Friday, August 25, 2006

I was raised on robbery

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. That is, if a good neighbor is someone who robs your house, steals you blind, lies to you, and still expects you to pay them. Thankfully, some brave whistleblowers came forward.

From ABC News, we learn that:
State Farm Insurance supervisors systematically demanded that Hurricane Katrina damage reports be buried or replaced or changed so that the company would not have to pay policyholders' claims in Mississippi, two State Farm insiders tell ABC News.

Kerri and Cori Rigsby, independent adjusters who had worked for State Farm exclusively for eight years, say they have turned over thousands of internal company documents and their own detailed statement to the FBI and Mississippi state investigators.


I had State Farm car insurance off and on for many years, and one time I actually read the Annula Financial Report, in the mid '80s. I was shocked, shocked to find that, after all accounting for expenses, at the end of the balance sheet were billions of dollars in pure profit. And their '05 report, available here, shows $847 Million in profit for '05, as opposed to $3.076 Billion for '04!

How this will play out is anyone's guess. As this is pretty standard Republican-approved corporate behavior, there may be some small sanctions. But look how easily Ken Lay, et al, have so far gotten off, for a barometer of punishment likelihood.

Here in CA, Financial Responsibility laws dictate that to legally drive, one must have Auto Insurance, or post a large cash bond that only movie and rock stars could afford. I am capitalist enough that I feel that everyone should be able to make a buck. But I have long felt that if the government requires me to buy something, who ever sells that something should make only subsistence profit, not billions.

Of course, State Farm can afford better lobbyists than I can.

Bastards!

3 comments:

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