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Protections for CO Consumers from the "Worst Insurers"

July 14, 2008

Denver,CO - Are they selling a product that doesn't live up to its name? A new report that ranks the "Ten Worst" insurance companies in the country includes many doing business in Colorado.

Jon Haber from the American Association for Justice, which issued the report, says although the report does name names, many of the problems are industry-wide. Since it's possible to have a bad experience with just about any company, he urges consumers to do a few simple things to protect themselves.

"Make sure they read their policy. If they think that the insurance company is undervaluing their claim, ask for more information -- push back."

Haber says the "Ten Worst" list was based on consumer complaints, financial reports and thousands of legal documents. The insurance industry calls it a "smear campaign."

Sara Odendahl with the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association notes that a law passed this year by the General Assembly will give Coloradans another tool in dealing with insurance companies.

"It will allow Colorado consumers to seek remedies when they are a victim of bad faith by an insurance company."

Odendahl adds the new law, sponsored by State Rep. Morgan Carroll from Aurora, addresses one of the major problems Colorado consumers have with their policies.

"When their insurance rates and premiums are increased, sometimes they're not aware of it, so Carroll's bill is going to allow for increased transparency when insurance companies actually do increase their rates."

The "Insurance Accountability Act of 2008" is set to take effect next month.

The "Top Ten" list is at www.atlanet.org.

Eric Mack/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - CO