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MSM Ee-vil Corporation Watch: ABC Declares State Farm 'Not a Good Neighbor'
NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein

Posted on 02/15/2007 7:49:22 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest

File this one under "MSM condemns ee-vil corporations." As you'll note from the screencap, ABC's Good Morning America today branded State Farm Insurance "not a good neighbor." What is State Farm's sin? Its decision not to write new homeowners and commercial policies in the state of Mississippi.

Did you note that? State Farm has decided not to write any new policies. This in no way affects the insurer's liability for existing policies. State Farm has made a simple business decision: given the legal environment there, Mississippi is not a good place for an insurer like it do to business.

As per this Forbes article:

"Mike Fernandez, vice president of public affairs for State Farm, said Mississippi's 'current legal and political environment is simply untenable. We're just not in a position to accept any additional risk in this homeowners' market.'"

That didn't stop Diane Sawyer from introducing a segment on the news by speaking of "outrage" over insurance companies and declaring that "some" call State Farm's decision "heartless and others call it plain greedy."

Chris Cuomo narrated the segment. Although a brief clip was played of State Farm spokesman Fernandez, most of the segment was taken up by the sympathetic story of one couple that had to wait a year-and-a-half to get its check, and clips of the Mississipi AG accusing State Farm of greed and a consumer advocate claiming State Farm is saying "if you make us pay what we owe we're going to take it out on your citizens."

Closing the segment, Cuomo stated "you know the saying 'like a good neighbor State Farm is there'?, well those Gulf Coast residents say when they need help the most, that good neighbor is moving out." From his body language and tone there was little doubt Cuomo was seconding the emotion. And again, ABC's screencap left no doubt. It didn't ask whether State Farm was being a good neighbor." It boldly proclaimed that it was not.Cuomo misleads when he says the company is leaving when people need help the most. Remember: State Farm's decision has nothing to do with existing policies or claims. It remains fully liable on all of those. It simply does not want to do any new business in Mississippi. If the legal climate in the state gives insurers a fair shake, then surely State Farm's depature creates a huge business opportunity for other companies, who will rush in to fill State Farm's vacuum. If they don't, it's fair to conclude that there is no level legal playing field for insurers. Rather than blaming the free enterprise system, ABC should examine the broken legal system in Mississippi, notoriously dominated by trial lawyer interests.

Back in the studio Diane declared a "call to arms" in which all of the regular GMA cast members will be "taking on the issue of the insurance industry, taking your case to them and getting answers."

ABC: not just in the news business anymore -- going to war against corporate America!

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: abc; chriscuomo; dianesawyer; statefarm

1 posted on 02/15/2007 7:49:25 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; Miss Marple; an amused spectator; netmilsmom; Diogenesis; YaYa123; MEG33; ...

MSM ee-vil corporation watch ping to Today show list.


2 posted on 02/15/2007 7:50:21 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Question: why does Mississippi need State Farm?


3 posted on 02/15/2007 7:54:14 AM PST by billybudd
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Hood said it was State Farm and not Mississippi that had created the problem by refusing to pay claims and dragging out the process.

"If they paid what they owed in the first place, there never would have been a lawsuit filed," Hood said.


4 posted on 02/15/2007 7:55:33 AM PST by street_lawyer (Conservative Defender of the Faith)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

If I am not mistaken, State Farm has for many years been considered a low life bottom feeder for insurance.

When I was last in rural west Tennessee, I knew not to even bother with a quote.
If I am mistaken, feel free to correct me.


5 posted on 02/15/2007 7:56:53 AM PST by AlexW
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

So now they pick on what in my personal experience is the best insurer out there. About a dozen years ago a State Farm client ran over my parked bicycle, no mean feat as it propped against a brick wall at the time. Even though the insured was not co-operative (he tried to drive off but was stopped by a witness), I got my cheque to pay for the new bike less than 48 hours later.

They were my first choice when I bought my scooter, but unfortunately where I live they don't insure motorbikes :-((


6 posted on 02/15/2007 7:57:38 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: billybudd
Question: why does Mississippi need State Farm?

Exactly!! These thinly disguised commies will MAKE the good citizens take out STATE- sponsored policies for their own good. If they don't take advantage of that the state will have to confiscate the property for the common good.

7 posted on 02/15/2007 7:58:11 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rear view mirror.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

I may also have them confused with AllState, or maybe they are both bad.


8 posted on 02/15/2007 7:58:12 AM PST by AlexW
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Ten years ago State Farm totally screwed one of my friends, whose car was rear ended by another car traveling 50 miles an hour while my friend was stopped at a red light. She suffered from an enclosed head injury that took years to heal, as well as other broken bones. She still has problems. The driver of the other car was an uninsured immigrant. Despite the fact that she and her husband had had personal car coverage and coverage of his entire fleet of business vehicles from State Farm for more than 20 years, State Farm fought having to pay her medical bills, which were horrendous because of her injuries. She and her husband finally had to sue to get the company to pay for her medical care. They won, thank heavens, but what's the point in paying for insurance if the company makes you fight to collect on a straightforward claim?


