and I know the details of the AE program and I’m so happy they finally got caught. I don’t know how their sales managers sleep at night knowing what they did to so many young agents. Nationwide recruited between 300 – 400 AE agents between 2004 – 2010. Of those 300 – 400 agents only 10 successfully completed the AE program and the only reason those agents made it was because they were former independent agents rolling their books to Nationwide or they had family with Nationwide and they transferred business into their agency. We’ll see how this case turns out and the pending class action lawsuit but I think Nationwide is in a lot of trouble and rightfully so.

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm
      Former Agent's Friend says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 78
      Thumb down 2

      Amen to this and by the way, she has 20 years of experience. They take advantage of anyone. Younger or older, inexperienced and experienced. It doesn’t matter in the world of corporate greed.

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm
      Agent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 36
      Thumb down 1

      There are a lot of games being played out there with companies and people are getting hurt. I am glad every day that I am Independent and not captive. We have had some carriers come and go over the years. We replace a non performing company with those who have a decent offering of products and good underwriting appetite and it has worked pretty well. The wierdest situation we had was a large commercial writer that we had close to $1mil volume of profitable business with decided we were small fry and they closed us to concentrate on larger agencies with big account business. They closed a number of agencies down on the same premise. The last I heard, the company was not doing so well. We had no problem moving our business to our other markets and never missed a beat.

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:36 am
    William says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 22
    Thumb down 8

    Are you kidding me? 600,000 book of business after three years? That is about normal, if you insured all your friends and family and referals with just yourself working and paying expenses, and then maybe you could hire one part time person after three years. How could Nationwide give that much? Why would they set this up for a three year program to then be allowed to be independent? They are right that they only make about 5% on the 600,000 in annualized premium, unless that is a lot of life. 40 years independent agent, fading away, but still hangin in there. No loans from insurance companies ever. Never even asked for one in 40 years. Father 20 years before that…no loans from insurance companies…Lost on this one…I can see why the other 70 Nationwide agents are interested, though, that is a big award.

    • January 3, 2013 at 11:43 am
      ExciteBiker says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 24
      Thumb down 2

      $5+ million in lost profit? On a $600k book that turned into <$300k after a renewal or two? Am I missing something here?

      • January 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm
        Don't Call Me Shirley says:
        Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 25
        Thumb down 60

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm
    Bruce says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 85
    Thumb down 7

    Believe me there is a lot that this article leaves out Nationwide hired these agents to write new business and then found every way conceivable to force them out sending the policies to their service centers and large agencies. Sort of a warped growth strategy so many people bankrupted, families torn apart, and even a suicide.

    • January 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm
      maqui says:
      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 11
      Thumb down 55

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 4, 2013 at 11:54 am
      female former agent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 83
      Thumb down 1

      I was a former agent with Nationwide Insurance, also in the AE Program..With all due respect to everyone’s comments. I understand that It is hard to believe that a company such as Nationwide Insurance is responsible for ruining so many families lives. Yes there were families who filed for bankruptcy, divorce and sad to say even suicide. I thank God for the strenght and faith that I endured through this horrific experience. Nationwide is supposed to be on your side. I am a single mother of 4 kids who’s children were attending great schools, but I was also a victim of this horrible experience. Let me clarify the money situation. Nationwide speaks on the amount of money provided to us agents during this AE program, but what they fail to mention is that we had to spend the money the way Nationwide demanded. The first year into the program we went to meetings every 3 months as Financed agents. In this meetings Nationwide demanding that the agents spend money in advertisements with yellow pages and other marketing sources which were very costly. The money given was spent solely on what Nationwide demanded. Yes we were set up to fail. We were provided with a Business plan that was created by Nationwide’s business consultant, who was later terminated. A business plan that was created with a Texas base model. Texas premiums are pretty high in cost. Ohio is one of the lowest state for insurance premium. We were never going to meet that goal. How can nationwide Insurance hold an agent accountable for a production number that was created for another market. Our bench mark should have been based on Ohio’s production and success. Not only that, Nationwide demanded that we hire 2 and 3 staff memembers even though as agent’s we argued our point where the money being provided from Nationwide was used for staff that we could not afford which was causing new agents financial set backs. Nationwide’s response was that in order to be compliant with the program we needed to hire the suggested amount of staff. Our yellow pages AD ran anywhere from $10,000 – $30,000. Once again all mandatory by Nationwide. There are so many details of the story that needs to be told. Unfortunately, Many of us agents were forced to make many desperate decisions which resulted in signing a confidentiality agreement. When you are a single mother, who is providing your 4 kids with a good education in an excellent school you tend to focus more on your children and how you are going to continue to pave the way for them. I was in a desperate situation which forced me to sign a confidentiality agreement. Nationwide did take advantage of many agents. I made conference of Champions year one. A very high achievement with the company. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until then that I realized that I was a top seller in my district yet the cash infusion was not enough to sustain the business and pay for all of the staff that we were mandated to hire. It wasn’t until then that I realized that I was tapping into my life savings, 401 K plan and my childrens college savings in order to continue to run my business. The business plan created by Nationwide was failing. The projected income from Nationwide’s business plan created by Nationwide’s business consultant was not accurate. Nationwide had 2 seperate sales plans. One was for the loan waiver and the other was achieving a successful agency. Unfortunately, and sad to say Nationwide only provided the new agetns with the sales plan for the loan waiver. When this was brought up to Nationwide’s attention we were offered an exit option with only 10 days to make a final decision. The majority of the over head expenses were created and demanded by Nationwide. Staff, Insurance, office space, Advertisement (which they demanded, Radio, newspaper, Television commercials, yellow pages, bill boards) There is no way that any starting small business can afford such advertisements. We were obligated to sign 3 year contracts with these advertisement companies. The best moral of the story is that were left alone to fail with very limited training. Our contract stated that training and support would be provided to the new agents as first time small business owners. Little to none was provided. The $25,000 that Nationwide speaks of was another scam. We were given $25,000 to hire an accountant to create a new business plan and performa. The $25,000 was to be used to pay the accountant of choice for their services of unscrambling the business plan provided to us agents by Nationwide and after the accountant of choice unscrambled Nationwide’s business plan they were to create a similar plan. The wonderful moral of the story is that it took any accountant numerous weeks debating with Nationwide because Nationwide did not agree with the plan the certified accountants put together. At the end of the day, Nationwide would not accept the new business Plans until Nationwide numbers were plugged in. If any amount of money was left over we were to use it for business expenses only. Once again all of this was determined by a form called the MOU (memorandum of understanding and a confidentiality agreement demanded by Nationwide Insurance) I can sit here and write all day of the worst experience of my life. Until you are placed in our shoes, it will be very hard for any one to truly understand and see the big picture. There is so much more to tell and I pray to God that One day I can tell the rest of the story as well. Nationwide created a 3 year plan and sold us all on a dream that it can be done if we followe Nationwide’s created sales plan. Out of good will and faith, I trusted Nationwide Insurance. Yet if you go into their website they state that any new Insurance agent who is starting an agency from scratch would need a minimum 5 year plan. Yet Nationwide set us up for a plan to succeed in 3 years? This wasn’t realistic, especially when our economy was facing financial hardship. Not even a top agent as myself who made conference of Champions during the first year into the program would have pulled this off. Sad to say, “yes, we were not set up to succeed” Sincerely, “Me”

