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Re: Fraud - California style

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Posted by Skip Rawstron on December 12, 1999 at 10:31:19:

In Reply to: Fraud - California style posted by tonyb on December 11, 1999 at 16:48:42:

In response to this message, I have been told that this referendum, otherise known as another attempt by the insurance industry to buy justice and punish the very people who keep them in business, has been very cleverly drafted, so that the correct way to vote will require a yes vote to vote against the insurance companies. Pretty clever !!!

I have also been asked when the trial lawyers will mount their campaign to preserve these 2 bills, which I believe become law on January 1, 2000. While I don't know the answer, I do know that all they have to do is educate the public that all of the groups cited as supporting the referendum are puppets for the insurance industry and are gladly accepting insurance industry money to disguise the true source of this initiative because we all know insurance companies answer to shareholders, not policyholders.

In 21 years as an insurance broker, I have dealt with hundreds of insurance companies and 1000's of trial lawyers and there is no question that both sides have their share of rotten eggs, but the percentage of rotten eggs in the insurance industry is much higher than in the trial lawyer ranks. It is time for the insurance industry to have it's wings clipped and be held accountable for their actions. Every day we tolerate insurance company fraud and we have for years. The restrictive language, commonly known as exclusions, has already gone too far. The illegal acts exclusion that has seemingly been pioneered by Safeco Insurance Companies of America and followed by Allstate and probably some others, should be removed and insurance company executives and adjusters should live up to their responsibilities under the Unfair Claims Practices Acts and willful violations should have criminal consequences as well as civil. If all they have to worry about is economic punishment, they will continue to lie, cheat, intimidate, and bankrupt policyholders, just as Safeco has done to me, someone who started off my fight as a multimillionaire and is now bankrupt. The vast majority of insurance consumers have no idea of the many possible losses they can sustain and have coverage denied. The first step for most insurance companies is to determine if they can deny a claim, on any grounds, and the second one is to reduce what they do have to pay. They epitomize corporate greed !!!

: 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.

: Sincerely,
: ­

: 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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