And the winner is… Allstate Insurance Company! Congratulations to Allstate for topping the list of the worst insurance companies in the United States. According to a recent report published by the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”), a pro-consumer assocaition of civil justice attorneys, Allstate is the “poster child for insurance industry greed.”
The AAJ Report lists the ten worst insurance companies in order as 1) Allstate; 2) Unum; 3) AIG; 4) State Farm; 5) Conseco; 6) Wellpoint; 7) Farmers; 8) United Health; 9) Torchmark; and 10) Liberty Mutual. The AAJ’s rankings and Report are based on a comprehensive investigation of thousands of court documents, SEC and FBI records, state insurance department investigations and complaints, news stories and accounts, and the testimony and depositions of former insurance agents and adjusters.
The Report explains each ranking by exposing and detailing some of the deplorable conduct on behalf of each insurer. A recurring theme throughout the report is these insurance companies’ clear interest in profits over the interests of their insureds, even in times of horrific human tragedies and devistation. Allstate’s CEO said it best: these insurance companies’ “obligation is to earn a return for [their] shareholders.” At least Allstate’s CEO has the nerve, or audacity, to openly admit this.
Next time you are watching any type of television program, count how many insurance company commercials you are forced to endure. As you are counting, listen to the fraudulent message being marketed by the companies on this list. For example, “you’re in good hands” (Allstate),”like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” (State Farm), “the strength to be there” (AIG), just to name a few. These insurance companies tout their reliability. They capitalize on our fear of the unknown. Knowing they are really selling us nothing, they emphasize the peace of mind we are purchasing. However, as the AAJ Report details with pinpoint precision and irrefutable examples, these companies are in the business of avoiding and undervaluing the payment of legitimate claims. By and large, these insurance companies are making false promises and represent the antihesis of the morality and virtues they extoll.
Fortunately, it appears the tide may be turning and increasingly these type of insurance companies are being exposed and held accountable. For example, last week a Las Vegas jury returned a verdict against Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and Unum Provident and awarded $60 million in punitive damages for pervasive fraudulent claims handling practices. Unum and Paul Revere generated huge profits from their fraudulent claims handling processes. These practices are beginning to be exposed, however, and Unum and Paul Revere’s 15-year scheme of cheating disabled people will not be tolerated, as was evident from the jury’s verdict.