Archive for the ‘Insurance’ Category

Another lawsuit claiming annuities company scamming elderly

February 14, 2009

I posted a couple weeks ago about the lawsuit against Bankers Life for taking advantage of the senior citizen by selling them annuities that probably wouldn’t mature until after the elderly client’s death.  Now comes a similar suit filed against American National Insurance Company in a California federal court.  

This complaint has much more detailed information about American National’s annuities offerings and how they are sold and marketed compared to the Banker’s Life complaint but the crux of the allegation is very similar.  Here the complaint states under the terms offered to the plaintiff, she wouldn’t receive any payment on her annuity until 2025 when she would be 106 years old (bolded in the original).

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Duke lacrosse incident ends up in suit against insurer

November 30, 2008

Seems National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh didn’t want to cover damages resulting from litigation involving the Duke lacross team.   This not an unusual or particularly interesting lawsuit but it does provide insight into the National Union as a company and the kind of products it provides to what kind of clients.

Insurance companies are particularly opaque entities when it comes to determining what they do for whom.  Many aren’t public companies or like National Union they are subsidiaries of much larger companies, in this case, joy of joys, AIG.  How did I figure that out?  Not from the complaint which in this case doesn’t provide us much  except for the fact that its principal place of business is New York State which provides good public information about insurance companies.  In this case, it tells us that National Union is a subsidary of AIG.  It also give a laundry list of they types of insurance National Union provides, everything from accident and health to glass insurance (not sure what that means, insuring windows?).  But it doesn’t give us any notion that it would insure Duke University against claims like this one.  Here we must rely on the complaint to learn that.  Specifically, we are told that National Union sold Duke two non-for-profit Individual and Organization Policies.  This is the kind of competitive intelligence, that is very difficult to come by except anecdotally or through complaints.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

New York Insurance Company Search

Lawsuit claims insurance broker getting kickbacks

November 25, 2008

Mesirow Insurance Brokers didn’t disclose its financial arrangement with an insurance carrier when it sold a policy to the plaintiff according to this lawsuit filed in Cook County court. 

The complaint is also a useful guide about the workings of the insurance industry, explaining the role of brokers and carriers and also how there is considerable pressure brought by the carriers on the brokers, (called “producers” under Illinois law) to sell their policies.  While the broker has a special obligation to the consumer or the company purchasing the policy to provide them the best coverage and price, the carriers are very interested in seeing that the brokers sell their policies.  The complaint also goes into some detail about the breakdown of revenue for the defendant, Mesirow Insurance Services.  Don’t neglect litigation as a valuable source for competitive intelligence.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews

Massachusetts Has Lousy Insurance Info

November 15, 2008

The Consumer Federation of America a great Internet resource, BTW, recently released a study of all the states’ insurance websites, evaluating how useful they are for consumers to shop around for auto and home insurance.  Some of the states didn’t fare too well.   Most of these are the smaller states and I understand that they don’t have the resources but one state on the “inadequate” list of state insurance websites, was Massachusetts.  What is their excuse?

Whole report

State adequacy chart