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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:16 PM
Original message
State Farm Insurance is a vile, disgusting, evil entity
Edited on Sun Aug-27-06 02:17 PM by CatWoman
Sisters blew whistle on Katrina claims

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. - Who are the moles? The question was like a parlor game for employees of State Farm Insurance Co. after Hurricane Katrina, one they nervously played during coffee breaks or in the parking lot after work.

Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, a prominent lawyer of tobacco litigation fame, created a stir by announcing in March that two "insiders" were helping him build cases against insurers for denying claims for Hurricane Katrina losses. Their identities remained a mystery until the day in early June when Cori and Kerri Rigsby employees of a company that contracted with State Farm told a supervisor they were cooperating with Scruggs.

That startling admission and their subsequent resignations ended a risky charade. The Rigsbys say they spent months collecting reams of internal State Farm reports, memos, e-mails and claims records before they gave them to Scruggs and state and federal authorities

The sisters, who managed teams of State Farm adjusters, say the documents show that the insurer defrauded policyholders by manipulating engineers' reports so that claims could be denied.

"I think we've given him the smoking gun," Cori Rigsby, 38, told The Associated Press during a recent interview at the home she shares with her sister near Ocean Springs

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060827/ap_on_re_us/katrina...
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pooja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. I admire the courage of real Americans who won't screw other
Americans.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. The insurance industry is a vile, disgusting, evil entity. nt
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insanerepubs Donating Member (74 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. How so?
Can you expand on your comment?
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Obviously you have never had to settle a claim.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Try buying health insurance for an individual. nt
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. Had a claim against State Farm.
Auto accident. Not a moving violation, a guy backed out of his driveway, crashed into my car, and then came in to tell me. (I was in his living room at the time.)

They settled, no questions asked.

The guy who hit my car and I had the same insurance agent. They could sue to have State Farm pay me, instead of State Farm, but they realized the lawyers didn't need the work. Or the humor.
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Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. Yes they are....and I'm being screwed by them right now too!
We just filed our claim for the damages we had from the December flood and the vile disgusting folks at our insurance company rejected our claim and the guy who is the adjuster flat out lied on several occasions and omits information he is aware of and changes things in his correspondences. He even had the audacity to claim that the damage to our house was merely "cosmetic" and that our structural engineer said that to him. There is no way our structural engineer would say that. In fact our damages exceed $200K just on the damage caused by the flood and the whole project to fix our house back to pre-flood condition while meeting the new building and safety codes and raising our house up above the Base Flood elevation is going to total us over $500K!

I'm absolutely convinced that they flat out knew from the beginning that they would reject our claim and make us go the legal route...its sickening...the part I don't get, is why and how if they are the "administrators" for the Nat'l Flood policy. The idea that our house as nothing squared up after the flood and the bowing in the roof upstairs and the cracks everywhere and floors and door ways lopsided that they could claim its merely "cosmetic".

I'm so mad at the insurance industry I could scream endlessly. We are going to have to go the legal route now. Watch it be 3 years before we get any money reimbursed and meanwhile our house is being fixed now in preparation for future flooding and just plain safety. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!!! :grr:
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. I love the last line from that article
Why would they do it? They say they wanted to help their neighbors get their claims reopened and paid.

"We don't know what the future is going to hold," Cori added, but we sleep a little better."
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. The sisters deserve some flowers
from the homeowners of America.
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adamuu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
32. don't worry...
the lawyers they went to work for will pay the reeeel goood.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. Its too bad people who do things like this
are recognized more often. They should be praised as heroes but instead there is a stigma associated with taking this kind of action.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. I had State Farm car insurance briefly in the sixties.
When I got into an accident they found some technicality not to pay the claim and then dropped my insurance. This was no loss in the long run. Even when they came looking for my business years later, I told them to piss off. In the meantime I had learned of other people who had been stiffed by them. Well, I consider all insurance companies evil, but State Farm is especially so.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. The second worst, according to this site...
(someone linked to it yesterday on this same subject)

http://www.badfaithinsurance.org/
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. That's a good website to have.
I didn't realize Allstate was that bad. I have Allstate, although I have to admit Allstate did pay when my husband's truck was stolen. The police found the shell of the truck across town completely stripped by a chop shop. Allstate paid to have it completely rebuilt and he drove it for ten years after, giving it to his son-in-law who drove it another five years and sold it to a guy he worked with then. For all I know that truck is still running.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #9
42. That's not so very reassuring. My insurance is with Hartford, #1 worst.
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
23. Years ago they were known for
settling your auto claim and then dropping you. I recall it was pretty common some 20+ years ago.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. In my case they didn't even settle.
I was a victim of a hit a run but they insisted that the hitter had to pay for damages, a person I had no way of tracking down.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. Heroes.
Willing to take a risk to put an end to some miserable thievery.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. Have you seen their new commercial showing them helping Katrina victims?
:puke:

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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
11. What a shame. I had SF in Texas and their service was excellent.
This was over 15 years ago. There was a tremendous storm that caused quite a bit of damage in the neighborhood. Almost everyone had State Farm, and the adjusters were out there pronto, the checks for the repairs came right away, everyone was satisfied.