9 posted on 02/15/2007 7:58:24 AM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: AlexW

I guess the company does things differently in the USA. Here in Canada they were terrific when I had a liability claim against one of their insured; I was paid off within two days of the incident.


10 posted on 02/15/2007 7:59:51 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

State Farm treated us extremely well when I had an accident some years ago.
All hospital bills paid with no question - no problems.
They even considered the circumstances of the accident and "forgave" it by not raising our rates.

They sent an agent to our house to let us know about coverage we didn't know we had....something they could have just let slide.


11 posted on 02/15/2007 8:00:09 AM PST by Scotswife
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
Read the fine print, they only cover damage due to "mild sunshine".
12 posted on 02/15/2007 8:00:24 AM PST by Mark was here (You are guilty of something when you do it, proving your guilt is something else.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
From what I understand, the basis on which State Farm is refusing to pay many claims, is that adjusters are declaring structures with *obvious* wind damage as flood losses - and not paying as a result.

It would be one thing if they were all really flood cases and the insured did not have flood coverage, but it sounds like there may be some funny business going on in an effort to mitigate some of their own (State Farm's) loss.

Granted, you always have to be wary of hyperactive lawyers. FWIW.
13 posted on 02/15/2007 8:01:32 AM PST by bamahead
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To: AlexW
I do not have experience with either company but the reason for denying claims was due to the flood exclusion on the policy. Homeowners had the option to buy flood insurance that is reasonably priced but they chose not to.

Mississippi is well known in the insurance industry for exorbitant court awards and I do not blame the company for pulling out of the state.
14 posted on 02/15/2007 8:02:21 AM PST by Angelas
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To: AlexW
That has not been my experience...(I work for a competitor)..they are a good company...Anytime you have the largest market share you are going to have lots of examples of problems..but as a whole I would have my insurance with them if I didn't have it already with the BEST company out there!!!..LOL
15 posted on 02/15/2007 8:03:13 AM PST by conservativehusker (GO BIG RED!!!!)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Our friend SHEPARD SMITH ...gave the obligitory tsk tsk tsk..when reporting this last night during Brit Humes show....I really can't stand that Metrosexual...!


16 posted on 02/15/2007 8:05:34 AM PST by conservativehusker (GO BIG RED!!!!)
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To: conservativehusker

Thanks to all for the information...Maybe it was AllState.
IIRC, it was a division of Sears.


17 posted on 02/15/2007 8:07:16 AM PST by AlexW
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Good one, GLGB!


18 posted on 02/15/2007 8:10:30 AM PST by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Then it sounds like the MSM is right for once.


19 posted on 02/15/2007 8:11:26 AM PST by Sloth (The GOP is to DemonRats in politics as Michael Jackson is to Jeffrey Dahmer in babysitting.)
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To: All

Thanks, DC. I note that many folks on the thread are confusing two issues: State Farms claims handling, which may or may not be subject to criticism, and State Farm's right not to do business in Mississippi, which should be indisputable.

Are there other companies that MS wants to prevent from leaving or force from coming in? Hey MS: build a good business climate and companies will beat a path to your door!


20 posted on 02/15/2007 8:13:04 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

"Hey MS: build a good business climate and companies will beat a path to your door!"

We do and they are, so to speak.


21 posted on 02/15/2007 8:20:54 AM PST by L98Fiero (A fool who'll waste his life, God rest his guts.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
State Farm could alway raise premiums to match their risk.

Instead of State Farm getting out, consumers would be getting out.

22 posted on 02/15/2007 8:26:12 AM PST by TexasCajun
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To: bamahead

I heard Trent Lott describe what happened in Mississippi as a result of Katrina. The insured folks, in large numbers, had hurricane insurance, but not flood insurance. (I gather flood insurance is a rarity for coastal homeowners) So....the insurance companies, in large numbers, determined the houses were destroyed by flood, and they weren't liable.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/20/AR2005092001414.html

http://news.findlaw.com/andrews/m/icr/20060126/20060126lott.html


23 posted on 02/15/2007 8:48:49 AM PST by YaYa123
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

I don't see what the big deal is with State Farm wanting out of Mississippi. Is there some law in place that once you've set up business you are not allowed to move? This is just silly! As long as they honor the current policies, I don't see what the big deal is.

As for not getting money to people fast enough after Katrina, isn't that happening with all money involved in this hurricane? It has been nothing but accusations from the first wind blowing. I can understand why they want to examine each case carefully.

