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insurance 26 articles

Cheap Auto Repairs Forced By Insurers Endanger Motorists

Auto insurance companies often direct body shops to repair damaged vehicles with cheap fixes instead of following the auto manufacturer’s repair guidelines – a practice that puts unsuspecting motorists at risk of injury and death. A recent case that went to trial in Texas demonstrates how dealerships and auto insurance companies could be left on the hook for millions of dollars in damages for cutting corners and repairing vehicles with cheap, unsafe fixes. According to Automotive News, a Texas dealership and State Farm found themselves faced with paying the bulk of $42 million in damages – the price a Dallas ... Read More

Class action filed for victims of Wells Fargo auto insurance scheme

Another Wells Fargo scandal erupted in recent days following a New York Times report that the San Francisco-based bank enrolled more than 800,000 of its auto loan customers in unneeded car insurance policies without their consent. The dust barely began to settle on a series of previous Wells Fargo scandals – mortgage fraud that contributed to the 2009 financial crisis, sham credit card and deposit accounts, mortgage rate-lock fraud allegations, and whistleblower retaliation – when news broke July 27 that the bank defrauded its own auto loan customers. Wells Fargo and National General Insurance Company allegedly stole millions of dollars ... Read More

Another Texas Hot Air Balloon Slams Into Ground Near Power Lines

A driver in Pflugerville, Texas, was startled to see a hot air balloon rapidly descending over FM 685, so he started video recording it. The video shows the balloon crashing into a field across from an HEB grocery store parking lot, narrowly missing a row of power lines by about 100 feet. “Needless to say we were shocked to look up and see it coming,” viewers Dawn and Michael Hale told KXAN News, Austin. The hot air balloon’s basket, which appeared to have three occupants, tipped over when it struck the ground. For a moment appeared that it would lift ... Read More

Pennsylvania Farmers Sue Insurer In Wake of Gas Explosion

A  Southwest Pennsylvania couple whose cattle farm was partially destroyed by a natural gas explosion likely caused by corroded underground pipes are suing their insurance company in federal court, alleging it is holding out on paying them their full policy limit until it gets paid by pipeline owner and utility Spectra Energy Corp. Randy and Wendy Gillis, whose family-owned farm has produced crops and pastured cows for nearly a century, sued State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co. of Columbus, Ohio, alleging the insurer is compounding the suffering they’ve already experienced in the aftermath of the April 29 blast. The gas explosion ... Read More

State Farm seeks new trial in Mississippi whistleblower fraud case

Illinois-based State Farm and Casualty Co. has asked a federal judge to overturn a Mississippi jury’s finding the insurance company defrauded the U.S. government by allegedly manipulating damage reports after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 to blame damage on storm-surge floods instead of wind damage. The whistleblower case originated with Cori and Kerri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Miss., sisters who worked for an Alabama contractor State Farm hired to assess damages after the hurricane. The borderline category-3 / category-4 storm was the costliest and most destructive storm in U.S. history. It decimated entire cities along the Gulf ... Read More

New health care law will reduce medical fraud, report finds

The new health care law passed in 2010 gives Medicare and Medicaid more teeth to fight back against corporate health care fraud, such as subjecting healthy patients to unnecessary and dangerous procedures and overbilling the government programs, a USA Today report claims. The law will make it easier for Medicare and Medicaid to track and reject unneeded medical procedures, such as implanting healthy patients with unneeded heart stents – a practice that HCA, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, routinely practiced in some of its Florida hospitals with an elderly patient base, according to a New York Times investigation. According ... Read More

Savannah controversy: who would pay for hazmat trucking disaster?

The potential for a “catastrophic event” and the costs associated with it are at the center of a debate in Savannah, Georgia after a liquid natural gas (LNG) processor nearby petitioned federal regulators to allow overland shipping of volatile gas. Southern LNG, which operates a massive LNG import terminal 5 miles downstream from Savannah, currently receives liquid methane by ship and pipes it out as a gas. The company is seeking approval to ship the gas in liquid form by truck through populated areas, including practically through the heart of Savannah. According to the Savannah Morning News, if the federal ... Read More

Pennsylvania girl determined to recover from severe traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by a number of accidents and incidents: For soldiers, roadside bombs are the leading cause of TBI; on the field, rink, or slope, athletes often suffer concussions and more extreme blows to the head; bike accidents, car accidents, and assault are all common causes of debilitating head injuries. But for a 10-year-old resident of Hershey, Penn., named Samantha, it was a falling tree limb that dealt a severe blow to the head and sent her down the long path of recovery and relearning that many TBI victims must travel. Samantha’s accident occurred in the ... Read More

Allstate takes Toyota to court for sudden acceleration claims

Allstate Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. for $3 million in an effort to recover the claims it paid to Toyota and Lexus drivers involved in sudden acceleration incidents. Allstate alleges it paid 270 sudden acceleration-related claims since 2007. Allstate’s lawsuit alleges that “certain of Toyota’s cars and trucks have a defect that causes sudden uncontrolled acceleration to speeds of up to 100 miles per hour or more,” and that the problem was enhanced by “defective electronics and the absence of a fail-safe, such as a brake-to-idle override system.” The insurance company’s spokeswoman Christina Loznicka told ... Read More

Are you safe in a minicar?

The words “fuel economy” pack more appeal for American car buyers than any other time in automotive history. Motivated by financial strains to cut costs and inspired by the Green Revolution to reduce fuel consumption, millions of Americans are turning to smaller and smaller car models. But are mini and micro size cars, which are so common on European streets, safe for people to use on American roads and interstates? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently completed testing the smallest cars on the American market. Every year, the non-profit IIHS crash tests and thoroughly evaluates a number of ... Read More