Insurers' 10 dirty little secrets

Insurance companies use information and tactics that they'd rather you not know about. The reason? These 10 secrets make them money but can cost you.

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24Comments
Mar 21, 2012 5:01PM
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Insurance Companies, what a bunch of whores!
Mar 21, 2012 6:03PM
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This whole country is a big Whore is there nothing big buisness will not do for money
Mar 22, 2012 12:39AM
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I recently entertained several insurance companies and everyone of them said that because my roof shingles were five years old the would be prorated if a hail storm damaged them. I said I was not looking for partial insurance coverage and argued if they were prorating the shingles they should prorate my policy premium. Of course they scoffed at that. Seriously, you cannot purchase full honest insurance coverage for your home. My garage is 25 years old and keeps everything dry. If a tornado destroys my garage I would want a new one built. The insurance companies said it would not be fair to expect them to build a new garage when my garage was 25 years old. I am sorry but insurance is a bet that if it gets knocked down they replace it. If it does not get knocked down they happily go whistling and counting the money I paid them. This is all lost and now insurance companies just want to collect premiums and not pay for anything if it gets damaged.
Mar 21, 2012 10:37PM
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It's nice to have insurance until you need it.
Mar 22, 2012 2:23AM
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Travelers is the worst!     Angry They will screw you everytime.

Mar 21, 2012 9:38PM
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I've found out that Car insurance companies also share a nice little database where they share all of your accidents and claims.  So, good luck leaving All state and thinking StatexxFarm won't know about those claims or accidents you had.  And, what's worst, is the slimy you-know-whats in washington making sure they get to keep screwing us.
Mar 22, 2012 7:54AM
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It's NOT "insurers", it's "INSURANCE CORPORATES"!! Corporate Greed with government-elected puppets to make sure they take advantage of the American People!

This is exactly the reason why we, the American People, want to SELECT OUR OWN CANDIDATES, NOT CORPORATES' CANDIDATES!
Capitalism isn't working and will NEVER WORK, because of CORPORATE GREED!

Enough is enough! It's time for change, and that time is NOW! NOT LATER, BUT RIGHT NOW!!!

Mar 22, 2012 12:45AM
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There is so much disinformation in this article, its difficult to know where to start.. You can be sure however, when it comes to auto insurance, there are 3 main factors: the carrier, the attorney and the vendor or provider involved in the claim. The carrier's rates are essentially 'reactive' to what is going on in the market. Your average Joe forgets the carrier is insuring risk and is responsible for the driver in SC and the driver in Oregon. Same with homeowners...its why you'll see an increase in nowhereville, USA to cover the costs of hurricane damage along the coasts. Insurance is also based on the public trust....meaning it assumes everyone involved is honest. We know that's just not the case much of the time. Colossus is used by a very small percentage of carriers--the article would have you believe all of them use it..and furthermore, the adjustor has the ability to over-ride the values in Colossus. I realize some carriers earn their bad reputation, but many others don't. If you want an education, next time you get in an auto accident and hire an attorney for your injuries, let him tell you how the carrier likes to delay things...then 2 years later after you settle your case, ask your attorney for copies of all of the letters and phone messages left by the adjustor pleading for your attorney to send in your settlement package so they can resolve the case. Bottom line: don't believe everything you hear.
Mar 22, 2012 8:24AM
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progressive insurance co. SUCKS, don't fall for those driving devices they want you to put in your vehicles. they will use this information against you. rip you off with their premiums, because you won't be able to insure with another company.
Mar 21, 2012 10:36PM
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Sounds like people are upset that they can't commit fraud.  Who's slimy now??

 

I sick of paying for these people!!

Mar 22, 2012 1:56PM
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I have progressive and thank god i did. Bout eight months ago i was in a serious accident i almost died. And whatever my work insurance did not cover they did. And they also compensated me on lost wages i will always be a customer of them.All these people that complain about there rates need to consider the benefits they also offer. I would have  10s of thousands in debt if i did not have them. Consider that it could be you or someone close to you!
Mar 21, 2012 9:31PM
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Insurance is a transfer of risk. I don't want to transfer that risk anymore.
Mar 22, 2012 7:31AM
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I would like to point out that ins companies do not require you to have ins. That is a state requirement in N.C. at least. And the state tells the ins co what they can charge. Also, let us just assume that any business is in business to make money. If you call for a quote before you get all carried away at the car dealership that ins bill won't be such a surprise.
Mar 22, 2012 9:07AM
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WACO3 is right. Call your agent and get a quote (i.e. an estimate) of how much your premium will change before you purchase the vehicle. And if you will need full coverage try and have the VIN when you call. Even if only the insurance companies know if a vehicle has a symbol 8, 10 or 16; the agent will be able to enter the VIN into the computer and pull up an estimated premium increase with the deductibles you have chosen. Oh, and VIN stands for vehicle identification number. If you say VIN number you are saying vehicle indentification number number.