      • January 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm
        Mr. Solvent says:
        Hot debate. What do you think?
        Thumb up 20
        Thumb down 29

        I don’t want you to take offense to what I’m about to say. I understand your circumstances and the AE program probably looked good on paper. That said, if you have 4 children and you’re going it alone, what made you think you could be in business for yourself? The amount of hours required to launch even a moderately successful insurance agency are astounding. Did they not make this clear to you?

        I know financed agents that made it through the program and I know those who didn’t. It’s my opinion that you weren’t set up to fail so to speak, you were setup to be a mega agent from day one. It’s nearly impossible.

        To make it as an agent in low premium states, you have to be prepared to work by yourself for a long period of time and work many hours. You have to be prepared to starve your first year. You have to multi-line everyone you talk to. Once you’ve got 600 or 700 households then you can think about bringing on someone part time.

        Hopefully you’ve learned from this experience. Insurance isn’t a bad way to make a living, but it certainly isn’t pretty to start. If you give it another go, don’t go captive.

        • January 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm
          MeIsEinstein says:
          Hot debate. What do you think?
          Thumb up 15
          Thumb down 8

          Mr Solvent said it perfectly. In all honesty it does appear as if you bit more than you could chew (not defending Nationwide). Many new agents think they can make it in this biz only to crash and burn 6 months later. And yes, if you re-enter the game IA is the way to go. God bless and wish you best.

      • January 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm
        Agent says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 32
        Thumb down 1

        Wow, how did you keep your sanity during this time? I thank God everyday that I am Independent and not Captive. A few years ago, I was sent a letter by a local Nationwide agent offering to buy me. I laughed it off since I knew I could buy and sell her agency in a heartbeat. A couple of years later, she was gone and replaced by another agent. Nationwide is a troubled company with stupid management, much like Allstate which has been driving their agents crazy for some time.

      • January 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm
        Rosenblatt says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 11
        Thumb down 1

        I’m sorry to hear about your troubles, but I hope you didn’t just violate your non-disclosure agreement with this post!

        • January 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm
          Agent says:
          Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 32
          Thumb down 2

          She did say “former” agent and she didn’t identify herself. I have a feeling she is one of those 70 other Nationwide agents that might join in the class action. In any case, they have a problem and it is going to get expensive.

      • January 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm
        Friend of this former female agent says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 63
        Thumb down 3

        I happen to know this former female agent and she was a top performing agent that knocked it out of the park! She worked tirelessly and managed to be a mother at the same time. I have the utmost respect for her. She wanted a better life for her family and worked hard for it. One would never think a large corporation would do something like this to people. I don’t know how anyone can look themselves in the mirror on a daily basis while destroying lives. She has been in the industry for many years, she was not a newbie. She was recruited by a Nationwide sales officer that she knew for many years because of her talents and abilities. Don’t assume she didn’t know what she was getting into and don’t assume she bit off more than she could chew. Until you live this nightmare, you don’t know anything. Once again, when you are told that you are failing the program and shown false reports and told that if you don’t sign the new contract, you will lose your agency and all that you worked for. Then, after you don’t have a choice, you find out at the end of the year, you actually were above your goal!! This alone proves intentional failure and not on the part of the agent or any fault of the agent. I pray the entire truth comes out in the near future nationally and all over t.v. media. This sounds like fraud to me and corporate greed. It appears that many captives are doing things similar to this. By the way, my friend is doing just fine and yes, she is an insurance agent, just not with this company. Seems to me that management changes are in order here!

        • January 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm
          Mr. Solvent says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 4
          Thumb down 2

          You can’t have it both ways. If Nationwide was so sinister they wouldn’t have recruited her for her talent, they would have recruited her because she would buy in.

          Frankly I spent years in the industry before opening an agency and nothing could have prepared me for it.

          I’m not bashing your friend or Nationwide here. The fact is very few are prepared to run a mega agency and Nationwide wants it overnight. Others that finance agents have similar success rates.

          • January 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm
            Friend of this former female agent says:
            Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 48
            Thumb down 3

            Mr. Solvent – just so you know. It’s not about having it both ways. You don’t know what they did and they had a contract that THEY CHANGED AFTER YOU WERE IN FOR A YEAR TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. If you didn’t sign it, they told you that you would be terminated and lose everything that you had been working so hard for. Just a little explanation for you and believe me, there is so much more to the story than meets the eye!

          • January 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm
            Former NW SalesManager says:
            Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
            Thumb up 38
            Thumb down 0

            Mr. Solvent doesn’t know the situation and won’t take your word for it, so just ignore. Mr. Solvent: I’m telling you as a former SM for Nationwide, that many people were appointed to this program without regard to their prospects for success. Nationwide bought the market initially with their prices, jacked up the prices later on, changed the contract without having the AEs sign a new one and then blamed the poor agents when it all started crashing down. EVERYTHING that this company did during this time (and that they continue to do even now) had catastrophe written all over it. There is another program out there called ACB where agents are put into an incubator program (as sort-of company employees – they aren’t independent contractors, but don’t get full employee benefit prices or the ability to contribute to a 401k, etc.). I and a couple of other sales managers asked the director of all program agent programs (during a break between breakout sessions at a sales conference for SMs) a question. The question was this: How will an independent contractor agent survive his contract if he or she “graduates” the ACB program with only $200,000 in premium? With his/her renewals, how will he/she get to $1.2 million in premium in two or three years? $1.6 million in three or four years? The answer: We’re not talking about that today. We are here to discuss a different topic. Then we said, ok, but on a different topic, how will they survive??? The answer was, we don’t know that, but we aren’t here to discuss that now…Nationwide either knew what they were doing and it was very sinister or they were the most stupid, “strategy-less” folks who ever stayed in business for 87 years…