I'm sure there's not a single person out there trying to commit insurance fraud!!/sarc


24 posted on 02/15/2007 8:49:21 AM PST by samiam1972 (http://imrunningforpresident.blogspot.com/)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

I might add that ABC news is not a good neighbor the lying sacks of you know what.


25 posted on 02/15/2007 8:55:49 AM PST by Parley Baer
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

State Farm has been ordered by Texas state commission to reduce its home owner premiums since 2003 (I think), they are refusing. Rates nearly doubled over a span of a year or two, now about $1350/yr on a $120K house.
In my case they have been very good at settling any claims both home and auto.
A lot of the battle on the Gulf Coast is whether it was wind (covered) or storm surge (not covered) which caused the claimed damage.


26 posted on 02/15/2007 8:56:54 AM PST by 1066AD
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To: samiam1972

What State Farm is really saying...very quietly...is that the income they make off these home policies in the state are not enough to stand up to the risk. And here...we aren't talking about damage risk...but court risk. Once you start going into courts in Alabama or Mississippi...the big guys lose. This has been shown over and over for 10 years now.

My guess is that Alabam is watching very closely and waiting for the 2007 storm season. One good hurricane reaching Alabama shores...will get the state AG out of his office and visiting folks. If state farm has to pull out of another state...their profit margin will be interesting to watch.

Long-term damage for those who haven't figured it out along the coast....is that most insurance companie over the next 20 years will slide out of coastal states...and leave only major players who demand triple of what you pay today. You wanted that home within 3 miles of the beach...fine...you will pay a substantial amount of money to keep it. Property values by 2020 will start to fall...and it'll be hard to sell a property thats right on the beach.


27 posted on 02/15/2007 9:02:49 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: AlexW

Happy State Farm Customer for 13 years here.

Their auto insurance is half what the competitors want to charge and they've paid out the one claim I did have (it was auto not homeowners.)


28 posted on 02/15/2007 9:03:16 AM PST by RockinRight (When Chuck Norris goes to bed at night, he checks under the bed for Jack Bauer.)
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To: RockinRight

"Happy State Farm Customer for 13 years here."

Thanks for your input...I guess I had them confused with All State.
My first auto insurance was with little known GEICO in 1965. I had them till 2005, when I left the USA.


29 posted on 02/15/2007 9:18:15 AM PST by AlexW
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

One comment by State Farm I didn't see in your report was that while they would continue to honor existing agreements, no decision had been made about renewals.


30 posted on 02/15/2007 9:23:32 AM PST by SuzanneC
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
The Drive Bys/MSM are Corporate America! But from ther vantage point, they're above making a profit and minimizing their exposure to unwanted risk. As they see it, in railing against capitalism from their Ivory Towers, they're doing a public service. State Farm and the American insurance industry be damned. They're selfish and greedy. The Drive Bys/MSM have no ulterior agenda; they are only concerned with the public good.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

31 posted on 02/15/2007 9:31:00 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: 3AngelaD

Check your car insurance policy. You might well find the medical payment portion is very low, often $5000 or so per individual.

It is written based on people having medical insurance already, so it will cover the deductables and co-pays.

If you don't have medical insurance, you need to either get a different policy that covers accident medical care, or you can do what these people apparently did.

See, if you SUE a person who causes an accident, or the insurance company as proxy for the person, the result if you win is a "liability" claim, not a "medical claim", and can be paid out of the liability coverage, which is often much higher.


32 posted on 02/15/2007 10:22:45 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: AlexW

You're thinking Allstate, who was forbidden by some states a few years ago to sell insurance because of their crookedness.


33 posted on 02/15/2007 11:22:07 AM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: SuzanneC

True, but if they are not contractually obliged to renew then I would place that decision in the same basket as a decision to leave the state -- it's entirely up to them. No different than if you sign a lease with a renewal option and choose not to exercise it and move away.


34 posted on 02/15/2007 11:50:57 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest (Watching the Today Show since 2002 so you don't have to.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest

Funny how all large, multinational corporations with concentrated powers are evil...except for the large, concentrated, multinational, media corporations that these reporters work for.


35 posted on 02/16/2007 11:31:12 AM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: AlexW

AllState is Sears and Roebuck insurance and it is the pits.


One other thing, State Farm is punishing all of its agents in the state by pulling out. They didn't do anything wrong, if you call following flawed company policy the correct thing to do.

Insurance is a racket, period.


36 posted on 02/20/2007 2:53:02 PM PST by Islander7 ("Show me an honest politician and I will show you a case of mistaken identity.")
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To: AlexW

I have been very happy with them for years in CA and TX. Both claims we've made have been paid promptly. JMO


37 posted on 02/22/2007 5:53:21 AM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (When Can We expect a Movie about Milli Vanilli?)
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