I have Farmers Insurance now, in Oregon, and they are terrific. It's just sad to see that State Farm has let greed get in the way of good customer service. This is going to hurt the company terribly, and rightly so.

Please remember not to associate agents, necessarily, with management of a company. I would hope that most of the agents are angry at this abuse, too. :(
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. USAA is pretty good too. When folks complained about their lousy...
payouts after Hurricane Isabel, they gave in.

Amazin'.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. I've had State Farm for 30 years. All the car accidents I got into
were paid promptly. When Hurricane Andrew struck Florida, they were settling claims as fast as they could. They're still in Florida. At least 7 other insurers went under without writing a check. AllState pulled out. Yes, that was years ago. But here in Florida, I haven't heard their name mentioned with any problems. Other insuranc companies though have made things a nightmare.

Oh, and the premiums are up 50% this year I think. Thanks to the insurance companies and Jeb.
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. Alright!
Loads of evidence - that is great.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
18. Brava, Cori and Kerri Rigsby
>the documents show that the insurer defrauded policyholders by manipulating engineers' reports so that claims could be denied.<

We're former State Farm policyholders. We had exceedingly negative experiences with them; they will do ANYTHING to keep from paying a claim.

We're now insured by Amica. I have nothing but positive things to say about them and their customer service.

Julie
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
19. Hooray for the muckraking sisters!
If this kind of thing isn't a revolutionary act, I don't know what is. It's the body turning on the head. The worm in the apple.
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
20. Oh, yes...
...brave Dickie Scruggs, looking out for the little man. :eyes:

Scruggs is Trent Lott's brother-in-law. It's all part of the good ol' boy network over there.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
21. C'mon! Who didn't know there was alot of this going on?
And, I'm fairly certain that State Farm isn't the only insurer that has violated their customers' trust.

I'm no expert on insurance and I have never gotten it. I mean, let's just say that a hurricane doesn't produce a coastal storm surge and all the damage is caused by wind, the determination and qualification of which is the issue in most of the lawsuits now being levied agains insurers, to wit, insurers cover wind damage but not flood damage. Insurers claim the damage by Katrina to homes was a result of flooding and not wind, though the storm was producing sustained winds up to 130mph, which is enough in itself to destroy homes and buildings.

The part I don't get is that the amount of "equity" accrued on a month-to-month basis of home insurance could never amount to the value of the home. For instance, the Insurance Journal says the average homeowner paid $677 in home insurance for 2005. If the home's value is $100,000 (not counting contents), the total accrued value of the insurance policy over the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage is only 20% of the value of the home, or about $20,000.

I've learned over the years that insurance companies are able to cover the value of loss because the revenue generated by hundreds of insured more than covers the calamity experienced by a few insured who file a claim each year. Which makes sense. But what if thousands of insured policy holders simultaneously experience calamity for which they file a claim of loss?

According to FEMA official Michael Buckley about 1.3 million homes and businesses are located in the area swamped by Katrina. The toll of those claims is going to be "astonishing," he said. When you consider that amount of premiums versus the cost of covering that many homes and businesses, it's not all that difficult to understand why a company like Nationwide or State Farm might try to mitigate their responsibilty to their policy holders, illegal and unfair though some of their tactics might be. But, of course, that doesn't make it right.

I have never owned a home so my knowledge in this area is sketchy. Please feel free to comment on any flaws in my reasoning
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Tace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. They Spread The Liability Around
The insurance companies take out "reinsurance" on their policies, thereby insuring their insurance, so to speak.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
22. Woo Hoo-some good news for a change!
Those sisters ROCK! :applause:
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
25. KnR n/t
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
28. State farm's commercial: "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."
Fucking liars. It's all about protecting profit-margins.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
29. The headline on the news article can be misleading. It almost makes one
think that the claims were fraudelant until you read the article.