            There is a lot more I could tell you about how they treated these agents, but I guess I should just call it good. If you really want to know what is going on, find their biggest agents, buy them a few drinks and ask them about the direction that Nationwide is going in…there is a lady there who is very high up in the executive chain who has stated in several meetings that, if your agency is not $4million + and not the Agent of Tomorrow, we don’t want you. She didn’t say that to the agents who are less than $4million though.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm
    Independent Agent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 45
    Thumb down 0

    I worked at Nationwide for 10 years. There is a great deal of money being spent to get successful insurance agents – not just by Nationwide but by any broker or direct writer looking to continue to generate sales. Success in this business is not something a majority of the starters find. The support cash and the potential to be an independent agent at the end of the process, certainly sounds like great opportunity. Based on what is here it certainly looks like there is more detail. Or the paper trail on the money does not support the process/plan they had set up. It is a tough business to start out scratch in. It takes much more than 3 years for the payback on a new sales person supported with money.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm
    MeIsEinstein says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 117
    Thumb down 5

    So you mean to tell me Nationwide is not on my side?!

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm
      Sargent Major says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 69
      Thumb down 2

      They are almost as good as “The good hands people”

      • January 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm
        Agent says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 42
        Thumb down 0

        Sargent, Ask an Allstate Agent if they like how they have been treated by their management the last few years. They had to form a guild to deal with them. Most would kill for Independent Agent status.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm
    Terry says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 64
    Thumb down 2

    Nationwide has a long history of trying to screw insurance agents and that is clearly illustrated by all the litigation they have had with their agents. That litigation can be found by reading Ohio Appeals Court transcripts.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    johnny says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 70
    Thumb down 3

    Nationwide isn’t the only outfit scamming agents. If the attorney is really interested in a Class Action suit there are many, many agents at Farmers that would join-in…suggest the attorney contact United Farmers Agents Association. Best wishes to the Nationwide agent that had the guts to fight-back!

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm
    Sargent Major says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
    Thumb up 38
    Thumb down 45

    If you believe the article it looks like there were two fools who did business together, Lucarell and Nationwide. Lucarell, if you believe she blew the money on cars, a second house and “elective” surgeries and Nationwide for not having better a loan and accounting ad collection process for the money they gave her. I have never been associated with Nationwide but looks like a lot of sloppy business practices on both parties.

    • January 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm
      UCT says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 36
      Thumb down 1

      Before judging someone for an “elective” surgery, you may want to learn what falls under the term “elective”. I REQUIRED surgery on my torn rotator cuff. The surgery was not life threatening, therefore ruled elective. Sure, it wasn’t life threatening, but if I ever wanted to use my left arm again, it WAS necessary. I tore a tendon in my foot. Again, it was “elective” surgery. Without the surgery, I would not have been able to walk. Why/how is that elective? lol I don’t know this lady, but to judge her on a surgery is pretty harsh. If it turns out she was getting lip injections or a tummy tuck, then by all means, tear her apart. If was a real surgery, elective or not, it was likely very much needed.

    • March 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm
      rookie says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 0

      Sergent Major, I agree. Both sides used poor business practices. But, shame on Nationwide Insurance. They continued to provide Lucarell funding when it was clear as day she would not make her plan. A person would think that her manager and the managers up the line would be looking for jobs, but I have seen Nationwide protect managers that get them sued. It is like Nationwide feels it would look bad for them if they fired them. I have been around since 1977 with Nationwide. They are not the same company today they were back then. It is all about their greed.

      • March 7, 2013 at 8:55 am
        Former Agent Advocate says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 15
        Thumb down 0

        Rookie – I agree with most of what you said. The only piece of information you have wrong is about the funding. The 400 – 600 AE agents had to EARN quarterly disbursements from their loans and had to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on various expenses per Nationwide’s direction. Even “Female Former Agent” confirms this. By the way, it goes much further than the sales managers up the line. This isn’t about Lucarell, this is about a cold calculated plan to benefit the company and destroy all of the agents. Pure greed, plain and simple.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    Txagt39 says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 70
    Thumb down 0

    A perfect example of how bad karma runs full circle. I fully believe it will hold true with other companie’s business practices to hose up tenured agents in favor of the favored few and/or new recruits who have yet to ponder all their friends and family’s business before they are put out to pasture. Greed is being repaid in full. I only hope this case sets the tone and other carrier’s doing the same will take notice.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm
    Jerry says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 33
    Thumb down 0

    Let the buyer beware. I started my own independent agency in 1989 with zero customers and like William am still hanging in there. Nationwide contacted me several years ago. I did not want to get into financials with them because freedom and control of my time is more important to me than money. In my opinion, going from zero premium to 600,000 in 3 years is completely unrealistic. A lot of agents end up with these direct writers because the independent agent companies do not give out contracts to agents with no experience or book of business to roll. Allstate has contacted me several times but I just said no. They too want to control your time and how you operate.

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm
      Mr. Solvent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 22
      Thumb down 0

      We’re fortunate in Florida that only one captive actively seeks out independents. I wouldn’t do it under any circumstances short of a large buyout with no non-compete. Since that would never happen it looks like I’ll keep on truckin.

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm
    Former Agent's Friend says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 89
    Thumb down 3

    I can tell you first hand that the whole story is definately not published here and it should be obvious why Nationwide is trying to “trash” this person. They have finally been caught and they LOST IN A BIG WAY!!! These are lies about what was purchased and so called surgeries and it was all testified to at the trial and the jury heard every word and saw all of the evidence. It’s called facts, law and the truth. Her agency was also a 1.8 million dollar agency from scratch! They are conveniently taking her 3 1/2 years of hard work and placing it on a 12 month moving basis here. Before you comment, you should know the entire story. Why don’t you ask Nationwide why Exhibit A from their 1st contract was conveniently “missing” from all of the AE’s files??? Maybe because it was a cumulative program that they conveniently changed to a 12 month moving basis to fail all of these agents and take what they worked so hard for. Also, ask about their document retention program to “go green” which was deleting hundreds of thousands of emails. Convenient? Destroying evidence? Believe me, the entire truth was out there and now hundreds more can come forward. I applaud Christine and I admire and respect her every day for having the guts to stand up for truth, justice and hundreds of strangers! Don’t assume people – remember what “assume” stands for!

    • January 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm
      Rosenblatt says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 24
      Thumb down 0

      going green deletes hundreds of thousands of emails? maybe if you printed every email up, but if it’s stored on a server, it can sit there ad infinitum without negatively impacting the environment, right??

