Sunday, May 21, 2006

Crooks: Insurance Companies Edition

From Newsweek:

May 29, 2006 issue - Nothing was left of John Hadden's $600,000 beachfront house when he returned to Bay St. Louis, Miss., three days after Hurricane Katrina hit. But Hadden didn't despair: the 45-year-old financial adviser had insured his home for nearly $700,000 with State Farm Insurance. "All is well. Thank God & State Farm," Hadden spray-painted on one of the concrete pilings that remained. But in January, Hadden received a letter from the insurer denying him any benefits whatsoever. Now the father of three teenagers is suing the insurer. And he's painted over the words "State Farm" on the piling.

Thousands of families who lost everything to Katrina's fury last August are now facing a second disaster: their insurers won't pay them a dime. The homeowners say they were led to believe they'd be covered when they signed up for their policies. The companies insist they're off the hook because of exclusionary clauses that distinguish between damage caused by wind (covered) and water (not covered). The courts will decide who's right: hundreds of homeowners have sued their insurers, among them U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, who lost a house in Pascagoula, Miss., and Congressman Gene Taylor, whose home in Bay St. Louis was destroyed.

While it's hardly unusual for homeowners and insurers to find themselves at loggerheads after a disaster, the wind vs. water debate has been especially rancorous. Earlier this month, 669 plaintiffs sued State Farm for allegedly denying their claims without properly investigating the cause of the damage to their homes. And last year, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood launched a suit against five big insurers—State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, United Services Automobile Association and Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance—for allegedly tricking Katrina victims into signing forms stating that their homes sustained flood damage, which isn't covered. "The robber barons of our time," Hood calls the insurers.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's statement that the insurance companies are "The robber barons of our time" is inaccurate.

The insurance companies are just one of the robber barons of our time. You can add drug companies, oil companies, credit card companies, the credit "counseling" industry, the banking industry, trading firms, financial advice companies, media companies, and the political class in Washington to the list of robber barons.

It has been a long, long time since corporations and industries have had so much freedom to rape and pillage individual Americans.

But as Professor Elizabeth Warren and her colleagues at the Warren Reports consistently show

The middle class is now under assault. The growing pressures on ordinary families are everywhere: skyrocketing costs of education, health insurance and medical bills; growing risks of layoffs, lost pensions, and plant closures; discrimination against entrepreneurs and new burdens for small businesses, and the unscrupulous tactics of an unrestrained credit industry that exploit the new national insecurity. These pressures are pushing families to the breaking point. Instead of helping, many of those in Congress seem intent on making the middle class the main course in a feast for big corporate interests.

That's about the gist of it. And members of both parties have sold out the interests of working and middle class Americans so that big corporate interests can enrich themselves off the unprotected and the individual.

Welcome to Bush's Ownership Society.

We no longer have a middle class..we merely have the "haves" and "have nots".

Carpetbaggers such as the insurance industries have lots of time and attorneys..the public has neither.
That's a good way to characterize them, dusty - carpetbaggers.

It seems the only people making money these days are the carpetbaggers and the attorneys. As you said on your blog the other day, let's get rid of some attorneys.
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