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Fraud - California style

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Posted by tonyb on December 11, 1999 at 16:48:42:

It is this insider's view, based on my experience with Safeco Insurance
Companies of America as a policyholder, and­ my experience as an insurance
broker for 21 years that this referendum, financed in part by the insurance
industry, should be defeated by pure common sense.­ Our Insurance
Commissioner, Chuck Quackenbush, has done much to reduce consumer insurance
fraud and nothing to reduce insurance company fraud, which occurs every
single day and gets reported properly to the Department of Insurance and they
do nothing....This is fact !!!!

The truth is that insurance rates are going up in 2000 in many areas, with or
without this referendum.­ Insurance companies have been so fiercely
competitive over the past 10 or 12 years that the cost of most insurance is
30%, 40%, or 50% less than it was in 1988, with very few exceptions.­ The one
major exception is earthquake coverage, which the insurance industry has very
cleverly manipulated the political machines in power during this time frame
into contractually transferring this exposure to all of us, via the
California Earthquake Authority.­ There are investigations under way that
will shock most insurance consumers when it becomes public knowledge about
the CEA.­ Insurance company mismanagement and corporate greed are just as
much a part of the impending rate increases that will occur as
this legislation that protects consumers. Undoubtedly, the insurance industry
will tie the issue of being accountable for their bad faith conduct to higher
rates, rather than just honoring their contracts.­ There are some exceptions,
but it is fewer and fewer every year, as the big fish keep swallowing the
little fish and claims staffing is reduced to the point where adjustors have
impossible workloads.­ How many of you have ever had a claims adjustor point
out insurance benefits that you overlooked or didn't know you had ?
Adjustors adjust downwards, not upwards, despite the clear responsibilities
they have delineated in the Unfair Claims Practices Act.

I urge you to­ not be influenced by the insurance industry's massive campaign
and massive war chest (which you will replenish with higher premiums).
Pointing the finger at the trial lawyers tells only part of the story.­ If we
didn't have trial/consumer lawyers like William Shernoff and Michael Bidart
looking out for the little guys interests and stopping companies like Aetna
from allowing their customers to die as a result of necessary treatment being
denied, the insurance companies, who answer to their shareholders, not their
policyholders, would do more of this inexcusable and unconscionable claim
denials.­ When the insurance company executives have to worry about going to
jail, as violators of state insurance laws, the playing field will change and
perhaps some of the good old boys, like Dick Huber of Aetna, will start
honoring their contracts and maybe Safeco will live up to it's former
corporate motto of "What's Right".­ Their new corporate motto "Shaping your
Dreams" has certainly proved to be appropriate for me.­ Unfortunately, dreams
also include nightmares and I've had those from January 17, 1994 (the date of
the Northridge earthquake) continuously.

Please feel free to send this email to everyone you know.


R.R. Rawstron III
P.O. Box 506
Simi Valley, CA­ 93062-1506
Phone (818) 772-2094
Fax­ (978) 334-0421


Secretary of State's Office Confirms That Enough Valid Signatures Have Been
Received to Allow Voters to Stop Higher Insurance Costs and Increased Fraud
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Against Fraud and Higher
Insurance Costs announced today that a sufficient number of signatures have
been verified by the Secretary of State's office to qualify two referenda for
the March ballot. Officially designated as propositions number 30 and 31 on
the ballot these measures will give voters the opportunity to overturn SB
1237 and AB 1309, recently passed legislation allowing third party bad faith
lawsuits in California.

``This is a significant step forward in a campaign that has already gathered
enormous momentum,'' said John Sullivan a co-chair of the campaign and
President of the Civil Justice Association of California. ``We gathered a
record number of signatures in a record amount of time to prevent these
costly bills from becoming law.''

``Today's announcement marks another victory for the voters and consumers of
this state determined to stop an increase in fraudulent lawsuits and higher
payments on their insurance premiums,'' said Betty Jo Toccoli, co-chair of
the campaign and Chair of the California Small Business Roundtable.
Consumers Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs is a coalition of
businesses, consumer advocates, ethnic groups, and insurers.

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