      • January 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm
        Agent says:
        Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 7
        Thumb down 24

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm
    Lonestar says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 77
    Thumb down 2

    Nationwide, Farmers and Allstate are all playing by the same playbook: Stealing agencies by terminating appointments, then handing these policies over to a service center or giving the policies at half commission to a newby agent. Instead of growing the business organically, companies are trying to find ways to reduce agent’s commissions. If agents do not band together and fight this, we will all be dealing with this issue at some point, whether it be on the captive side or IA side. I say GODSPEED to her, and anyone like her!

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm
      MeIsEinstein says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 42
      Thumb down 0

      Indeed, “MAYHEM” is everywhere…

    • January 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm
      Wayne says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 20
      Thumb down 0

      Lonestar, they sell the books to agents, not give.

      Every captive insurance company has a large number of former agents that feel they have been taken advantage of. Many file suit but very few win.

      My advice as a former company field sales manager, read the contract, understand what is in it, ask the hard questions; it is better to be eliminated for being diligent than to lose everything. And, don’t sign contract amendments or addendums, they aren’t going to change the contract to benefit you, ever!

      • January 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm
        Lonestar says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 23
        Thumb down 1

        Depending on who “they” are, you may be correct. However, as far as FIG goes, I have personally witnessed Farmers DMs “give” entire agencies to newby agents, at half code. And Farmers is stilling doing this today. Guess where the “seed” policies are coming from most of the time? Agents who have been given their 90 termination notice for no cause. Ask the 400 FIG agents in south Texas who had their agencies stolen from them in 2010, and terminated for no cause. You are correct, people should read the contracts before they sign. But with Farmers, and I assume with other companies, the contract is not presented ahead of time, and only at the time the newby is pressured to sign on the spot. When I signed my agreement with FIG a decade ago, the DMM glanced over most of the contract. When we discussed the 90 day “no cause” termination clasue, we, like many other agents, were told to not worry about that, because Farmers never fires anyone without a reason, such as embezzlement.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    Nationwide Sales Mgr says:
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 10
    Thumb down 58

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 4, 2013 at 8:40 am
      jw says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 12
      Thumb down 0

      Why do you say “we didn’t like”? I get the impression you did things you knew were wrong, but felt pressured to do them. Did I misunderstand what you meant?

    • January 4, 2013 at 9:19 am
      jw says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 10
      Thumb down 0

      Wait a minute, did I miss the joke? Not enough caffeine before I hit reply, sorry. Carry on.

    • January 4, 2013 at 11:31 am
      Don't Call Me Shirley says:
      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 6
      Thumb down 39

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • January 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm
        Bob says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 5
        Thumb down 1

        Don’t Call Me Shirley:

        Hi Captain! I was thinking it was you for some time, but the tone in this comment and the lack of common sense made it obvious.

        Moving forward:

        This is NOT the same as Bain Capital. Bain Capital moved in to give “capital” to failing companies, or to buy ownership, or to restructure the firm. The key thing was “failing” companies.

        Staples grew to a size that is insane, and the owner gives 100% of the credit to Bain.

        Bain doesn’t restructure contracts to make you fail. It created jobs. It didn’t destroy them. Bain capital doesn’t benefit from you failing. Nationwide benefits from the agents failing and then keeping the books.

        This is by no means any bit similar, and the fact that you would suggest it shows you are a fool.

        And the only fool I know who is partisan and dumb enough to make that comment is Planet. Your speech style is also nearly identical.

        So yeah, knock it off, do some research, and grow up Planet.

        • January 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm
          Agent says:
          Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 15
          Thumb down 1

          I was thinking the same thing Bob about Planet. Anyone who goes off demonizing Bain is a fool. I have not seen a shred of evidence that Bain deliberately bought companies to make them fail. They are in the rehab business for already failing companies. In most cases, they made a lot of them successful again by running them smartly and putting the needed capital in them. In Nationwides situation, they took successful agents, changed the contracts which guaranteed failure. They were definitey not on their agent’s side.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm
    Don't Call Me Shirley says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 19
    Thumb down 4

    Bottom line, guess who pays for all the “punitive damages” in these cases? I’ll give you a hint: not the CEOs.

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm
      Agent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 45
      Thumb down 0

      I believe Nationwide is a Mutual owned by their policyholders. I wonder where their proxy votes will go when considering whether to retain the CEO and his minions. They may not like company funds being paid out to settle the impending suits from agents.

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm
        Nationwide Sales Mgr says:
        Hot debate. What do you think?
        Thumb up 25
        Thumb down 33

        The CEO for Nationwide who was in charge during the AE program is long gone. Jerry Jurgensen got a golden parachute back in 2009 and is now living the good life in Arizona. I hear his golf game is pretty good these days.

    • January 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm
      Former NW SalesManager says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      I think Don’t Call Me Shirley likes Bain Capital…jeeze!

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm
    Nationwide CEO says:
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 11
    Thumb down 49

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • January 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm
    Veritas says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 68
    Thumb down 2

    I hope a sizeable chunk of her lawsuit is upheld after the appeal.It’s very hard to win lawsuits against insurance companies due to their immense advantage in financial assets & access to legal talent.

    • January 4, 2013 at 9:34 am
      Agent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 73
      Thumb down 0

      If several dozen other agents join this in a class action, Nationwide will not like their bottom line after all the defense costs and settlements are factored in. That is not to mention all the adverse publicity they will get.

  • January 4, 2013 at 11:49 am
    Agent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 40
    Thumb down 6

    From the Columbus Dispatch – notice the major growth was when these AE’s were brought in. This growth was during this program – no more needs to be said here folks. Obvious!

    Under Jurgensen’s leadership, Nationwide saw steady growth.

    The company’s net income was $170 million in 2002, rose to $1 billion in 2004 and was about $2 billion in both 2006 and 2007, Nationwide spokesman Joe Case said.

    • January 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm
      Agent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 12
      Thumb down 0

      Are you copying my moniker? Change to Agent#2 or something so we don’t get confused. Thanks, Agent

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    Patrick says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 64
    Thumb down 1

    I was recruited by NW in 2006 and left a six figure income to start my agency. Used the loan to build a 4 location 1.5 Million book that had a 32% loss ratio at my termination in september 2009. I was 130% of plan when they came in and gave me termination papers. I was personally and financially devastated. They gave my book of business to a new employee agent that just completed training. I lost everything. I had 4 leases and many other obligations that comes with running a business including 10 employees. I haven’t thought about those bumbs in years and when I saw this case I couldn’t have been more happy for the Plaintiff.