It sure is great to see someone stand up for the little guy for a change.
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adamuu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
31. I'm going to wait and see
i read every word in the article and alot of the stuff just doesn't link up... its like they threw the facts into one big pot and stirred it around and hoped for something cogent.
Thanks, but I'll wait until the attorney general weighs in before I start foaming at the mouth.

Although, I am kinda curious about what happens to the sisters who stole over 15,000 pages of confidential documents... claiming that they were somehow whistleblowers.

I guess i'll just hafta wait.
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converted_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #31
45. Like what?
"i read every word in the article and alot of the stuff just doesn't link up"

What exactly doesn't add up? They changed reports to deny claims.. What's so tough to comprehend there?
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
33. I've never had any problem with SF, no one I know in New Orleans

has had any problem with them.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
34. The great Alan King had a bit about these creeps and he
never said their name but he nailed them for five minutes.
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stanwyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
35. I dropped State Farm years ago. Two reasons
they've been too supportive of conservative causes. And my husband and I had been fortunate enough to never have had to file a claim...until my husband's car was totaled by a drunk driver who ran a red light. My husband had to travel for business so I followed up on his claim. The State Farm agent was very snippy with me, she said she had the other driver on her other line (also a State Farm subscriber) and he insisted my husband was at fault.
I asked her if she had a copy of the police report...as I did. She didn't. Well, I told her, you might want to ask the "other driver" about his drunken driving arrest and his numerous charges, including running a red light. Or why he was taken from the scene in handcuffs?
My husband was not ticketed. Eye witnesses confirmed what happened in the police report.
The agent was so rude and ill informed of our claim that I cancelled and switched to Allstate as soon as we received our check.
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adamuu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
36. from my friend who works at SF
my friend asked me to post this:
As a State Farm Associate who spent a month on Catastrophe Duty in Louisiana, I am appalled that these so-called whistleblowers are now working for the lawyer they leaked 15,000 pages of documents to. Sure seems like they are planning to cash in on a big class-action suit.

While I was there, I encountered many customers who were angry/upset over not having flood coverage. Personally, I think that the Federal Government should have stepped up the help those people, since the pooest were also the hardest hit.

Finally, I have a difficult time seeing what SF could have gained from this. We're talking about 2% of claims that even had an engineering report... and 60% of them were paid. Bad publicity costs more money than could have possible been saved.

It just doesn't add up.

As someone who has worked at SF for 10 years now, I can say that the company isn't perfect and they have their problems, but fraud isn't one of them. Nothing I saw in Louisiana would lead me to think otherwise.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. your "friend" should come and speak for him/herself
I'm trying to be impartial, however, I've heard so many horror stories about State Farm.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. We've had State Farm for many years (25?).
They have always come through for us. When I was hit by an uninsured drunk driver, they promptly gave a more-than-fair check, and I was able to buy a new car.

They came through when a truck hit me, and took off.

And my agent has become a friend.

Perhaps it depends upon the particular State Farm personnel in question (at the scene, those involved).
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
39. CNA is a bunch of filthy evil slimeballs too. Look at what they did to...
...my 88 year-old mother. Developer flooded our family farm and turned the damages over to CNA, his insurance company. My mother (and I) have been fighting CNA for over 12 years and they WILL NOT offer a fair settlement.

http://www.pleasehelpus.org /

January 5, 2006 the dear soul finally suffered a severe stroke from the strain we have been living under. She's alive and hanging in there but my mother will now be permanently physically impaired and may require 24-hour care the rest of her life. Her dream of getting out from under this mess and having a few quiet enjoyable retirement years is GONE.

CNA is absolutely the worst whore scum on earth. They have billions of assets but still chose to stonewall a fair settlement and ruined a dear little old lady's last few healthy years for what (to them) would be chump change.

If anybody knows a lawyer who is admitted to the bar in PA that might help us fight this (my mother's attorney is a sole practitioner, and CNA has thrown big guns against us) PLEASE let us know. We have to get this settled and force CNA to play fair.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
40. witness the free market, inaction
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
41. That's disappointing to hear...
I've had SF for 15 years and never had a problem with a claim; not even weather related.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
43. This is why we can't rely on privitization
to take care of all of society's needs. The whole point of the insurance industry is to take in as much as possible and to pay out as little as possible. It's a business and that is how it makes money which is its only purpose, not to take care of society.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
44. "Like a good neighbor ...."
Sorry, Cat Woman. I'm just in one of them singing moods.

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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. I didn't know you had such a lovely voice
:hi:

:rofl:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. Years ago,
I could do a heck of a Jim Morrison imitation. Sometimes it included singing.
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