Friday, July 25, 2003

Insurance companies NEVER cease to amaze me. Last week Allstate showed how it's making boatloads on your backs by raising those insurance premiums.

And today's insurer of the day is AIG. I complained previously about AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg because he tries to blame evil "trial lawyers" for every problem AIG has while he makes insane amounts of money. In Hank Greenberg on The Forbes Four Hundred Richest in America, the article describes Greenberg's obscene wealth of $4,400,000,000.00 - that's FOUR-BILLION-FOUR-HUNDRED-MILLION-DOLLARS.

Don't worry, things are getting even better for Hank Greenberg at the American entrepreneur's expense, Rising business insurance costs boost AIG profits.

Greenberg calls for "tort reform" (taking your legal rights & limiting what you can recover - so he can make more money) while telling sole proprietor's, partnerships and corporations how he's going to raise business insurance rates even more. See AIG Chairman Sees Rates Rising Into 2004. Forget tort reform, call for insurance reform. "Earnings were fueled by price hikes in insurance premiums to businesses."

Interestingly, Maurice Greenberg - WHILE SUING HIS SON's COMPANY - has brought to light one of many insurance company abuses. In "Ace in the Hole," Forbes explains how AIG accuses: Ace Insurance "and a predecessor company of trying to dodge billions of dollars in asbestos claims by moving thousands of insurance policies out of its Insurance Co. of North America subsidiary into a tiny, underfunded rump company called Century Indemnity. AIG calls this 'a shell game.'"

So let's see, an insurer tried to shortchange asbestos and mesothelioma victims...

...never happens?

Monday, July 21, 2003

Personal injury cases typically involved insurance companies. One insurer I have always disliked is Allstate. Here's another reason to dislike Allstate. ALLSTATE PROFIT SOARS ON RATE INCREASES.

Allstate's profits were up 71%! Isn't it interesting how when these insurers announce profits they never cite "reduced tort costs" or "reduced personal injury claims" or "lower lawsuit filings"? See my February 7, 2003 post.

Whether it's homeowners insurance, medical malpractice insurance, car insurance or whatever, the fact is insurers try stick it to the people who pay the premiums, to those who get hurt, and those who help them, like me, in order to make more money. This is exactly why these companies constantly call on lawmakers to limit recoverable damages, fees, etc. Whatever happened to the "FREE MARKET"? And, if we must legislate in this area, then I propose lawmakers pass accross the board INSURANCE RATE CUTS?

If lawmakers really want to help accident victims, then they should pass a law prohibiting subrogation in all personal injury actions. This is where your health insurer, car insurer, disability insurer or worker's compensation insurer takes money from your personal injury settlement. This results often in the insurer taking 30%-50% of a personal injury settlement from the injured party. In other words, you pay your premium for health insurance, car insurance or whatever, and that same insurer gets to be paid again, but this time from the injurying party's insurance company taking a portion of the injured person's settlement proceeds.