    • January 5, 2013 at 11:09 am
      Former Agent's Friend says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 53
      Thumb down 1

      Patrick – you should join the class action. Get the justice you deserve! Good Luck.!!

    • January 9, 2013 at 10:08 am
      Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 8
      Thumb down 1

      Patrick, I am not sure I understand your numbers. Are you saying your book of business was $1.5 million or your revenue from your book was that much? I have a $7 million book and I wouldn’t try to support 4 locations with all that overhead on the revenue received on that book. Actually, if you grew from nothing to $1.5 million in 3 years, you were putting a lot of business on the books. It is hard for me to believe Nationwide could be unhappy with a growing agent and a nice loss ratio.

  • January 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm
    Anonymous says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 24
    Thumb down 0

    I worked as an associate agent fo over 10 years built up over 2 miilion dollar block of business. Agent let me go and took my renewals. Don’t ever become an associate agent.

    • January 7, 2013 at 10:14 am
      Agent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 14
      Thumb down 0

      If I had an associate agent/producer in my agency that produced a $2million book, they would have exalted status. This sounds like a personality conflict. Did you demand ownership in the agency? We have contracts in our agency about rights, commission percents on business, the agency obligations and the producers obligations to the agency. You should have had a contract in place and he couldn’t have done this to you.

  • January 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm
    Libby says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 41
    Thumb down 0

    Can anyone say “Brooke Franchise” here? They did the same thing and were forced into bankruptcy, invetigated by the FBI and charges filed by the SEC against 4 officers. I worked for these crooks and saw the writing on the wall when they tried to force me as an Area Manager into assisting in the scamming and bilking of my 18 agency owners. I left with no other job and gave testimony to the SEC. Was glad to see them go down the tubes and will be glad to see Nationwide follow in their footsteps. They’re parasitic leeches.

    • January 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm
      Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 8
      Thumb down 1

      Libby, we were solicitated to join a “Franchise” group one time in order to gain access to more markets etc. They painted a rosy picture on all their advantages. I am glad we didn’t fall for their line because it led to big trouble for a lot of agents on ownership of business, commission problems and outright fraud at the top. There is a price to be paid on some business arrangements. Some learned the hard way.

  • January 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm
    Truth says:
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 10
    Thumb down 57

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 7, 2013 at 9:18 am
      Former Agent Also says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 58
      Thumb down 2

      You obviously work for Nationwide or their law firm. I can’t wait until the class action suit is filed. You know what you did and so does everybody else. You are definately not “on the side” of truth.

      • January 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm
        johnny says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 47
        Thumb down 1

        To Insurance Journal…Thank you for publishing this story regarding Nationwide. Judging from the number and intensity of the responses you’ve hit a “raw-nerve”. Many captive agents from a number of different companies believe they’re being dealt with unfairly. Please consider doing a larger “expose”…there’s a Pulitzer Prize awaiting someone willing to do the investigative-journalism to expose the “nasty” nature of how some insurance companies abuse their agents!

        • January 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm
          Former Agent's Friend says:
          Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 46
          Thumb down 3

          With the tenacity and drive of Christine Lucarell, I would not be surprised to see this story on national television! It is time for the entire nation to hear what Nationwide has done to so many and what the other captives are doing as well.

    • January 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm
      Former NW SalesManager says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 31
      Thumb down 0

      which contract? The one that the AEs signed and no sales manager could get a copy of later on (it mysteriously disappeared for EVERY agent who signed it – luckily the AEs kept their copies) OR the copy that the company DID have that was never signed by the AEs. Nationwide spent a lot of money on the wrong people with their recruiting, but some of the folks that they hired were good, tried to believe in them and stay with it and they were financially ruined by the company that the entrusted with their life savings.

  • January 7, 2013 at 11:48 am
    Terry says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 3

    Your title is deliberately meant to inflame readers which makes whoever who put the headline on the article less than professional. Of course, an attorney is behind the award. Do you think Nationwide would admit it’s guilt on their own?

    • January 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm
      Former Agent Also says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 50
      Thumb down 1

      I think they are just trying to make others aware that a class action is being filed. Of course they won’t admit their guilt, do they ever? The old moniker of “we have settled but admit no guilt” is the usual. I think it’s quite obvious to all that they are guilty though. It’s just a shame that they got away with this for so many years and hurt so many people. Shame, shame, shame on them! What goes around truly does come around as they say.

  • January 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm
    Former Nationwide Sales Manager says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 46
    Thumb down 2

    As a former sales manager with Nationwide, I can tell you that I hired 4 agents in the years 2006-2008, even though the Nationwide regional leadship (not at the sales manager level) knew that they were going in to a catastophe management/containment program in the area due to tropical storm exposure. 2 of the 4 agents failed, I know of one agent that told me he had to file for bankruptsy, not sure of the other agent. One agent just quit due to personal reasons, did not fail. The one agent that survived did so only after being seeded some accounts from other failed agencies.

    The other manager that shared the market adjacent to mine hired 8 agents, again, 7 failed. This Sales manager got promoted and reassigned, so did not have to suffer the consequence of his/her failed market…basically washed his hands of any responsibility. Another sales manager hired 11 agents, none stayed more than 2 years–100% failed. Overall, of the several new scratch agents that were hired in this region, it would be safe to say an 85% to 95% failure rate is a good estimate.

    From a managerial perspective, Nationwide was heartless in its actions regarding put-on process for new agents. I was glad I wasn’t held accountable to bring on any more agents than I did, as I feel awful about the 2 agents I assured they were making the right career decision to leave good jobs to become (ultimately) community-respected wealthy agency owners. Nationwide knows what they’ve done and now will have to pay the price of their wrondoing.

  • February 20, 2013 at 10:26 am
    Follower says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 3
    Thumb down 0

    What is taking place with the appeal? 2-18-13 was the first hearing/motion.

    • February 25, 2013 at 8:14 am
      Former Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      I haven’t heard a word. I’ve called the law firm several times but I haven’t received a response.

  • February 25, 2013 at 10:37 am
    Former Agent Also says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 30
    Thumb down 0

    The post trial motions hearing was held on 02/20 & 02/21. Nationwide attempted to relitigate their entire case that the jury already rendered their verdict upon. I know they are waiting for the judge to make the final rulings on the motion for a new trial and the motion to set aside the jury’s verdict. Justice must be served for Christine and for all of us they have committed this heinous fraud upon!!

  • February 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm
    Linette Cohen - AE Advocate says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 34
    Thumb down 0

    FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY!

