HomeNews(Almost) Every Thing You Never Knew About Insurance Companies
imgresby Linda Wolf -,CJE – Geico’s gecko promises us lower rates. Allstate has Mayham. State Farm have people who appear when you sing. Nationwide has the “vanishing deductible”. Personally, I really like ‘Flo’ from Progressive. Can all these insurance companies really be what they seem? They all promise to help. Can we trust them?

Let’s take a look.
Crystal told this to me about Progressive, “they don’t investigate”. According to their mission statement… Wait, Progressive does not have a ‘mission statement” or the reason they are in business. A ‘Mission Statement’ is supposed to provide the framework, or values of the company, ‘value’ being the importance or worth of a company. Progressive states their “values” are honesty, respect and communication. In other words, it’s supposed to be important. Would you say ‘non investigation’ is a good example of respect and communication?
There is also the example of the Fisher case. Katie Fisher was driving her vehicle lawfully when the defendant ran a red light, hitting her car and killing her. Her brother said, “Progressive defended my sister’s killer in court and did not pay their policy. ‘The court records show the settlement was for “tens of thousands of dollars” more than the $75,000 claim balance that the family was originally seeking. Progressive Insurance headquarters is located at: 6300 Wilson Mills Rd, Mayfield Village, OH 44143.
Allstate is headquartered in Illinois, 2775 Standers Rd., Northbrook Illinois, 60062. The Allstate Corporation is the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America. Their promise is a safe driver discount. Steve from Colorado blogged he lost his safe driver discount because his parked car was hit from an unknown driver. What did Steve do that was unsafe? He wasn’t driving, so what was Allstate’s thinking?
Being publicly traded, Allstate answered it’s shareholders/stockholders. According to their corporate guidelines, the primary role and responsibility of the Board of Directors is to oversee the affairs of the Corporation for the benefit of the stockholders. Stockholders/shareholders want to make money. They also randomly check their ‘insured”s credit record. “”””We also consider your insurance score, a calculation based on elements from your credit history.***
GEICO, an acronym for Government Employee Insurance Company, is proud to proclaim that in 1996, GEICO became a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, headed by Warren Buffett, one of the country’s most successful investors. Not sure about you, but that sends a red flag to me. An investment company. What are they investing in? Your accidents? According to a recent blog, ‘the person who signed for the letters doesn’t work there..’  ‘Geico needs to spend less money on commercials and learn how to help the people who were not at fault in an accident.’ GEICO’s corporate information, including their Mission Statement, Corporate Guidelines, etc. was not easily, if at all, available on their website. What are they hiding? The fact they are denying your claim without really denying it?
Nationwide’s ‘Vanishing Deductible’ commercials are entertaining. Can you really save $100 each year by safe driving? Since most deductibles lately are $500.00, don’t you wonder how they do that? The answer is simple, they charge you $60 a year to be able to “save”. Nationwide has grown from a small mutual auto insurer owned by it’s policyholders to one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world and owns dozens of other companies, including banks. Their Mission Statement and vision aren’t readily available. Candace posted this to say about Nationwide, “I was rear ended by a motorist who did not have car insurance and of course, gold ole Nationwide did little to nothing. I was told by the adjuster that they would give me $127 for the $500 damage quote they gave me.” Why have insurance if they’re not going to pay? Could they not be paying because they are defending a class action lawsuit against them for improperly reducing or denying personal insurance payments (PIP) to residents in Delaware?
State Farm’s ‘Mission Statement’ is to ‘help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.’ State Farm is owned by their policyholders. These homeowner policies have been the target of many lawsuits against State Farm. The lawsuits state State Farm has a tendency to not pay claims; commit fraud by the way they adjust their claims; etc. These lawsuits are a contradiction to their “Code of Conduct” which states ‘Every day each of us makes choices where integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness come into play. These are hard to measure qualities, but they’re priceless when it comes to customer confidence…”
American Family is another company that raises its rates due to their customer’s credit rating. How does one’s ability to pay bills reflect on the way one drives? You can’t compare apples to a highway. Why would you? The two have nothing to do with each other. ‘Am Fam’s’ website states that their mission is “[t]o be the most trusted and valued service-driven insurance company.” Let the facts speak for themselves. A quick google search revealed hundreds of complaints against Am Fam. These range from denying the claim, failing to timely pay or canceling policies to avoid paying claims, etc.  Kind of ironic that they don’t want to pay but expect you to?
Let’s not forget AIG Insurance. In the not so distant past (2008), the US Government ‘bailed out’ and took over AIG because of their poor investments, loaning them over $182.3 billion dollars by the end of 2008. More followed. When that bailout occurred, the officers of the corporation and their spouses were vacationing at a lavish spa. Today AIG is bragging that since their ‘takeover’ by the government, they have re-paid or ‘made’  $22.7 billion for the government in addition to the original amount. Check their website if you don’t believe me.
Too good to be true? The businesses that make up AIG  include ‘global property casualty franchises’ which ‘include Europe, Middle East and Africa’. ‘They are the largest U.S. based property casualty insurer in Europe, and growing position in the Middle East and Africa.’  This might explain why they can afford defense lawyers defending, not helping,  your insurance claim by paying their lawyers $250 an hour and up. These ‘billable’ hours often outnumber the cost of the claim. Perhaps that’s why AIG has numerous complaints against the way they handle worker compensation claims? They’d rather pay a lawyer than someone who was genuinely hurt?
It’s time to fight back. Knowledge is the key to power. READ your policy. Ask your friends and neighbors. Your agent. Question them, over and over. Take notes as they may be recording the conversation. Still not happy? Your state has an insurance department. Turn to them. File that complaint. Follow up.
Take action. Stand up for yourself. If your insurance company is doing nothing, upset the equation.  Do something.  Let your our voice be heard. Strange, but true, there are lawyers out there you can ask. Those quick questions are free and you may get a free consultation out of it!
Now when that gecko crosses the bridge, I hope GEICO treats him like a customer, not an animal. The same goes for Flo and the rest of the companies. Listen and talk to your customers. Take care of them first for once. No more credit checks or creepy Nationwide ads’. Show us your good, not your other’s bad. Help us. Remember, we’re the one’s you are making money on while we’ watch your stupid commercials.  We’re also a lot smarter than you think.


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