Watchdog Group Ranks Insurers on Consumer Friendliness and More

July 11, 2008

Washington, D.C.-based the American Association for Justice, formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), recently released its study ranking insurance companies based on consumer friendliness and more. The group said it based its findings on financial and legal documents its staff reviewed.

According the attorney lobbying group, the rankings “show a distinct pattern of insurance industry greed amongst 10 companies that refuse to pay just claims, employ hardball tactics against policyholders, reward executives with extravagant salaries, and raise premiums while hoarding excessive profits.”

“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.

The Association accuses the insurer of placing profits over policyholders. Allstate contracted with consulting giant McKinsey & Co. in the mid-1990s to systematically force consumers to accept lowball claims or face its “boxing gloves,” an aggressive strategy designed to deny claims at any cost.

According to the often adversarial attorney group, thousands of court documents, materials uncovered from litigation and discovery, testimony, complaints filed with state insurance departments, Securities and Exchange Commission and FBI records, and news accounts were reviewed to compile the rankings and statistics.

The rankings are as follows:

1. Allstate
2. Unum
3. AIG
4. State Farm
5. Conseco
6. WellPoint
7. Farmers
8. UnitedHealth
9. Torchmark
10. Liberty .

The Association study said that financial documents also revealed extravagant profits and executive compensation while policyholders’ claims were routinely delayed and denied:

— Over the last 10 years, the property/casualty and life/health insurance industries have each enjoyed annual profits exceeding $30
billion.

— The insurance industry takes in over $1 trillion in premiums every year. It has $3.8 trillion in assets, more than the GDPs of all but two countries.

— The CEOs of the top 10 property/casualty firms earned an average of $8.9 million in 2007.

— The median insurance CEO’s cash compensation is $1.6 million per year, leading all industries.

To view a full copy of the study, visit
http://www.justice.org/docs/TenWorstInsuranceCompanies.pdf.

Source: American Association for Justice

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