 

Mar 22, 2012 3:20PM
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In reference to the Pottery Barn to Wal-Mart thing, if you cannot prove what you have, then you get what they are willing to give you.  This is easy with car insurance, you can prove you had a 2012 Maserati, there are bills of sale, titles, registration, etc...

This is harder with homeowners insurance.  If you say you had a Rolex, you need a receipt, a picture, documentation that you owned it.  No one will have any problem in the event of homeowners claim if they have documentation for the things they are claiming.  When you start a homeowners policy, you are advised to collect your receipts for your stuff, electronics, jewelry, purses, silverware, guns, whatever.  If you have not done so, get a safe deposit box (tax deductible and secure) and not a fire box, the fire boxes may be rated up to a certain temperature, but paper is not, a fire box can survive a fire, but your papers can incinerate inside the box, with the box remaining intact.  start an Excel spreadsheet and catalog anything you value, and take a picture(s) of of those items.  make copies on an SD card or something, and keep one in the safe deposit box and another with a relative or someplace not in your home.

 

the information in this article is 5% fact and 95% anger resulting from the writer's own ignorance of insurance.  Do your research, call your insurer, and they will be more than happy to explain their claims process and give you advice on how to document your things and all that.

 

in closing, the only people that think insurance companies are "whores" are the ones who tried to defraud them and got caught. 

 

Mar 22, 2012 2:55PM
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The information in this article is only about 25% correct.  While things like ISO and Insurance scores are used,  It is not the insurance company that makes up the rates.  Its the state insurance department that tells the insurance companies what they are allowed to charge. They are the ones that approve what the rates are.  All insurance companies have to pass any rates, policies and contracts thru the states insurance board for approval before they can charge their membership.  Is it corporate America, sure.  But to pin it all on the insurance companies is like saying you dislike a congressman, but you never voted.  Just stupid.  Grouping all insurance companies together is also unfair.  While most are in it for themselves, and only looking out for themselves, there are still a few gems out there.

 

I have USAA, I'm not worried about it. Being a reciprocal company, there are no shareholders, or big biz guys behind the scenes. The membership owns the company.  They might not always have the best rates, but they are fair, honest, ex military for their staff, and don't work on commission.   Ask your agent the next time you look at your auto or home insurance how much he makes off of you a month, 6 months, yearly...

Mar 22, 2012 3:03PM
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MSNBC...sheesh..your news now worthy of comic relief ONLY!
Mar 22, 2012 3:19PM
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If your 5 year old roof or 5 year old car gets damaged, you do not get a brand new roof or car, you get indemnified, which means you are restored to your state prior to the loss occurring.   So, a 5 year old car may get aftermarket or LKQ parts rather than new factory parts, and in the case of the roof, the policyholder will be responsible for a pro-rated portion of the new roof, because their roof was not brand new, it was 5 years old.

                                                                                            

Policyholders can choose their deductibles, and their premiums differ based on the deductible they choose.  a deductible is not forced on you by an insurer, and if it is, pick a different insurer

 

Insurers use credit history to assist in rating, just like lenders.  If a person is irresponsible with their money, its a good indicator that they are irresponsible with their vehicle, and as such, will be charged a higher rate.

 

Attorneys have little to no effect on how a claim and settlement are handled.  when you hire an attorney, you are paying them (in most cases 33% of your settlement) to negotiate your settlement for you.  That is all.  The length and type of treatment you receive dictates how long it takes to settle, and insurance company cannot settle with you in most cases until you have 1. completed treatment 2. they have received all of your bills and records 3. and your attorney gets around to putting a demand together, which in many cases...they take their time because most injury attorneys have hundreds if not thousands of similar cases pending and you are not special.  an insurance company cannot do anything until the attorney submits a demand to them.  Insurance companies would be acting in bad faith if they deliberately delayed settlement of a claim, something that they generally avoid and state governments sanction them severely in justified bad faith cases.

 

In regards to the forced-premium insurance, if you dont make your payment, suck it, you are ultimately responsible for what happens to you if you do not make your payment, regardless of your scenario.  These things are in the lending contracts, so the consumer knows before they sign anything the consequences of not making good on their side of the contract.  The lenders and insurers are bound by state and federal law to honor the terms of the contract, and by and large they do, it is very rare for a lender or insurance carrier to violate the terms of any contract, do the research.

Mar 22, 2012 1:15PM
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Progressive was 1/3 of what some wanted and I've been with them two years and every renewal was cheaper than the previous year, if they are charging you more must be you're a HIGH RISK!
Mar 22, 2012 11:11AM
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Ummm...don't you think its the car manufacturers that are preventing you from seeing this information.  On the whole, Insurers aren't good or evil, they are the house, they transfer risk amongst quantities of people and collect a fee for doing so.

By the way, you should be aware that one of the reasons our premiums are so high right now is the fed artificially holding down interest rates for 15 years. 

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