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Top Insurance Company - How to Be a Top Insurance Company - Top Insurance Company: All State, Top Insurance Company: AIG

Deny, Delay, Defend

companies claims allstate report

With thousands of insurance companies to choose from, many consumers would rather go with the most well-known companies rather than conduct a more widespread search. Yet, many top insurance companies have been proven to be the worst in the business, iron-handedly rejecting claims wherever possible to increase their bottom line. This article seeks to demonstrate the risks involved in choosing these top insurance companies while acknowledging the companies’ response to these criticisms.

Each entry draws information from the American Association for Justice, a government-run corporate watchdog whose landmark “Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America” exposed many widespread insurance companies as entities that alter premiums, reject claims, and refuse insurance to those who need it most.”

Top Insurance Company: All State

Founded in 1931 by Sears Roebuck, Allstate is a America’s largest publically held insurer. With branches in Illinois, Jersey, New York, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, and Ontario, it is a wide-ranging company that provides automotive, home, and life insurance.

All State was #1 in the AAJ report on the worst insurance companies of all time. They critique the Allstate marketing ploy of “are you in good hands?” by pointing out that its agents employ a “deny, delay, defend” strategy to minimize pay-outs on insurance claims.

Free Advice dot Com’s surveys on Allstate are also telling. Insurance holders (most of whom hold automotive or home policies) report that 51% are unsatisfied with their service, 49% are unlikely to renew their policies, and 47% were unsatisfied with Allstate’s fairness regarding their claims. In addition, a massive 57% would “definitely not” recommend their service to friends or family.

Meanwhile, Rate It All’s Allstate Reviews average a 2.25 stars. The good reviews themselves are highly spurious, as well. While the one- and two-star reviews often feature detailed descriptions of unfair claims settlements, the higher reviews read like promotional advertisements with very little in the way of supporting details.

Top Insurance Company: AIG

The globally powerful AIG is the 18th largest company in the world with holdings in the United States, England, France, China. Though well-known prior to the financial crisis, their name became a household word after the repetitive scandals following the crises of September 2008 and afterwards. One week after the bailout, employees traveled to California for a $400,000 business trip that enraged American citizens.

AIG ranked #3 in the Justice report amid an eviscerating two page history of their practices. The trouble began as early as 1999, when the AIG CEO responded to a $210 million loss in claims by developing a system to “systematically reject” as many claims as possible. Other frightening details include fraud charges from the FBI, an opportunistic price hike after the September 11th attacks, and entirely fictitious charity bonds.

AIG is even less popular among its policy holders than Allstate. According to Free Advice, more than 48% are unsatisfied with their service, and more than 50% would neither renew their policy nor recommend the company to friends and family.

Being a Top Insurance Company: The Image of Satisfaction

These are but two of many top insurance companies that both consumers and the American government reject. Yet, how is it that these companies remain so large despite such terrible reputations?

The disconnect comes partly from the association of bigger = better. Policy holders are comforted by the idea that they are protected by a well-established business. Ironically, the 2008 bailout was proof of that consumer belief, as the government felt that they could not afford to let AIG fail its millions of clients.

The Bigger is Better philosophy speaks loudest on small websites that offer unsubstantiated claims in the form of top ten lists and buying guides. Top Rated Insurance Companies’ article on Top 10 Insurance Companies, for example, offers a supposedly “comprehensive list” of the top 10 companies without citing any facts beyond the basics of their offered policies. Similarly, The Top Tens dot Com features another list that consists of a few consumer quotes and a link to the landing page in question.

The net result is a self-perpetuating illusion that these “top” insurance companies are the best choices for consumers.

Where to Find a Real Top Insurance Company

Fortunately, there are options for established, ethical insurers. The Ethisphere Institute is an international think-tank that seeks to promote, praise, and record the actions of companies that really do try their best for consumers. Their 2010 report on the most ethical companies in the world listed Aflac as the world’s most ethical insurance provider. Rather than claiming a “top 10” with no scientific backing, Ethisphere used transparent methodology which can be checked line by line in their online report.

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