    Public Relations firm to join Lucarell team

    Rubenstein Associates selected to represent Christine Lucarell, former Nationwide agent recently awarded $42.8M by a jury against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

    Boardman insurance advocate says Nationwide’s appeal strategy is to discredit her

    Boardman, Ohio, February 22 — Christine Lucarell of Boardman, former Nationwide

    Insurance agent recently awarded a $42.8 million jury verdict against the insurance giant, has retained Rubenstein Associates (VC Rubenstein Associates, Inc.), a national public relations firm located in the Mahoning Valley, to represent her.

    She believes Nationwide is trying to denigrate her and her family in the eyes of the community and industry, and points to Nationwide news releases and resultant articles that have been filled with a barrage of untruths.

    As a result, Lucarell says, upon the advice of colleagues in Cleveland, she has selected the public relations firm of Rubenstein Associates to represent her.

    “First and foremost,” she says, “we must take Nationwide to task for the lies they’re promulgating about me and about my family.” She insists that since the Mahoning County jury awarded her $42.8 million, Nationwide has deliberately stated and re-stated fabrications that were proved, during the trial, to be deceptive and aversionist.

    We shall respond vigorously to the lies Nationwide has been disseminating, which are intended to not only discredit me, but to deter other agents from taking similar legal action against them,” she said.

    Lucarell confirmed that she has been contacted for interviews and discussions with literary agents and publicists.

    Vic Rubenstein, a Director of Rubenstein Associates, states that the real issue at stake is “the reputation of Christine Lucarell and her family and the potential impact she can have upon the insurance industry and as an advocate for small business owners throughout the U.S.”

    Rubenstein added that “the $36 million in punitive damages was intended by the jury to discourage Nationwide from participating in future scams such as this, but means little to the multibillion-dollar insurance giant.”

    “What will ultimately force Nationwide to take a second look at their business practices is separating their lies from the truth, and job one on that front is articulating these truths through news and information media, interviews, books, a possible documentary or commercial film, speaking engagements and social networking,” he said.

    He believes Lucarell will become “a very serious advocate.”

    A Mahoning County jury awarded the amount on Lucarell’s suit for breach of contract, retaliation, and for fraudulently inducing her to join the Nationwide Agent Executive Program. The civil lawsuit asserted that Nationwide created “unsustainable” monthly production quotas that allowed it, under its unconscionable AE Program contract, to stop funding her agency, thereby depriving it of the funds needed to operate her Boardman insurance agency, even though those funds were hers — from a loan that Nationwide required her to take out from the Nationwide Federal Credit Union (which later became Nationwide Bank).

    Lucarell claims that Nationwide withheld those funds for the express purpose of choking the life out of her agency and then closing her agency down and co-opting the book of business she had built.

    Nationwide then engaged in other actions designed to lead Lucarell to resign from the AE Program, including changing the way it measured her production and refusing to give her a bonus she had earned.

    Lucarell’s attorney asked the jury to award her compensatory damages of $5 million, and punitive damages in the amount of one-twelfth of Nationwide’s net profit for 2012.

    It awarded her $5.7 million for lost profits, $1 million for emotional damages, $100,000 for her retaliation-based emotional damages, and $36 million for punitive damages.

    The actual dollar award will be determined when final post -trial motions are completed and a decision rendered by the judge.

    “Nationwide’s intent … was to fail the AE agents and terminate their agencies once the agents generated a profitable book of business for Nationwide, but before the agents completed their production period,” Lucarell’s complaint states.

    Vic Rubenstein underscores that, in exposing Nationwide’s business practices, Lucarell hopes to be the catalyst for changing the way the captive insurance industry does business.

  • February 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm
    Pro Agent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 31
    Thumb down 0

    Nationwide needs to pay dearly for all the wrong that they have done with the AE Plan. Pure manipulation, greed and cover up. I hope that the masterminds of this program sleep well at night.

  • February 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    Former AE On A Mission says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 27
    Thumb down 0

    To Former Agent – I can tell you that if you call (440)544-1122 at ext. 102 and leave your name, address, phone number & email address on the voice mail, you will receive the appropriate documents. I did this and I received my paperwork. Good Luck and I’m sure justice will prevail!!

  • March 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm
    Former Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    Does anyone know when the AE class action will be filed?

    • March 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm
      Former AE On A Mission says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 3
      Thumb down 0

      To Former Agent – I heard by April 1st from another former agent yesterday.

  • April 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm
    Former Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 0

    Has anyone heard an update on Nationwide’s appeal or the class action? I know the judge lowered the payout to 33 million after the first appeal but I haven’t heard anything since.

  • April 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm
    Former Agent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 12
    Thumb down 1

    April 15, 2103

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A judge rules that Nationwide Insurance will not get a new trial, after a jury awards a multi-million dollar verdict, in favor of the woman who sued.

    Visitng Judge Thomas Pokorny denied the new trial sought by Nationwide, after former agent Christine Lucarell, won $43 million in damages.

    Lucarell claimed the company’s executive agency program, imposed unrealistic terms on her local agency. The judge also ruled, Lucarell did not commit perjury.

    “When you know you’ve done everything right, you should stand up for yourself and get the justice you deserve. I just want justice for the hundreds of others who are out there in the same shoes,” Lucarell said.

    Vic Rubenstein with Rubenstein & Associates tells 21 News he became involved after the company tried to impune Lucarell’s reputation. He says the judge’s ruling validates her key witness Shelley Aaserud, that she brought in from New York.

    He says this was critical not only to Lucarell’s case but also critical because we don’t know how many former agents are throughout the country.

    Attorney Matthew Ries tells 21 News, the judge reduced the verdict for compensation and punitive damages, which now stands at more than $15 million.

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:17 am
    Victory for the Victims says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 9
    Thumb down 0

    Winner of Nationwide Suit Takes Reduction in Stride
    Thursday, April 18, 2013
    By Dennis LaRue
    BOARDMAN, Ohio — People who don’t know Christine Lucarell well are surprised at her serenity about Judge Thomas J. Pokorny’s reduction of the $42.8 million in damages a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court jury awarded her to $13.8 million.

    “Money has not been my paramount concern,” the former agent for Nationwide Insurance says. Her suit against her former employer, Lucarell elaborates, “was about much more than a dollar figure. [During the eight-day trial last October and November,] we’ve exposed Nationwide for what they’ve been doing [to agents like her] over several years — and continue to do.”

    In her suit, Lucarell accused Nationwide of setting her up to fail and then taking over the business she developed. During the trial, she said that what happened to her was happening routinely to 400 other “scratch” agents across the country, that the insurance giant set impossibly high goals for them to meet, no matter how hard they worked, and then took over their clients when they failed.

