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Top Five Worst Insurance Companies

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) conducted an extensive investigation in to the routine practices of insurance companies, which included a  comprehensive review of thousands of court documents, state and federal records from across the nation. The results are not all that surprising:

And The "Winners" Are:

1.    Allstate took the cake as the nation's worst insurance company. To identify the worst insurance companies for consumers. Allstate's own CEO stated the company's mission well, "our obligation is to earn a return for our shareholders." Allstate was later forced to make public information the fact that they systematically placed profits first, above their own customers, the policy holders. Apparently the company that publicly urges the public to trust its “good hands” approach privately instructs their employees to put on “boxing gloves” strategy against its own policyholders.

Allstate Stats:

CEO: Thomas Wilson, 2007 compensation $10.7 million
Profits: $4.6 billion (2007)
Assets: $156.4 billion
Information from “In Tough Hands at Allstate,” BusinessWeek, May 1, 2006.

2.    Unum is a leading disability insurer. The company has long had the reputation for using delay, deny and defend tactics against claims. The claims abuses are notorious for being subject matter for litigation and media investigations.

Unum's Stats:
CEO: Thomas Watjen, 2007 compensation $7.3 million
Profits: $679 million (2007)
Assets: $52.4 billion38

3.    Coming in at third place, AIG, the largest insurer in the world. Even though AIG reported losses for three years straight, somehow the company's CEO still managed to earn over fourteen million dollars during that time. AIG has a history of claims handling abuse against their policy holders. They have been accused most recently of opportunistically seeking price increases during catastrophes.

AIG Stats:

CEO: Robert Willumstad (former CEO Martin J. Sullivan was fired in June 2008, and may have received up to $68 million over his three-year tenure. 2007-compensation $14.3 million)
Profits: $6.2 billion (2007)
Assets: $1.06 trillion

4.    State Farm is the nation's largest property casualty insurance company. They became notorious for denying claims without cause. They are best known for going to extreme measures to save their own dollars during catastrophic times. They are alleged to have altered engineering reports regarding damage after Hurricane and forging signatures on earthquake waivers after the Northridge quake.

State Farm Stats:

CEO: Edward B. Rust Jr.
2007 compensation $11.7 million
Profits: $5.5 billion (2007)
Assets: $181.4 billion70

5. Conseco, a seller of long-term care policies, targets the elderly as policy holders. Their method of operation includes a policy of denying claims to the elderly. If the company delays paying claims long enough, their customers will die, saving the company money.

Conseco Stats:

CEO: C. James Prieur
2007 compensation $2.6 million
Profits: $179.9 million (2007)
Assets: $33.5 billion88

The remaining winners of the Biggest Losers in the Insurance world,

6. WellPoint
7. Farmers
8. UnitedHealth
9. Torchmark
10. Liberty Mutual

The information in this article was taken from the American Association for Justice Report: The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America which can be accessed in full here.

Shelly Leeke
South Carolina Injury Lawyer

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