    Lucarell said her suit “is about justice and the lives that have been adversely affected by the actions of Nationwide Insurance.” As news of the jury decision spread last November, the phones of Groedel & Associates rang much more often, Ries said, as 60 to 70 other Nationwide agents and former agents expressed interest in having the firm represent them. Ries raised the possibility of filing a class action suit against Nationwide.

    The jury of eight men agreed with the plaintiff’s characterization of Nationwide’s agency executive program and how it hurt her emotionally and financially when they awarded her $42.8 million Nov. 5. Nationwide appealed and Pokorny, formerly of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas bench, ruled Monday that tort reform capped the damages allowed in some categories. He also awarded her attorneys, Caryn Groedel and Mathew Ries, fees in the amount of $187,546.50 and expenses of $21,557.64.

    Groedel and Ries took Lucarell’s case on contingency and will receive 40% of the sum Lucarell wins after Nationwide’s appeal goes to the Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals.

    In the wake of Pokorny’s ruling, a spokeswoman for the insurance company issued this statement: “While Nationwide is pleased with the trial court’s reduction of the award by more than half the amount, it continues to disagree with the verdict and believes that errors were made at trial, which improperly affected the outcome of the case. Nationwide will be filing an appeal in the 7th District Court of Appeals and is confident that its claims will be ruled upon favorably.”

    Lucarell expressed confidence in Pokorny’s fairness and thoroughness, saying she understands he followed and applied the law after reviewing her case and listening to oral arguments Feb. 19 and 20.

    The judge denied attorneys for Nationwide a new trial, saying the only aspect he would consider for a new trial was on the issue of punitive damages, which he capped at $10.8 million, and then only if Lucarell contests that figure. She is not, she emphasized.

    As to other matters Quintin F. Lindsmith and his team of attorneys from Bricker & Eckler raised, Pokorny rejected their arguments. Lindsmith repeatedly accused Lucarell and Shelley Aaserud, the expert witness who testified in her behalf, of perjury. The judge labeled Lindsmith’s characterization of Aaserud as “unfounded in the record. The expert was subjected to extensive discovery depositions and cross-examination at trial. … The defense was given ample opportunity to discredit her. The jury apparently found her credible.”

    As to Lucarell’s testimony, “The Court finds no support in the record that plaintiff’s testimony was untruthful ….” Lucarell was particularly upset at accusations that she had converted funds that Nationwide advanced her to build her practice to her personal use, including fertility treatments.

    “He [Lindsmith] said many things that weren’t true,” Lucarell said. “I could not wait to get up on the witness stand. I was looking forward to it.”

    She had had difficulty conceiving, she told a reporter, but as a devout Roman Catholic, did nothing out of the ordinary to become pregnant. She and her husband “prayed with our priest” and made trips to the National Shrine in North Jackson. “I ended up being blessed by this baby,” she said in her dining room.

    Her daughter, who turned 2 last Jan. 31, is “a gift from God,” Lucarell said. “I feel God answered my prayers with the baby.”

    As she prepared for trial and during the trial, Lucarell said, she prayed again for strength and is grateful that, as Pokorny wrote, “The jury has apparently viewed the defendant’s acts with a high degree of reprehensibility.” While he appreciated the jury’s point of view, Pokorny found the economic damages of $5.7 million the panel awarded “exceeds the amount a jury could reasonably find to be compensatory. The court finds no evidence in the record supporting an award of $100,000 for ‘costs to defend’ the retaliation claim. These awards are therefore excessive.”

    He reduced the economic award to $2.817 million.

    As to how Nationwide treated Lucarell in the agency executive program, Pokorny wrote, “This conduct reaches the level of reprehensibility sufficient to warrant a punitive damage but does not represent a higher degree of reprehensibility nor grave harm occasioned to plaintiffs as seen in other cases.”

    Lucarell says this was the point she was most concerned about, that the agency executive program continues unchanged. “I hope to see other people receiving justice for what they’ve been through,” she said. “I hope I opened the door for them and that I can cheer them on.”

    Copyright 2013 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

  • May 7, 2013 at 8:54 am
    Ex AE Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 1

    I take away more stress and trauma from the AE program, than I took away from serving in a war zone. Nationwide cut off my funding after building a scratch 1.1 million dollar book in under 3 years. It has been 5 years and I just recieved a certified letter from Nationwide last Friday, demanding that I pay them over $211,000. They took my book of business, sold it to another well established local Agent and still want me to pay them for a book I built, which they sold and made a profit from. I hope that one day there will be justice for the hundreds of people who’s lives were ruined.

    • May 13, 2013 at 7:20 am
      Former Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 4
      Thumb down 1

      Hang in there and make sure you are part of the class action. If you have not already done so contact the law firm in Ohio and they’ll tell you what information you need to submit. I’m hoping the class action will be filed soon.

  • May 15, 2013 at 11:18 am
    Super Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 3

    Hey gang, so what is everyone so mad about? Peace, love and respect.

  • May 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    Former Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 3

    The AE class action was declined. Nationwide wins again.

  • May 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    Former Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 4
    Thumb down 1

    To all former Nationwide AE agents – today’s ruling is a major blow but hold your head high. Even though we can not pursue a class action against Nationwide there is something we can do. Nationwide is continuing to recruit agents (both scratch and independent agents) and setting them up on unsustainable production programs, knowing they will fail. Help spread the word to prevent other lives from being ruined.

  • May 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm
    Caryn M. Groedel, Attorney at Law says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 7
    Thumb down 1

    In trying to put the finishing touches on our class action Complaint against Nationwide, it would be very helpful if any of you are or were a manager at Nationwide during the time of the AE Program, or know someone who is or was a manager at Nationwide (“manager” meaning any manager — district, area, or otherwise)at that time, would contact me personally at this email address as opposed to the class action website.
    Thank you.
    Caryn M. Groedel

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:42 am
    AE Advocate says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 0

    The class action was not denied. It has to be filed to be denied. Caryn Groedel is still putting everything together. Keep the faith, never give up and keep on fighting for justice. Justice will be served and I am praying for each and every one of you every day!!!

  • October 29, 2013 at 9:53 am
    Ira says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 0

    1. Why was an agent granted IC status prior to hitting the minimum production numbers.
    2. Why are agents repaying loans with 10%+ interest rates
    3. Why did agents have to make a split second decision regrind the MOO or be terminated
    4. When will the company be forced to do the right thing and help everyone
    5. Insurance Journal you need to conduct interview with willing AE participants to bring the full story to light.

  • December 12, 2013 at 7:34 am
    Former Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    Has anyone heard an update regarding Nationwide’s appeal?

  • January 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm
    Former Nationwide Sales Mgr says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 11
    Thumb down 4

    Nationwide forced their Sales Managers to follow orders or be fired regarding the way that agents were threatened and treated. Some managers stood up for the agents and were quickly fired. Nationwide did not “do the right thing” by their agent force and will be held accountable one day. The upper managers at Nationwide are not ethical and it all started when the Allied Management group came over after the hostile take over of Allied by Nationwide. All one would need to ask is ” how do Allied Independent agents feel about Allied upper management. ” Agents across the board have told me that you can not TRUST Allied and Nationwide management. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. The interesting thing now is how the office of General Council will respond to the pending agent lawsuits when hundreds of agents will testify against Nationwide’s business practices when ALL are testifying and saying the same words — that Nationwide is an evil and corrupt company. It makes me sick when I see ads from Nationwide that say NATIONWIDE IS ON YOUR SIDE. We all know words are cheap and actions really tell the TRUTH. Nationwide is not on anyone’s side. Truth will prevail!!!!!!!

  • January 30, 2014 at 8:54 am
    Former Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 9
    Thumb down 1

    Individual lawsuits from AE agents are piling in against Nationwide Insurance. Stay tuned. Nationwide will be held accountable. It’s just a matter of time.

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm
    Current AE Aent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 5
    Thumb down 0

    I have a meeting with my Agency Manager tomorrow. The numbers in my market area are unrealistic and I do not know what to expect when I approach this. I have been here for two years and have been told that numbers will reset when other agents in the area retire and they merge in their books of business. I was told that the agents would retire in the next year, but they are stating that they will not. I am accruing more and more debt to grow the book, but I am losing more than I am writing because we are not competitive in my market. I would like to get out and was told by my manager not to worry about having to repay the loan for the small book that they sold to me. Is this true? I have surpassed production numbers for the past two years, but I am losing traction because of rate increases and losing business.

  • February 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm
    Maryland agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 6
    Thumb down 0

    I was an agent for 35 years. Completed the old 3 yr NADP program in 22 months and begged to get the IC contract. The last 2 years as an agent we went from 275 new homeowners a year to 1 per month. Commercial property limited to $250k and no wind. Set up an independant agency with my daughter in charge and they started beating me up for alledgedly transferring the business. I dropped the agency in their lap took the money and ran. Back helping my daughter and really enjoy the business once again. It couldn’t have happened any sooner. Imagine the hipocrisy of paying me one time for commissions and selling for 1.5 times! Exclusive representation conceived in the 50′s and 60′s is no longer relevant. Watch what happens to the Farmers agents in 3-5 years.

  • March 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm
    Bupermark says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    I am an independant agent, recently Nationwide contacted me to join.

  • March 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm
    Christine Lucarell says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 5
    Thumb down 1

    As you are aware, I was once a very successful Nationwide agent until corporate greed took EVERYTHING from approximately 6,000 agents. YES, THOUSANDS!!

  • March 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    Christine Lucarell says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 7
    Thumb down 1

    As most of you are aware, I was once a successful Nationwide agent until corporate greed took everything from approximately 6,000 agents. YES, THOUSANDS!!! I believe that Nationwide is doing the following as a direct result of my jury verdict and it’s important to share and be aware for anyone considering becoming an agent for them. I also believe that the general public and policy holders should know what Nationwide has done to so many agents and their families. It is a complete travesty.

    PLEASE BE AWARE THAT NATIONWIDE HAS BEGUN INSERTING A PROVISION IN ITS NEW CONTRACTS, WHICH IT’S NOT TELLING AGENTS ABOUT, STATING THAT THE AGENT GIVES UP HIS/HER RIGHT TO SUE NATIONWIDE IN A COURT OF LAW AND AGREES INSTEAD TO GO TO BINDING ARBITRATION FOR ANY AND ALL CLAIMS RELATING TO THE CONTRACT. EMPLOYEES RARELY WIN ARBITRATIONS. THEY ARE GENERALLY STACKED IN FAVOR OF THE “REPEAT USER” – THE EMPLOYER. ARBITRATION IS OFTEN COSTLY FOR THE PERSON BRINGING IT AS WELL. FILING FEES CAN BE IN THE THOUSANDS, DEPENDING ON THE VALUE OF THE CLAIMS. ALSO, THE ARBITRATOR’S OPINION IS NOT APPEALABLE EXCEPT IN A FEW RARE AND STRICT CIRCUMSTANCES. IT’S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AN ARIBTRATION DECISION OVERTURNED. I URGE YOU TO SPEAK WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – AND NOT NATIONWIDE’S LEGAL COUNSEL – PRIOR TO SIGNING ANY CONTRACT THAT CONTAINS AN ARBITRATION CLAUSE. READ NATIONWIDE CONTRACTS VERY CAREFULLY—EVERY WORD — BEFORE SIGNING ANYTHING, AND MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE AND CALCULATION BECAUSE YOU WILL BE HEAVILY BOUND TO THOSE OBLIGATIONS.

  • April 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm
    Steve says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    Christine,

    When do you expect to get a decision on the appeal of your jury verdict?

  • May 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm
    Ex Sales Manager says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 0

    Is there anyone out there that reads this that has a good attorney that is pushing forward against Nationwide. I would like to sue Nationwide and assist in this Agent complaint against this company,

  • May 21, 2014 at 11:42 am
    Christine Lucarell says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 6
    Thumb down 0

    To the Ex Sales Manager -

    You should contact my attorney, Caryn Groedel. She can be reached at (440)544-1122 ext. 102. She has several suits that she is currently filing for former agents and people such as yourself. I appreciate that so many people care about what has happened to so many of us, agents and former sales managers, etc…

    I pray that justice will finally be served for all of us. It has been a long time in the making and inevitable in the end. I am currently working on getting our story out nationally for everyone to know what Nationwide has done.

    Good luck to you and God Bless you and all of the rest of us!

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:39 am
      ex sales manager says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 2
      Thumb down 0

      Ms. Lucarell, thank you for your comments. It has been a long jouney for you and there are many people just waiting for the final outcome of your trials with Nationwide. I have a couple of questions. What is the current status of you receiving any money from Nationwide? Do you forsee others that endured the same consequenses as you , being successful against Nationwide? Would you take the same path against Nationwide, if you had it to do all over again? Thank you



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More News
More News Features